England vs. India: 4th Test, Day 4 – Victory

England confirmed victory in this Test and series, and through the day it rarely seemed in doubt. A good day then for the English bowlers, although not entirely without incident.

The day didn’t get off to a great start for the hosts, with Broad edging a wide ball to the keeper. Curran and Anderson eked out a few more overs before Curran was run out by Ishant Sharma. This was England’s second run out of the innings, and may point to something that needs sorting out of the training ground before the next Test. That wicket ended the innings, leaving India with 245 to chase.

That target didn’t sound impossible to reach for the visitors, but a terrible start soon put them on the back foot. Rahul, Pujara and Dhawan fell in quick succession to Broad and Anderson’s opening overs, with swing and variable bounce causing significant issues for the batsmen. Rahul’s wicket was particularly unfortunate. KL Rahul is the only Indian batsman to average less than England two openers and, as is common for players in that kind of form, he got a genuinely unplayable ball which shot low and quickly towards the stumps.

Not long after, Kohli survived a close LBW shout and the following DRS appeal. Whilst Hawkeye clearly showed the ball hitting the pad in line with the stumps and predicting that it would hit the wicket with the full ball, the controversial decision by the third umpire was that the ball hit the bat on its way through. The pictures clearly showed that Kohli’s bat had hit his pad at the same point the ball was close to the edge, but the official seemed to ignore this whilst making his deliberations. Had India managed to claw their way to victory, this would no doubt have been the main talking point for the game.

Kohli and Rahane managed to weather the initial storm through to Lunch, and not long after Root brought Ali and Rashid into the attack. Continuing his great form from the first innings, it was Moeen who looked the most threatening of the two. Bowling offspinners into the footholes left by Ishant Sharma outside the right-handed batsman’s off stump, Moeen was getting balls to shoot up and cause lots of problems for Kohli and Rahane. It was one such delivery which did for the Indian captain just before the Tea break, when he was found to have gloved a delivery to short leg, despite a forlorn DRS appeal. That left India still needing 122 runs, with their somewhat weak tail to come.

Pant was clearly at the crease for a good time rather than a long time, choosing to go for boundaries rather than the safer singles. Perhaps it was the right decision, with variable bounce meaning that an unplayable ball could come at any moment, but it didn’t work and he holed out to deep cover. Rahane, India’s last remaining batsman, didn’t hang around much longer either as he was adjudged LBW off Moeen’s bowling despite a vanity DRS appeal.

The reason I mention the failed DRS appeals by Kohli and Rahane is that they could have ended up being vital. England’s bowlers rounded up the last three wickets fairly cheaply, but two of those wickets were LBWs which would have been overturned had India not wasted their reviews earlier in the innings. It is massively unlikely that Ashwin, Sharma, Shami and Bumrah could have combined to score 90 runs in such bowler-friendly conditions, but you never know in cricket.

And so England ended up winning the game, and the series, quite convincingly. Amazingly so really, considering the performance of many players. England’s top 5 have scored 94 less runs than the bottom six in this series, with a collective batting average over 5 runs lower. England’s top order has been shockingly bad.

Indian fans might also point to the fact that Kohli lost all four tosses, meaning that India typically had to bat and bowl in the more difficult conditions. The visitors certainly seemed to have improved significantly from their tour four years ago, to the point that they were genuinely in with a chance of winning the series.

Which brings us to the next Test, starting on Friday. With little pressure on the England team with the series in the bag, it will be curious to see which direction they go in with their selection. They could see it as an ideal opportunity to blood some replacements for an underperforming opener or two before the winter tours, rest the two senior bowlers from a dead rubber, or mess around some more with the batting order. On the other hand, they could take the entirely reasonable view that they shouldn’t change a winning team, although that didn’t work out so well for India in the end.

Either way, India have perhaps surprised a lot of people with how well they have performed. Kohli laid to rest the idea that he wasn’t the world’s number one batsman because he couldn’t play the swinging ball, whilst India’s fast bowlers showed a great aptitude at bowling the swinging ball. I certainly wouldn’t bet against them winning the final game at the Oval.

As always, please comment below.


56 thoughts on “England vs. India: 4th Test, Day 4 – Victory

  1. Gareth Sep 2, 2018 / 5:46 pm

    With regards to team selection for the next match, I agree that it’s a chance to give the senior bowlers a rest, however with Anderson only a few wickets away from the all-time record, and Broad being a lovable mard, I doubt either of them would allow it. Shame, as I’d like to see how Woakes and Curran bowl with a new ball.

