Because it occurred – India vs England, 2nd Check, Chennai, third day
Welcome to day three of our reside report of the second India-England Check from Chennai. Be a part of us for updates, evaluation and color. You could find our conventional ball-by-ball commentary right here
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England 134 and 53 for 3 (Lawrence 19*, Root 2*) want 429 extra runs to beat India 329 and 286 (Ashwin 106, Kohli 62, Moeen 4-98, Leach 4-100)
As India flexed their muscle on day three, transferring inexorably in the direction of a series-levelling conquer England, the second Chennai Check started to tackle a carnival really feel. Already effectively forward within the recreation and with time to indulge, they served up an exhibition for a grateful Chepauk crowd. R Ashwin, the native hero, proved himself worthy of such billing with a fifth Check hundred and England had been hanging on by stumps because the ball fizzed and the shut catchers circled.
After the subcontinental batting masterclass, adopted carefully by a trial in opposition to spin, now was the second for England to take care of an Indian wall of sound. Regardless of scrapping onerous to take 5 wickets in the course of the morning session, they had been steadily enveloped by the hoots, whistles and cheers from the stands, as first Virat Kohli after which Ashwin steadied India’s second innings, earlier than the house spinners returned to their process with relish.
Notionally, England wanted 482 to win or two-and-a-bit days of rearguard resistance. Virtually, they had been merely looking for scraps of encouragement with which to accompany them on the street to Ahmedabad.
There might be no extra acceptable thala within the residence crew’s efforts to drive residence their benefit than Ashwin. He got here into this got here having not handed 50 in a Check since 2017, however after taking an aggressive method from the outset, he ultimately reached a raucously obtained fifth Check hundred in the course of the night session – reaching the double of a century and a five-wicket haul in the identical match for the third time. Simply think about the decibel stage if Chepauk had been at greater than 50% capability.
4.45pm: Two in two overs
Poor shot from Rory Burns, caught at slip as he seems to work Ashwin into the leg aspect, and he has now made 78 runs in his final eight Check innings, relationship again to the beginning of England’s collection in opposition to Pakistan in August 2020. He is seemed badly out of nick on this collection, and will likely be watching nervously over his shoulder with Zak Crawley more likely to be match for the third Check and Jonny Bairstow again in Chennai. And Jack Leach, in because the nightwatchman, then falls six balls later to the primary one he faces: the ball turns from a size, and he can solely nudge it to leg gully.
4.35pm: Lawrence lets free
Dan Lawrence and his #wrists are within the constructing, and he has whipped Axar Patel for a few early boundaries by way of midwicket. Simply because the TV cameras reduce to England’s nationwide selector and head coach – Ed Smith and Chris Silverwood – deep in dialog, Lawrence skips down the monitor and vegetation Ashwin over long-on. This innings is one thing of a free hit for him, with Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow each able to return within the third Check – even a half-century may not save his place – and it seems as if Lawrence will not be going to die questioning.
4.25pm: So it begins…
First wicket down, Patel strikes, as England’s wrestle for opening partnerships continues. Between Sibley, Burns and Zak Crawley, they have managed one stand above 17 throughout eight innings in India and Sri Lanka this winter. Burns was missed earlier than Sibley’s dismissal, a skinny nick that Rishabh Pant put down, however England are no less than seeking to put stress again on the bowlers this innings: Burns has swept and left his crease usually, and Dan “Wrists” Lawrence got here all the way down to whip his fifth and seventh balls over midwicket for 4.
4.05pm: Blow your whistle
England’s openers are out to face the
music whistles of the Chepauk crowd firstly of their second innings. We’re getting the total impact of India enjoying in entrance of their followers right here, and Virat Kohli is fast to leap aboard the #whistlepodu specific, blowing by way of his fingers and geeing up the gang as R Ashwin comes on to bowl. Simply a few overs from Ishant Sharma after which it seems like it will likely be an prolonged audition in opposition to spin for Rory Burns and Dom Sibley, with Ashwin and Axar Patel doing the judging.
3.50pm: Delaying the inevitable?
India are in probably the most stunning positions in all of sport, sitting on a whopping nice lead, with two days left within the recreation, and a battery of well-rested bowlers able to battle over ten wickets in circumstances they know inside out. England, in the meantime, will already be trying forward – to Ahmedabad, to the pink ball, to 2 extra possibilities to chew the overdog.
They may have reinforcements for the following recreation, too, with Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wooden and Sam Curran rejoining the get together in India. Bairstow spoke to Channel 4 in the course of the tea interval from his windowless room in lodge quarantine, and following a “seven-and-a-half hour bus journey” with out stops, on what method England may take of their second innings in Chennai, having been set a notional 482 to win or two-and-a-bit days to outlive.
“Look, I think that it’s naturally going to be tricky. I think chasing over 400 in the final innings is going to be really [tough], but the way in which Ashwin, and Kohli have gone about it in this third innings … granted it has been a third innings where they haven’t really had a huge amount of pressure on them due to the state of the game, but the way in which they’ve gone about it is a really good way to think about it.
“You bought to be optimistic. You bought to be optimistic as a result of on a pitch like this there’s going to be a ball in there for you so I am positive that the lads have their very own recreation plans, will attempt to again their defence, again their strategies, but in addition look to be optimistic.”
3.40pm: All over
Played on, Stone gets the final wicket. R Ashwin walks off with 99 on his back and 106 to his name, as his India team-mates come down to congratulate him by the boundary’s edge. The Chepauk crowd were loving every minute of that 49-run stand between Ashwin and Mohammed Siraj, cheering dot balls and whistling their hearts out. They know their side are going to win this, the only question is how long will it take?
3.35pm: Ashwin reaps batting rewards
Sidharth Monga writes: R Ashwin spent the limited-overs leg of the Australia tour, which he was not part of, working hard on and frustrated with his batting. He was being left out of the side because of Ravindra Jadeja’s added batting advantage. It was not an unreasonable selection call: there was room only for one spinner in away Tests, and of late Ashwin had made a fast descent from could-be-an-allrounder to is-he-a-tailender zone. Consequenty India’s last four wickets were offering nothing.
Like the earnest competitor that Ashwin is, he felt he needed to prove he was worthy of a place in the side. He would ask batting coaches what he needed to do and tell them he would do it. As it is, he was playing only one format for India, and there too he was at the risk of being limited to Tests in India only. If not for the injury and concussion to Jadeja in the T20Is, who knows if Ashwin would have played the Adelaide Test and got Steven Smith out in the first over to set the tone for the series?
Vikram Rathour, the India batting coach, worked hard with him and after the work also asked him to not worry about the results for a while. In that Adelaide Test, there were signs of the return of Ashwin the batsman when he added 27 with Wriddhiman Saha in the first innings, but again he was part of that horrible collapse in the second innings. In Sydney, though, Ashwin the batsman had announced a full-fledged return with that heroic effort to draw the Test.
In this Test Ashwin has not only put a cherry on the top, he has also taken away any chance the critics of the pitch at his home ground might have. Surely they couldn’t have doctored it to suit both his bowling and batting?
3.18pm: Ashwin does it!
Ashwin gets his hundred, Chepauk gets its moment! There’s a huge smile on his face as the Chennai boy runs through for his fifth Test ton, and first on his home ground (first against anyone other than West Indies, too). After Siraj snuck a single, Ashwin decided not to hang around, nailing a slog-sweep into the stands, poking two through the covers, and then advancing to hack a thick edge over slip and away. Third time he’s taken a five-for and scored a century, behind only Ian Botham. That’s iced the cake for India… would it be asking too much for Ashwin to provide the cherry, as well, with five more wickets in the second innings? Now that really is a select club.
3.08pm: Closing in
England have taken the second new ball, Ashwin is on 87 and the crowd has just cheered Mohammed Siraj through four dot balls against Moeen, so keen are they for the home boy to get to three figures. Do England have a party pooper in their ranks? A fierce cut off Leach and the hard ball flies away to take him into the 90s, but can’t get a single and now Siraj is on strike to Moeen again…
2.55pm: Can Ashwin ton up?