    I’d assume Rashid will be dropped (although I think the Oval would suit him), and that England will give Jennings yet another go to prove how hapless he is. I wonder if they may persist with the Moeen at three experiment and also play Stokes as a specialist batsman.


    • dannycricket Sep 2, 2018 / 5:51 pm

      If Stokes is fit enough to be a full-time bowler again, you could conceivably bring in an opener for Rashid. Rashid probably is the most vulnerable player, although I’d pick him over Moeen for Sri Lanka which might protect him somewhat. Also, Rashid still averages more than Cook in this series…


  2. northernlight71 Sep 2, 2018 / 6:51 pm

    How can anyone quibble now? England are clearly the best cricket team on the planet and everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.
    Bow down and genuflect, mortals. The Age of Root has come.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. growltiger Sep 2, 2018 / 6:53 pm

    Provided the weather holds, I would play both spinners although, not having much faith on Rashid, I fear it may not prove anything. I would change both openers, bringing in Burns and a right handed opener of Smith’s choice (almost any, with some sort of form). I would also seriously consider dropping Bairstow for Pope, as Bairstow seems to have forgotten how to play a straight ball. The quicker bowlers don’t need resting, rotation or change.


  4. Rooto Sep 2, 2018 / 7:25 pm

    I, too, would keep Rashid, dropping… er, sorry, I mean ‘resting’ Broad to give Woakes a go. I’d give Anderson the chance to break the seamers’ wickets record in a home test. Weather might intervene, though, seeing as it’s September.

    Meanwhile, I have to say that TMS scraped new lows at the end of the match today, when #39 came on and, literally on behalf of Rod Bransgrove, pleaded for more tests at the Toilet Bowl. It would appear purely because England have won a couple and Rod bent his ear. Great analysis, Simon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • dannycricket Sep 2, 2018 / 7:40 pm

      They’d have to forgo the £2.5m that Glamorgan have already been paid though. Between Tests and cash, I’m pretty sure I know which Bransgrove would pick.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jomesy Sep 2, 2018 / 7:51 pm

      Did you hear No39 at the start of the day?

      It included:

      – it’s never been harder to open than now
      – that’s because of:
      – i) better opening bowlers around the world (I kid you not); and
      – ii) the Duke ball (when challenged that it’s not a new ball he qualified and said the Duke ball in England now and that, together with the lush green outfields make it *so* hard.

      He made then made this conclusion empirically evidence-based by saying Cook averaged over 50 in the 1st six years of his test career and only 39 in his last six years.

      I’m seeing the GP tomorrow for damage to the cornea caused by the hardened cutaneous plate overlying the dorsal surface of my digits. (Eye scratching but I wanted to appear all Ed Smith….and yes, that’s pasted from Wiki).

      Liked by 2 people

      • nonoxcol Sep 2, 2018 / 7:57 pm

        At least Selvey is quite bright. Hughes is just…… I don’t know where to start with that kind of tripe. Cook’s decline is due to better opening bowlers. Of course it is. Absolutely astonishing.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 2, 2018 / 8:15 pm

          Not overly convinced by the first statement.

          Cook’s decline is due to better opening bowlers. Oh do stop it Aggers!


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 2, 2018 / 8:38 pm

          Also a note to say that Cook’s career average is now down to 44.88, a precipitous drop and now 2.39 below a man who was dumped for being over the hill in a team that needed fresh blood and to develop youngsters.

          Good job there is not a Gary Ballance-like opener just waiting for a chance!

          Did you know that Cook now averages 43.49 in tests in England. Ian Bell averaged 47.84. Get that man’s eyesight checked! (KP averaged over 50 in the so-called toughest batting conditions in the world, although the opening bowling is so much better now).

          Liked by 1 person

      • LordCanisLupus Sep 2, 2018 / 8:05 pm

        Lord give me fucking strength.

        I have no words. No anger left to give.

        No. I must. How is he stealing a living with the moniker “The Analyst” with that bollocks. Glen McGrath would have the modern day test player on absolute toast. Yet he’s not as good as Mitchell Starc? Wasim Akram isn’t in Mohammed Abbas’s league, and nor is Waqar. Rabada and Steyn, really good. Except Steyn has been a shadow of himself for four years. And yes, it’s easy to confuse Kemar Roach with Malcolm Marshall and his fellow pacemen.