R Ashwin is rumbling on, looking to score a hundred and take a five-for in the same Test for the third time (he’s done it previously in Mumbai and Antigua) – but he’s going to need Mohammed Siraj to hang around and keep him company, after Ishant Shama skied a hack at Jack Leach to be ninth man out. An Ash-ton would go down well at Chepauk, you suspect…
2.50pm: The immutable law of Sod
India 329 and 2 for 8 (Ashwin 68*, Ishant 0*) lead England 134 by 416 runs
India extended England’s period of detention in the field as they reached tea eight down and sitting atop an imposing lead. Virat Kohli and R Ashwin both scored half-centuries during a 96-run stand that kept the tourists toiling through much of the afternoon session.
Ashwin, on his home ground, was the aggressor, outscoring his captain as batting became easier against the softer ball. Kohli was first to fifty, tucking a single off Moeen Ali, and Ashwin got there a few overs later when cutting Olly Stone for four – this was Ashwin’s first Test half-century since 2017, and the sixth time he has done so in the same match in which he claimed a five-for.
Kohli had looked secure as a bank vault, but fell to Moeen for the second time in the match, lbw despite a review. Moeen also removed Kuldeep Yadav to pick up the eighth wicket of his comeback Test, but Ashwin remained unbeaten as India pressed on with plenty of time in which to begin the tourists’ second-innings examination.
If England can take anything from this game (and we await their efforts with the bat second time around), then a proper Test workout for Moeen Ali would be right up there. For the second time in the match he is one away from a five-wicket haul, having trapped Kuldeep Yadav lbw to leave India eight down. Moeen has got through more than 50 overs, as well as dismissing Virat Kohli twice, which ought to do plenty for his rhythm and confidence for the rest of the series. That Kuldeep wicket drew him level with Sydney Barnes for England, and puts him within sight of Jim Laker on 193.
1.34pm: Kohli Mo-ly Part Deux!
What was I saying? The pin-drop moment for Moeen Ali again, as he wins a decision against Virat Kohli! Trapped on the back foot, and up goes Nitin Menon’s finger… Kohli wasn’t convinced, with a bit more justification this time, but ball-tracking upheld the on-field call and India’s captain heads off for a pristine 62. Interesting to note it was Menon who told Kohli off for running on the pitch earlier in the innings, and got a spiky response. One to keep in mind when you’re hoping for “umpire’s name” in future.
The tenor of this contest has changed completely in the hour or so after lunch. India’s lead is approaching 400, the 65 overs-old ball isn’t doing much for the spinners, and England have resorted to Stuart Broad bowling 130kph/80mph legcutters with Ben Foakes standing up to the stumps. It’s impressive skill from both, though kind of sums up England’s failings in this match at the same time.
1.20pm: Very very special
1.05pm: England expects
Time for a chinwag with our England correspondent George Dobell about what’s to be salvaged from a losing cause.
Spoiler alert: England have already lost this Test. But what did you think of their efforts with the ball this morning?
I thought they reflected their efforts throughout: there were lots of good balls but too many bad. India scored more than a hundred in a session. While some of that, no doubt, was due to good batting, there were far more loose balls than India’s spinners will be bowling later in the day. To be fair, Moeen, in particular, has come into this game without the requisite preparation. Sometimes it’s shown. The frustrating thing is that the good balls, from Moeen and Leach, have been very, very good. But life’s not just about what we do, is it? It’s about what we don’t do. And you can’t bowl this many full-tosses and keep a team under pressure.
Moeen’s economy is looking a bit better, and he’ll improve for the workout, you’d think. But the standout performer was the man behind the stumps
I think we sometimes forget what really good wicketkeeping looks like. We’ve been accustomed to lower standards, with teams favouring the ability of keepers to score runs. So Ben Foakes has provided a reminder of the difference a top-class keeper can make. He has been magnificent. And without him, three of those dismissals taken in the first session (the run-out and the two stumpings) probably wouldn’t have happened. Imagine that impact extended over a whole series. And it wasn’t just against the spinners: he stood up to Stuart Broad, too. And he was England’s top-scorer in the first innings. It’s absurd he isn’t in the side as a first choice.