        Liked by 1 person

        • Mark Sep 2, 2018 / 9:23 pm

          My take is that 39 in a crack handed way, and without intendending to has just confirmed that England are now doctoring the pitches. Unlike they were ten years ago when Cook started his career. The Duke ball is the same, so the pitches have changed.

          Ever since the winter that must never be talked about in 2014 England have created a model of seamer friendly pitches where 350 is a big score. This allows their hit and miss all rounders to play a sort of 20/20 Test match. It’s a new form of the game where most matches are done and dusted in between 3 to 4 days. Batsman just blast away all the way down the order knowing they will never have to build a 450 score.

          Occasionally they have come unstuck, but they have the players over the series to get the better out of the opposition. Of course this model is completely useless when they go overseas. But nobody cares about away test matches anymore so why bother?


      • dannycricket Sep 2, 2018 / 8:53 pm

        I think batting at 3 is harder now than before, due to the plethora of crappy openers. Particularly for England.


      • d'Arthez Sep 3, 2018 / 5:32 am

        If opening is so hard in England, how come visiting openers regularly outperform the English openers, when they are facing Anderson, Broad and co.? Never mind that Anderson and Broad are supposedly more used to bowling in English conditions, than their international counterparts, be they Ishant Sharma and Bumrah, Hazelwood and Starc, Roach and Gabriel etc.?

        And that has basically happened for the last four years now.

        It is probably more accurate to say, that English opening has never been as crap in the history of the game. Statistically probably slightly superior to the era 1880-1914, but the quality of the wickets in that era was not exactly high compared to nowadays.


  5. Rooto Sep 2, 2018 / 7:31 pm

    Dream team:
    Vince (oh yes)


    • Gareth Sep 2, 2018 / 8:02 pm

      Dunno about Mitchell, but I’d be happy with Vinc-eh


      • Rooto Sep 2, 2018 / 8:35 pm

        Mitchell is, like Burns, a player who has produced decent runs for a few years, but is also (like Hildreth) a bit old for a debut in new, exciting England. Nevertheless, I hope he’d be in form and experienced enough to not be overawed, and be a stop-gap while Burns settles in for the longer term. But, it’s just a dream.
        Back in reality, will Cook get the winter tour-saving flat deck he has publicly hoped for? Good to see he has realised his current limitations, and know that he needs another MCG dead track.


  6. LordCanisLupus Sep 2, 2018 / 9:06 pm

    Newman with some curious stuff…

    “Root’s decision to move to four mid-match was bizarre and self-centred and left Moeen on a hiding to nothing after being thrust in at three while there must be concerns over the frame of mind of Jonny Bairstow.

    England knew they were juggling a hot potato when they used the excuse of a fractured finger to take the gloves off Bairstow here and they must feel now that his batting and mood were seriously affected by the decision.

    Either England will have to dangle a carrot to Bairstow by convincing him it really is in his and the team’s best interests for him to remain in the top order at the Oval and beyond or apply the stick and tell him to simply get on with it.”

    This Bairstow thing has come from somewhere. If he has a finger injury he should not play as a keeper (and arguably not as a batsman). If there is some implication that this is a permanent move, then Bairstow rightly should have the hump, because his place will then come under threat. Are they saying he should bat 3, and that Moeen shouldn’t?


    • Mark Sep 2, 2018 / 9:30 pm

      They have their favourites, and Josh is the new blue eyed boy. Possible future captain. His batting style is prone to misfiring so giving him the gloves will guarantee a place in the team. That was Bairstows insurance but it seems they want to give it to Butler instead.

      England have certain players who must sacrifice….Ali, Curren, Woakes, Bairstow, Rashid, and others who must be indulged, and protected. It’s a very odd dressing room. If the results were to go wrong you could see a mutiny.


    • Sophie Sep 2, 2018 / 9:58 pm

      I think the media types have decided amongst themselves that Bairstow should bat up the order and not keep with the help of selective statistics, and so it’s completely clear to them that this is the ideal time to do this, and they’ve been badgering Bayliss and Root about it who haven’t given clear answers and also Bairstow, who has and is getting shit for it now, but I have no idea what the England camp’s actual opinion on this whole thing is, because you can read anything you like into what Root and Bayliss said.


        • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 8:52 am

          As I said before if Selvey does’t have the courage to name names, and tell us why Rashid’s card has been marked” he is nothing more than a demented troll howling at the moon.


        • dannycricket Sep 3, 2018 / 8:54 am

          With Rashid, the way I see it is that he’s possibly the first bowler on the team sheet for Sri Lanka, which is the next tour. I don’t see the value in dropping him for one game, a dead rubber, with the possible damage to his confidence. More to the point, with the next game being a dead rubber I’d definitely drop any players who currently have injuries. Why risk Bairstow and Stokes’s long term health (or anyone else’s)?

          And Cook. I’d definitely drop Cook.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 9:07 am

            They don’t want Rashid dropped on just cricket reasons alone. He’s not “one of them.” Namely the clique that runs and reports on English cricket. He doesn’t bow and scrape enough. They wanted him dropped after he was the leading wicket taker in India. Funny they haven’t got the guts to say what the real reason is.

            It shows why the model is so rigged in England that two spinners are not required on home “green seamer” turf. Laker & Locke……Edmonds & Embury would find no favour in the current England set up.

            As to the Oval, anyone with any injury should be dropped. Certainly Bairstow, if his finger hasn’t recovered. But England know they can win without their top five batsman scoring any runs.


          • thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 9:32 am

            Emburey twice went on rebel tours to South Africa and got away with it. He’s currently employed by the ECB.


          • dannycricket Sep 3, 2018 / 9:34 am

            Just as well he didn’t look out the window or whistle…


          • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 10:21 am

            What I meant was that England wouldn’t play two spinners of their quality in the current set up. They just would not be needed at home.

            I wasn’t commenting in any way about whether individual faces fit, and as you say Emburey does fit in with the ECB.


          • thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 9:18 am

            Stats for spinners away from home over the last decade make interesting reading:


            You have Graeme Swann, and then you have everyone else. Of those, Rashid has the best strike rate, and one of the best averages. I keep banging on about this with regards to Moeen, but the idea that if they pick Leach, or Crane, or basically anyone else that things are going to magically be better is pie in the sky optimism. Doesn’t mean you don’t try these things, but it does mean that the likelihood is that someone will get tried, found wanting, dropped and round we go again.

            There needs to be some serious recognition of our limitations in terms of spin and cutting of cloth accordingly. To some extent the same applies with Moeen. That record isn’t brilliant to say the least, but what is a good record? Average of 40? OK, well…doesn’t win Tests does it?

            Panesar got loads of stick for not being good enough. So did Giles. Apart from Swann who in modern history is looking like a freak as far as England are concerned, they’ve been the best we’ve had. Along with Rashid.


  7. oreston Sep 2, 2018 / 10:12 pm

    Moeen was brought into the team for this match ostensibly to replace Pope, a top order batsman. Yet instead of slotting into the top six he batted at 7 in the first innings. The captain used him throughout the match as England’s main spinner – in the process marginalising Adil Rashid, a specialist bowler, who had been brought back into the team only a couple of games ago as… England’s main spinner. Then Root decides to put his foot and insist on batting at 4, necessitating a batting line up reshuffle for the second innings and promoting Moeen to number 3.
    The whole thing smacks of a blatant attempt by Root (and perhaps other senior figures) to get Adil Rashid dropped again and hints at a behind the scenes conflict between the selectors on the one hand and the coach and captain on the other. It also suggests real panic about the performance of the top order – only exacerbated by the Bairstow situation.
    To be clear, I’m not blaming Moeen for any of this. He only did what was asked of him and did it well. (OK some runs batting at number 3 would’ve been nice, but you can’t have everything. Not his fault that the openers don’t stick around long enough to see off the new ball.) I can’t help thinking there may be adverse long term consequences though if Root gets his way (or at least what I assume is his way, based on the evidence of this match) and Moeen returns long term to his role as front line spinner. How’s that going to work out in Sri Lanka? His overseas record is poor and England could find themselves back at square one.


    • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 10:25 am


      I have absolutely no idea why every one of your comments goes to our spam folder. It baffles me. It’s not even pre-mod, it’s spam. There are no pre-mod words (we have a few) and there aren’t multiple links. I will keep un-spamming them, but it might be an idea to try a different e-mail. It has happened to others occasionally, but nothing like this.

      Please do keep commenting, though.


      • oreston Sep 3, 2018 / 11:35 am

        Thank you, Sir. The spam folder thing has occurred before but, as you say, never on the scale of recent days – so I trust you can see why I wondered if there was something else going on? I shall try using a different email address as you suggest.


        • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 11:37 am

          Ok. You were pre-modded, rather than spam this time around, which is understandable as there is a new e-mail link. If the next one goes straight on the blog we’ve cracked it!


        • oreston Sep 3, 2018 / 11:38 am

          …and after that my reply is marked with “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Seriously, guys…


          • oreston Sep 3, 2018 / 11:39 am

            OK… Looks like that one appeared straight away. Charges dropped 🙂


          • LordCanisLupus Sep 3, 2018 / 11:39 am

            And this one went straight on without any moderation.

            It might have worked.


  8. dlpthomas Sep 3, 2018 / 2:10 am

    On a different topic, from Cricinfo: http://www.espncricinfo.com/story/_/id/24553363/culture-review-findings-sealed-ca-director-mark-taylor

    “An independent review, set to deliver plenty of harsh truths to Cricket Australia, may yet be closed off from public view, even as the director Mark Taylor admitted that the organisation needed to make substantial changes to win back public trust and prevent the game from stagnating.”

    Is any-one really surprised?

    Gideon Haigh has a book coming out soon about the ball tampering saga and cultural problems at Cricket Australia. It should be worth a read.


    • d'Arthez Sep 3, 2018 / 8:31 am

      Ah yes, public scrutiny without publicly sharing what is supposed to be scrutinised. Straight from the “trust us” playbook. That always works so well, especially when you want to cover up the extent of the rot.


    • thelegglance Sep 3, 2018 / 8:36 am

      I’m not so sure Australians will stand for it being kept from public view. Cricket still matters to public and media over there. But it is worth CA trying it just for the enjoyable shitstorm that will follow.


      • dannycricket Sep 3, 2018 / 8:38 am

        Whilst there won’t even be a ripple of public interest when the independent review into the ECB’s £2.5m Glamorgan payment does or doesn’t come out. There really are some advantages in driving the sport you run into the ground.


      • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 8:56 am

        The ACB seem to have chosen the ECB model as the preferred way to operate.

        The big three of doom…….


  9. Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 9:10 am

    India…… number one Test team…….(stop sniggering at the back) Discuss?

    There is no stand out side in modern day Test cricket. Just home town Charlie’s.


      • nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 10:04 am

        I can’t wait. I hope your servers are strong enough to cope if so.

        (too much to hope that the Hundred has been abandoned, Tom Harrison is sodding off or Tests are going FTA, I guess)


        • mdpayne87 Sep 3, 2018 / 10:05 am

          All those messages congratulating him on a stellar career, I’m sure!


      • rpoultz Sep 3, 2018 / 10:09 am

        If it is then it will be the only thing he has timed right all summer

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebogfather Sep 3, 2018 / 10:43 am

        I did have word in his ear yesterday…why else would I go to The Ageas Bowl at my own expense?


    • Mark Sep 3, 2018 / 10:28 am

      Is it the setting up of the Home Defence volunteers? Dads Army?


      I speak to you now from the cabinet room. If we haven’t heard back from Germany by 12.00 this country will be at war with Germany. I have to tell you now that no such word has been received, and this country is now at war with Germany.

      How frigging pompous are the ECB?


  10. nonoxcol Sep 3, 2018 / 10:21 am

    Further to a discussion that began under the previous say’s post, re how great a series this has been:


    “For all their flaws, these two teams have produced a brilliantly entertaining series, one that deserved to be played in front of full houses every day and one that, if the two boards tried a little harder, could and should have captivated the country.”


    For my part, the reaction strikes me as OTT. There have been slim pickings in England since 2005, which may explain this. The best long series were Pakistan 2016 and the 2009 Ashes; SA 2008 would have been better if Edgbaston was the decider. The NZ series of 2015 was cracking but over too soon.

    Then I look at the 13 years *before* 2005, and we had:

    a 2-2 v WI
    the 1998 SA series with a 2-1 comeback and 9-wickets-down draw
    the Wisden Trophy 2000, which was still alive in the final Test and had one magnificent match and low-scoring thrills throughout
    the SA series of 2003 (my personal favourite pre-2005)

    I think we were better served.

    In conclusion, a starving man will eat anything and declare it delicious.


  11. man in a barrel Sep 3, 2018 / 10:28 am

    I didn’t see any of the 4th day but was the pitch playing differently? On day 3 it looked pretty dead and Ashwin was not getting much from it. And then Moeen bowls like a king of spin, Broad and Anderson seem to have seamed it all over the place. Had the pitch broken up?


  12. thebogfather Sep 3, 2018 / 10:46 am

    Expecting this Aggers revelation to be a directive from the ECB once they’d realised I’d promised a ‘customer experience’ post here for tomorrow #FakeNews


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