Speaking of his batting… What sort of approach should England take when their turn comes? They have a snowball’s chance of chasing/blocking for two days, but there’s the rest of the series to think about
I’m not sure about the idea that you have to take ‘an approach.’ You bat. And part of batting, is playing the ball on its merits and earning the right to face the poor ball. The one thing we have seen is that batting gets easier. If they can get through the first 25 overs, the next 55 will be more comfortable. So Sibley and co just need to bat. There’s no hurry. Yes, you might want to hit the bowler off their length, but you have to be aware that, with the ball bouncing more than normal, the top-edge is a major risk. And you have to be aware that singles and strike-rotation can be as effective as boundaries. Virat is providing a master-class in all this at present. Let’s be clear: England have hit the iceberg in this game. They are going down. But it is an opportunity to learn against this attack going into the second half of the series. If the want an example, consider the Alastair Cook century in Ahmedabad in 2012. Sure, England lost. But it sowed the seeds for the victory in Mumbai.
12.57pm: Allrounder Ash
And that’s a half-century for R Ashwin, too, from just 64 balls! He gets there with a crabby cut for four as Olly Stone tries to rough him up with short stuff. Sixth time he has scored fifty and taken a five-for in a Test, behind only Ian Botham and Shakib Al Hasan. Nice touch at the end of the over as he raises a hand to the crowd and gets the love right back… The going has been easier since lunch, Inda’s seventh-wicket stand once again emphasising that batsmen can succeed on this surface.
Shiva Jayaraman writes: “If anybody is questioning why Virat Kohli and R Ashwin have seemed extra snug in opposition to spinners than the opposite batsmen earlier within the day: this pitch has provided extra to spinners when the balls has been comparatively new. Within the first 30 overs with the brand new ball, spinners have taken 12 wickets within the match at a mean of 17.58 runs per dismissal. After the thirtieth over, they’ve managed simply eight wickets at double that common, of 35.62 (until the 56th over of India’s second innings).”
And when you lose five wickets before the 30th over, as England did in their first innings, it can make it pretty hard to compete.
12.36pm: Kohli fifty
Virat Kohli has raised his bat for the second time in the series, this time with a crowd in to acknowledge his efforts. His focus has been unbreakable as India push England deeper into the dirt, mixing ironclad defence with the occasional flourish – a rattling on drive against Leach before lunch stood out, and he has also unfurled the cover drive off Moeen’s bowling again, confident that it won’t bring his downfall after shifting his guard across to face the offspinner. The middle session has tended to be quieter in this Test so far, and Kohli won’t be giving it away when there are runs (and psychological points) to be scored.
12.25pm: Jolly good Foakes!
Isn’t it nice to have spectators at the game?
India 329 and 156 for 6 (Kohli 38*, Ashwin 34*) lead England 134 by 351 runs
Five wickets fell during the morning session on day three at Chepauk as India built themselves a comfortable cushion ahead of an expected trial by spin for the tourists. England scrapped valiantly, with two wickets apiece for Jack Leach and Moeen Ali and some fine work behind the stumps by Ben Foakes, but they were left staring at an nigh-insurmountable deficit as Virat Kohli guided his side to lunch six down.
England claimed a wicket in the first over the day, Cheteshwar Pujara slightly unfortunate to be run out after trying to regain his ground only for his bat to get stuck in the pitch. Foakes then pulled off a brace of stumpings to remove Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant, before Moeen had Ajinkya Rahane caught at short leg and Axar Patel lbw. But R Ashwin played positively, with liberal use of the sweep, to score 34 from 38 and add an unbroken half-century stand with his captain that swelled India’s lead above 350.
11.20am: Chennai of the tiger
Virat Kohli has played with steely intent in India’s second innings – no chance of him getting bowled playing an expansive drive this time around. He took 20 balls to get off the mark (and off a pair) but has looked virtually impregnable since, which is quite something on this surface. With R Ashwin playing his shots at the other end, India have pushed their lead on towards 350. Stuart Broad has just surfaced with the ball for the first time since day one, bowling with Foakes standing up to the stumps, only to see Ben Stokes put down a sharp, reaction chance at slip off Ashwin.
11am: This one’s a keeper
‘I want the batsmen to know that if they leave the crease, they’re gone’
Since we’ve been treated to a display of slick glovework behind the stumps from an English wicketkeeper, here’s one of the all-time great stumpers, Sarah Taylor, speaking to ESPNcricinfo a couple of years ago.
10.45am: Moeen strikes
Axar Patel is next to go, with India’s lead a tick above 300, and Moeen Ali has now picked up six wickets on his return to Test cricket after 18 months out of the side. He spoke before play today about how he thought he had bowled “higher as the times wore on” and his enjoyment at bowling Virat Kohli for a duck in the first innings: “Fairly pleased with that wicket.” He also said that England would need to keep fighting, despite facing defeat in this game, with two Tests still to play.
“It has been powerful. You by no means wish to make excuses. However I have not performed any video games. Coaching has been tough as I ripped my finger a number of weeks in the past, so I could not actually bowl an excessive amount of within the construct as much as the sport. Whenever you play video games you get higher. Bowling within the nets is totally completely different to bowling in video games and being beneath stress. I felt prefer it’s obtained higher as the sport has gone on.
“We just need to fight. It’s going to be tough for us to win or even draw the game. It doesn’t mean we’re going to give up. We need to take the game as long as we can. Put in a performance we can take into the next game. We need to show some fight with the ball and the bat. The toss is massive here. The different between the sides was Rohit’s innings. It was fantastic and he took the game away from us.”
10.20am: Shifting on, transferring on
England have their fourth wicket of the morning, Ajinkya Rahane caught at quick leg by the diving Ollie Pope. That is the seventh time Moeen has dismissed Rahane in Tests, second solely to Nathan Lyon. India, although, are sitting on a 280-plus lead and may already be eager about how rapidly they’ll end England off…
10.15am: Foakes hero
Birthday boy Ben Foakes is doing his greatest to blow out India’s candles on the third morning in Chennai. He now has two stumpings to go along with a run-out, and the final of the three was one of the best of the lot – unsighted after Rishabh Pant charged down at Leach, just for the ball to go explode off the floor and beat his wild swing, Foakes collected down the leg aspect and utilized the rubber stamp with the effectivity of a put up workplace clerk. He missed one yesterday, however now has three stumpings within the match – the primary time an England wicketkeeper has completed so in men’s Tests since Alan Knott in 1968. The person Foakes changed within the aspect for this match, Jos Buttler, has one stumping in 30 Assessments as keeper (accomplished final month in Galle).
9.45am: And heeeerrrre’s Rishabh
This time the third umpire sides with Foakes, as Rohit Sharma is stumped after dragging his again foot simply over the road (knocking down Rohit’s home Test average to a mere 80.52). Wonderful palms from Foakes, who turns 28 at present and has earned himself an additional slice of cake – the supply from Jack Leach got here by way of at nearly shoulder top, however the keeper took it and easily whipped off the bails in a single motion. India’s response to 2 early wickets has been to ship in Rishabh Pant above Ajinkya Rahane, to take the assault again to England.
9.35am: Heeeerrrre’s Virat (on a pair)
It has been onerous sufficient for many batsmen on this pitch, however Cheteshwar Pujara has misplaced his wicket in most unlucky vogue to start out the day, run out within the first over by quick leg after dropping his bat attempting to regain his floor. Though, as Sunny Gavaskar has simply stated on commentary (with tongue firmly in cheek), “you have to blame the pitch” after Pujara’s bat jammed into the crease line however not over it, with Ben Foakes accumulating Ollie Pope’s throw to interrupt the stumps earlier than the lunging batsman might get his foot again. Time for India’s captain to have one other crack.
#PoliteEnquiries: Is that this a four-Check collection or four-toss collection?
What higher strategy to begin the day than a recent, scorching injection of George and Raunak into your eyeballs?
9.20am: Signed, sealed… delivered?
Good day once more, of us. Day three is commonly transferring day of a Check – however you sense this one has already unloaded the van and is getting cozy in its new environment. Just about every thing India have touched has turned to gold this time round in Chennai, and they are going to be backing themselves to wrap up a series-levelling win sooner or later later at present or tomorrow. England, barring Headingley-plus-plus miracles, know this recreation might be past them… however there’s nonetheless a collection to battle for, battles to be received and misplaced.
Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick