Given the generally pessimistic vibe that has accompanied England at the start of this tour, this was as good a day as they could have hoped for. They recovered from a slightly tentative early session to gain the upper hand, thanks to a beautiful exhibition of Test match batting from Joe Root and Moeen Ali, whose partnership was ended only in slightly unusual circumstances. “There’s no point arguing with it … let’s leave it at that,” says the former of his dismissal in his TV interview just now. India’s quicks looked sharper than their spinners, and with Moeen on 99 and Stokes settling in, England are well placed to put this match beyond the home side.
And a day like this probably deserves to end on an email such as this, from Robin Hobbs on booze-smuggling: “The old ‘wine pouch disguised as a colostomy bag’ trick never fails.” If you hold any thought today, hold that one. Thanks for your emails and company. Bye.
93rd over: England 311-4 (Moeen 99, Stokes 19) Moeen mistimes a big hit off a full toss from Mishra, but gets away with it and gets one run rather than the four he sought for his century. He’ll end the day on 99, as Stokes plays out the over. England’s day, thanks to Root and Moeen.
92nd over: England 310-4 (Moeen 98, Stokes 19) Moeen is watchful to Ashwin, slightly troubled by one that spins in at him a little, and then takes a single off the last ball of the over, which is completed quickly enough for us to have one more over.
91st over: England 309-4 (Moeen 97, Stokes 19) A late bowling change, Mishra for Yadav. Moeen pushes him expertly down the ground for a single as he seeks to reach his century before the close. Stokes is now in the mood, and a short ball that sits up and begs to be pulled to the square leg boundary for four is, well, pulled to the square-leg boundary for four. Mishra responds by tossing up a googly that goes straight through Stokes’s legs, the batsman flummoxed. Good comeback.
90th over: England 304-4 (Moeen 96, Stokes 15) Who says Stokes is holding out for the close? Apart from clowns such as me that is. He advances down the track as if he’s been in all day and belts Ashwin over long-on for SIX. Ashwin’s follow-up foxes him though and hits him on the pad, sparking an appeal, which is turned down, unreviewed.
“Last summer I took my cricket sceptic girlfriend to the third day of the test at Old Trafford,” writes Tom Overbury, showing he’s a keeper. “A cool box packed with ready mixed gin and tonic covered over with a large bag of ice with a decoy picnic lunch cannot be beaten and certainly fooled the Old Trafford security. Suffice to say several gins and an england lower order onslaught later she was won over… sort of”
89th over: England 298-4 (Moeen 96, Stokes 9) Yadav raps Stokes on the pad with one that keeps low – not been many of those today – but it’s not hitting. His single is the only run from the over.
“Should the OBO maybe adopt the pub standard of no discussion about religion or politics?” wonders Michael Avery. “That way we can get back to discussing old television shows, and instances where you had to tell a barber they didn’t do a very good job. Or cricket.” Wait, you’re allowed to tell barbers they didn’t do a very good job? I’ve got far too much English reserve for that.
88th over: England 297-4 (Moeen 96, Stokes 8) Spin returns to the attack, which England might be grateful for (yet another of today’s unlikely sentences). Moeen flicks Ashwin away on the legside for a single, and Stokes adds two more when a slightly awkward defensive shot is edged to third man. He’ll be grateful for the close one suspects, which is just under a quarter of an hour away.
Jimmy Anderson news: England’s talisman hopes to be fit for the second Test. Here’s the story:
Related: England’s Jimmy Anderson hopes to be fit for second Test against India
87th over: England 293-4 (Moeen 95, Stokes 5) An ugly frustrated shot from Moeen as he flays and misses outside off-stump at Yadav, but this boy can flay, and he plays pretty much the same shot next ball and connects sweetly. It flies over extra-cover for four. A single completes the over.
“Oh, I don’t know,” writes John Starbuck of the OBO’s strict cricket-only rule. “I recall many intense OBO discussions of food and drink, for instance, and not just about which ones (and how) you can smuggle into a ground. Then there’s the interminable indie bands information … I could go on, but why bother? One consolation is that cricket is one thing T**** is unlikely to affect, as he barely understands even football.”
86th over: England 288-4 (Moeen 90, Stokes 5) Shami continues, with the reversing old ball, and he induces a rare unconvincing leg-glance attempt from Moeen, who fails to connect as it goes through low to the keeper. The bowler receives more mid-over attention from the physio but gamely carries on. He’s bowling OK, too, if obviously not at the pace of earlier. Moeen moves into the 90s by carving to extra-cover for a single.
85th over: England 287-4 (Moeen 89, Stokes 5) Yadav continues, and continues to bowl well, varying his lengths to good effect at Stokes, who’s taking his time to settle, but he’s grateful for a looser shorter one that he pulls backward of square on the legside for a gifted four.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to agree with Richard Hague (82nd over),” writes Ant Pease. “I’ve been reading the OBO now for over a decade, and this is the first time I’ve seen one digress even marginally from strictly covering the cricket, and only the cricket, with no reference to the outside world. Buck your ideas up.”
84th over: England 283-4 (Moeen 89, Stokes 1) India’s Brave Mohammed Shami continues. He may be almost hobbling but he’s finding some reverse swing at the left-handers, and Moeen unconvincingly inside-edges square on the legside for a single. Stokes, having failed to score a single run against India two years ago, gets off the mark with a single.
“Can you please tell Richard Hague if he thinks the American election is a reflection of democracy, I think he seriously needs to expand his definition of democracy,” writes Rich, continuing a conversation that may well get ill-advisedly out of hand. “Also, please tell him to get a sense of humour and sense of proportionately – of course OBOers are going to have other things on their minds today!” Yeah, I’ve got last night’s Checkatrade Trophy results to ponder*.
83rd over: England 281-4 (Moeen 88, Stokes 0) With the strange dismissal of Root and the injury angst of Shami the rhythm of the match has been disrupted a little here, which offers its own challenge to England, who had been progressing so serenely until a few minutes ago. They look a bit more tested now, with Yadav jagging an excellent ball past Stokes’s outside-edge with one that reverses away from the left-hander a little, and following it up with a similar delivery that’s shorter and more brutish. The bowler fancies appealing for a catch behind, but no one else does. Though India will be encouraged.
Toby Ebbs channels his inner Chris Isaac and bursts into adapted song:
82nd over: England 281-4 (Moeen 88, Stokes 0) Shami is back in the attack, and, emboldened, has a big lbw shout after angling one in to Moeen’s pads but it’s going down legside. Shami starts clutching his leg again. The physio comes on once more, but Shami stays on to complete the over. Kohli’s plans to take the new ball somewhat scuppered here, one suspects. Meanwhile, further replays of Root’s dismissal fail entirely to convince that Yadav had that ball under control.
“Splendid stuff from Root and Mo but can we lose the endless Trump/’wicked world’ references please?” writes Richard Hague. “This is a cricket match. Get over it – it’s called Democracy since you ask.”
81st over: England 281-4 (Moeen 88, Stokes) Pace returns in the form of Yadav, with the old ball initially, from Yadav. Three easy singles are taken before, out of nowhere, Root is out. And it’s an odd dismissal Root drives straight at Yadav, who scoops up the catch, then appears to spill it in executing his celebratory throw-in-the-air. It’s given out but reviewed. The bowler certainly got two hands round it, but then appeared to lose control in the art of celebrating, but the decision is upheld and Root is gone.
Before that, Joe Haycock had explained the lack of emails thus: “I think everyone’s in shock because England are approaching 300 with only 3 wickets lost rather than the ever-nearing end of the world.”
IS this a caught and bowled? Root drives straight at Yadav, who scoops up the catch, then appears to spill it in executing his celebratory throw-in-the-air. It’s given but is reviewed. The bowler certainly got two hands round it, but then appeared to lose control in the art of celebrating. But the on-field umpires’ verdict that he had it under control is backed up by the third umpire, and Root’s gone, shaking his head. What a strange way to end a wonderful innings
80th over: England 278-3 (Root 123, Moeen 86) Ashwin drops short, Moeen licks his lips and square cuts beautifully to the boundary for four. Watching this man bat can be a thing of delightful purity in a wicked world. One more completes surely the final over with the old ball.
No one has emailed for a while. Has the rest of the world ended already?
79th over: England 273-3 (Root 123, Moeen 81) India have been lacklustre since tea, almost reminiscent of how they were when last these teams met in a Test, at the Oval in 2014 (a Test about which I am particularly bitter since I had tickets for the superfluous fourth day then), and Root and Moeen continue to keep the scoreboard ticking over, under no real pressure. They pluck three more singles off the shelf and add them to their trolley.
78th over: England 270-3 (Root 122, Moeen 79) Ashwin has a muted appeal as Moeen edges and sweeps a full, accurate delivery that briefly looked as if it might have hit him pad first. They run three before a similar, but better executed shot brings four more
77th over: England 263-3 (Root 118, Moeen 76) There’s a sense India are pining for the second new ball, which is only three overs away now, as Moeen clips Jadeja away square on the legside for a single. Two more for Root follow.
76th over: England 260-3 (Root 116, Moeen 75) Moeen takes a risk against Ashwin, hitting against the spin over mid-on, but he strikes it confidently, finds the gaps and is rewarded with four. Having pushed the field back, he then takes a languid easy single with a drive to long-on. Ashwin goes round the wicket at Root, who responds with intelligence and confidence, reverse-sweeping past slip for four. The partnership is now past 150 and really has showcased Test match batting at its most refined.
Joe Root, England’s key man, winning the key battles;
Test career record against Ashwin & Jadeja combined:
75th over: England 250-3 (Root 111, Moeen 70) Jadeja has a long-on and deep midwicket posted and Moeen duly plays a better over cautiously. He was itching to come down the track but the left-armer kept him honest with some tighter, more testing lengths.
74th over: England 250-3 (Root 111, Moeen 70) Root nudges Ashwin away for a single, timing and footwork to the fore as per. Moeen is really enjoying himself now, hammering Ashwin over mid-on for four, taking advantage of the bowler’s trajectory from around the wicket, and then adds one more single.
73rd over: England 244-3 (Root 110, Moeen 65) “So are Bangladesh better than India now?” asks David Smith. “All very puzzling on a puzzling day…” In the spirit of the age, I’m going to over-react wildly and go all shock-jock and say yes*, they are. Two singles and a deft flick from Moeen towards the fine leg boundary for two are taken from Jadeja’s fairly innocuous over
*May not be my actual opinion, but that doesn’t matter anymore.
72nd over: England 240-3 (Root 109, Moeen 62) A big appeal, as Moeen advances and is struck on the pad, and after a bit of “how does this thing work again” consultation with his captain and keeper, Ashwin opts not to review. Ultra-edge confirms an outside-edge. One from the over.
71st over: England 239-3 (Root 109, Moeen 61) Jadeja replaces Yadav, and is absolutely larruped straight over his head, and the ropes, for SIX by Root. That’s how to unsettle a new bowler. A single and a leg-bye follow. This is the most sustained display of good batting from an England pairing since Edgbaston in the summer.
70th over: England 231-3 (Root 102, Moeen 61) Fun fact: everyone in England’s lineup has a first-class hundred to their name, though Shami is the only player on either side not to have managed one. The game done changed. Root flicks Ashwin away for a single – it’s the only run of the over but any discomfort England may have felt against these two before tea seems to have long gone. Seems to have…
@tomdaviesE17 9th of November, a day that history will remember for one incredible event. Joe Root’s ton. #NowtElseHappening
69th over: England 230-3 (Root 101, Moeen 61) Moeen clips Yadav towards the deep midwicket boundary for three. Root adds a single before Moeen flays a wide one high over extra-cover for four, a shot that has the appearance of a slog but is all about exquisite timing. Superb batting.
“‘Root is the best one, so he should be in charge instead of Cook being in charge’ — the 4-year-old’s analysis, just before this morning’s walk to school in the Ilkley snow,” writes Smylers. And the wisdom of four-year-olds is often hard to counter.
68th over: England 222-3 (Root 100, Moeen 54) Mohammed Shami is back on the field; he trots out a touch gingerly but this will lift the weary hosts. Moeen flicks Ashwin away for a single to bring to the strike Root, who advances confidently to drive down the ground for one. Then, a half-chance as Moeen is slightly flummoxed by the spin and turns it through Pujara’s legs at short-leg at a cathchable height. They take one and Root then brings up his hundred with a well-scurried two. He’d been quiet this past few months, by his standards, but his class is permanent. Terrific innings.
@tomdaviesE17 Though I don’t know them, most of this England team seem decent blokes. I guess that’s an old fashioned virtue now.
67th over: England 217-3 (Root 97, Moeen 52) Root plays late, wisely, square on the offside off Yadav to add one more and Moeen dabs another behind square on the offside. Sometimes, watching these two batting when on-song, it’s impossible to believe there’s anything wrong with the world.
66th over: England 215-3 (Root 96, Moeen 51) Moeen completes a highly accomplished half-century with an effortless drive for two. He’s looked in good nick throughout the autumn and thoroughly deserves this. Has he finally found his optimum position in the order?
65th over: England 213-3 (Root 96, Moeen 49) Yadav continues, as well he might as he carried a threat just before tea, and he keeps Root pinned on the back foot with a decent length and a bit of reverse, again. This little battle could be pivotal. Root pushes a single on the offside before Mooen drives expansively towards deep backward point for one more. Root then moves to 96 by clipping a testing delivery square on the legside for two.
They’re out on the field again
Update from the women’s ODI: England are 48-0 after seven overs, chasing a modest 169 to win.
Tea interval reading interlude. Any article whose opening sentence include the words “sacrificed at the altar of banter” is unlikely to disappoint, and the lad Smyth certainly doesn’t here, recalling the India tour in England’s annus horribilis that was 1993:
Related: Fumbles, fallouts and faulty planes: England’s nightmarish 1993 tour of India | Rob Smyth
Tea interval musical interlude:
64th over: England 209-3 (Root 93, Moeen 48) Root clips Ashwin to midwicket for a single, but the bowler is asking questions here, troubling Moeen a touch with a sharp off-break but England survive to tea. A fine session for them, and they’ll be particularly pleased not to have lost a wicket in its rather more taxing final two overs.
63rd over: England 208-3 (Root 92, Moeen 48) Root is lucky here. Moeen clips Yadav to mid-on for a single, before a review: Yadav spears one in at Root and it hits him on the pad. Not out says the umpire, and DRS confirms it – just. It was clipping leg stump rather than hitting it full-on. Yadav has had Root in rare discomfort at the moment and deserved a wicket, really, from that over.
62nd over: England 206-3 (Root 92, Moeen 47) Ashwin replaces Mishra, and a completely undaunted Moeen greets him by advancing down the track and clubbing over mid-on for four to bring up the hundred partnership. He’s played at least as well as Root in this session, and adds another single to move to within a boundary of his half-century. Ashwin goes around the wicket at Root, who pushes to mid-off for another one. Seven off the over all told, an impressively assertive response by England to the reintroduction of the world’s most in-form spinner.
61st over: England 199-3 (Root 91, Moeen 41) Kohli has a furtive glance at the OBO, reads the criticism of the lack of bowler changes, and brings some pace back into proceedings, in the form of Shami. But one ball in, he pulls up on his follow through, and clutches his hamstring ominously. The physio is called for, and he’s helped from the field after lengthy consultations. It really isn’t India’s afternoon so far. Yadav is called on to complete the over. There’s just a bit of reverse and movement for the paceman, and Root plays out five dot balls, the last of which prompting a half-hearted but unrealistic lbw shout.
60th over: England 199-3 (Root 91, Moeen 41) Kohli has been somewhat less than proactive in his bowler-rotation and Mishra continues. Root moves into the nineties with a square drive for one. Mishra pushes one through a bit quicker to Moeen who reads it well and pushes it away on the offside for one. Another single takes this pair closer to the century partnership.
“More like the Rage of the Discombobulated,” howls Lee Smith, continuing our earlier chinwag. “Trying to soothe the pain with Bob.”
59th over: England 196-3 (Root 89, Moeen 40) Root shows Jadeja the maker’s name in pushing towards deep extra cover for one, and this time the field comes in for Moeen. It works a little better, cramping him up a touch before he paddle-sweeps uppishly but safely for four. The speed at which the scoreboard has ticked over will be among the many things to have pleased England in this session.
58th over: England 191-3 (Root 88, Moeen 36) Root clips Mishra through midwicket for two and then punishes another full toss with a thumping sweep to the long-on boundary for four. Three more singles complete a satisfying over for England. Root and Moeen might be the most unfazed and unruffled people in the world right now
57th over: England 182-3 (Root 80, Moeen 35) Jadeja continues over the wicket at Moeen. Three defensive dots precede a slightly risky and out-of-kilter ramp shot attempt by Moeen that runs down to the fine leg boundary before being cut off. They run two. A better over that, giving Moeen something to think about.
56th over: England 180-3 (Root 80, Moeen 33) India’s spinners doing a passable impression of England’s during the Bangladesh series: failing to exert pressure and control, and getting their lengths wrong. The ones and twos continue. And as soon as I type that, Mishra fizzes a quicker one past Root’s outside edge – turn and the perfect line and length. Which leads me onto Lee Smith’s email:
“The first rule of the jinx as provided by your colleague Lord MacPherson of Jinxonia is to heap praise on the opposition whilst maintaining a magnificent impartiality of your own team, so if either of Root or Moeen are out in the next 5 overs you are to blame for that. And Trump.” Sounds like the rage of the dispossessed to me, that, Lee. Always looking for a scapegoat.
55th over: England 176-3 (Root 77, Moeen 32) Looks like they’re trying to tempt Moeen with fielders on the legside boundary but Mo goes for singles, clipping Jadeja through midwicket for one. Root bunts another full-ish delivery down the ground for one more, as the commentatary team discuss his propensity to get out roundabout now in a lot of innings. But he gets this far more often than most.
54th over: England 174-3 (Root 76, Moeen 31) Root works Mishra effortlessly through the legside for two more, and then tickles a sweep shot down towards the ropes at fine leg for three. Moeen drives for one and Root turns another ball that’s too short away on the legside for a single. India’s spinners aren’t causing England any problems at the moment, not a sentence I thought I’d be typing this morning. Among many sentences I didn’t think I’d be typing this morning.
My only deduction is that when world is literally crashing and burning around us, Joe Root will still be quietly edging towards a century.
53rd over: England 166-3 (Root 69, Moeen 30) Moeen takes a single off the first ball of Jadeja’s over, and Root scampers through for another with an admirably supple nudge off the back foot. Should I tempt fate by saying that these two really don’t look like England players normally do when facing spin on the subcontinent? No, no I shouldn’t.
52nd over: England 164-3 (Root 68, Moeen 29) Root picks up four, punishing another full-toss from Mishra with a firm square sweep to the boundary.
“Maybe if I just watch the cricket and don’t think about anything else, maybe, just maybe everything might be sort of ok,” weeps Joe Haycock. Interesting you say that for, much though I didn’t see eye to eye with John Major on stuff, the fact that he responded to his 1997 electoral shellacking by toddling off to the Oval for some cricket escapism was something I could relate to. Ain’t no escapism like cricket escapism.
51st over: England 160-3 (Root 64, Moeen 29) A right-arm spin/left-arm spin combo now as Jadeja continues. Moeen looks confident enough to sweep firmly into Pujara’s shins at short leg before he and Root pick up an easy single each.
“Do you see a Steve Smith-like part time spinner to batsman transformation for Mo?” wonders Krishnan Patel. “He looks as good a English batsman as any I have seen since the days of the fab four of Cook, Trott, KP and Bell.” Given the range of batting positions from which he has been asked to operate in the past year or so, I’m tempted to concur.
50th over: England 158-3 (Root 63, Moeen 28) Morning/afternoon everyone. It’s grey and dark outside. But it’s sunny in Rajkot and these two are ambling on agreeably. Mishra returns to the attack, and Root greets him with an unconvincing mistimed top-edge sweep which runs down towards the fine leg boundary and they take two, as England get through the first over after a drinks break without losing a wicket. So that’s something.
49th over: England 156-3 (Root 61, Moeen 28) Root took a single in this over but, I won’t lie to you, I was fixing the scores in the previous entry. On that underwhelming note, that’s drinks and I’ll hand you over to the one and only Tom Davies.
48th over: England 155-3 (Root 60, Moeen 28) Moeen knocks it out to midwicket for a couple. Both seamers bowled pretty well in their opening spells but since lunch Mishra has looked by far the more threatening. Root flicks off the pads through square-leg for one and I imagine we’ll have one more over of my spell before I hand over to Tom Davies or, as they call it in cricket words, drinks.
47th over: England 152-3 (Root 59, Moeen 26) Jadeja replaces Ashwin and England duly bring up the 50 stand for the fourth wicket with a couple of singles. “I don’t think cocktails are going to do it today. Where’s the bleach?” asks Simon McMahon.
46th over: England 150-3 (Root 58, Moeen 25) Oh my Joe! Yadav gives him a half volley and the No3’s cover drive is sexy enough to momentarily forget everything else. It also nearly causes me embarrassment as Tom Davies arrives during my moment of crickerotica-induced delirium. It’s a curious over in the end: twice Root is in discomfort, the first time when the ball comes off the toe end of the bat and bounces back over his stumps, the second when he falls over a bit. Sandwiched right between those two incidents are two runs that bring up the 150 for England.
Phil Withall writes: “With all the Trump shenanigans I am grateful to live in Australia. My evening is about to start. A glass of red wine, watching Joe Root and re-reading the excellent Gentleman and sledgers by OBO legend Rob Smyth.”
45th over: England 143-3 (Root 52, Moeen 24) Well, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that Donald Trump is about to be elected president of the United States and some people will lose everything they hold dear. Those who don’t should relocate to Canada. I know, gutting. On a more positive note, the good news is, Moeen Ali has comfortably survived a run-out review, so… every cloud. You’re still thinking about the bad news aren’t you?
44th over: England 140-3 (Root 51, Moeen 22) Better from Yadav, who gave far too much width in the previous over and got duly punished for it. This time he’s much tighter to the stumps and leaks just two singles.
Good fight back here @DanLucas86. Great to have cricket on a morning like this. It’s all we’ve got, I think. I’m off to the Winchester.
43rd over: England 138-3 (Root 50, Moeen 21) And that is fifty for Joe Root brought up, as many of his runs today have been, with a push into the gap for a single. How fitting. Facetiousness aside, it’s been a very very good innings, with the boundary balls being sent through the door marked Do One and away for four, with singles milked in the interim.
42nd over: England 137-3 (Root 49, Moeen 21) Change of seamer with Umesh Yadav replacing Shami. The latter is unlucky not to have a wicket or two for his 28 runs conceded. Speaking of number of runs conceded, Umesh’s increases by four when Moeen pushes the bat out with soft hands and sends it flying behind point for four. You never like to see the bat hanging out but in the end that was well played. He plays the same shot but with extreme prejudice a few balls later and this time the ball positively scorches away to the rope.
41st over: England 127-3 (Root 48, Moeen 12) More smiles when Root is distracted by a seagull, which very nearly flies straight into the camera behind the bowler. He sweeps fine for a single – a shot that got him into trouble on the odd occasion on the last tour but this time just brings him one.
40th over: England 125-3 (Root 47, Moeen 11) It might be reversing but the batsmen are comfortable enough for the time being. Mo bunts out to mid-on for a couple to go into double figures.
39th over: England 123-3 (Root 47, Moeen 9) This move to within a boundary of a half-century has been pulled off with Collingwood-in-an-ODI stealthiness by Root. A sweep, a single and he’s on to perhaps the quietest 46 – make that 47 – of his career. Moeen uses his feet to get to the pitch and drive to long-off for a single to make it four off the over, scored in exactly the manner England should be playing Ashwin.
38th over: England 119-3 (Root 45, Moeen 7) It’s definitely reversing now, although that’s wasted when Shami’s bowling slow dross miles outside off. Root bottom edges a cut at such a ball but there’s no danger and they take a single. Both batsman and bowler will be disappointed with that.
37th over: England 118-3 (Root 44, Moeen 7) One thing has been slightly frustrating about England’s batting so far: they haven’t put away the full-tosses as is the case with Mo and Ashwin here. The batsman does come down the wicket very nicely a bit later, in fairness, and is well-rewarded for his push to deep midwicket to the tune of three runs.
36th over: England 114-3 (Root 43, Moeen 4) Oof! Root is done over by a quick, low one that pushed him back and for a moment I thought he’d played it on to his stumps. Instead it ricocheted down off the toe end of his bat and squirted quickly past Saha for four of the flukiest runs going. Two further singles make it six from the over but in no way does that reflect how well Shami bowled it. In other news, Trump has won in Pennsylvania meaning just one more state will make him president.
35th over: England 108-3 (Root 38, Moeen 3) It’s going to be a mixture of pace and spin though, with Ashwin continuing. In between Root singles Moeen flicks him out to mid-on for one. In the women’s match, Sri Lanka are 109-4 off 36 overs against England – Langston, Hazell, Knight and Hartley with the wickets.
34th over: England 105-3 (Root 36, Moeen 2) It will indeed be pace straight away, Mohammed Shami the man to propel it down. Root, facing seam for the first time today, nudges out through midwicket for a single before Moeen gets off the mark with a similar shot but for double the reward. The bad news for these two is that the ball looks like it’s starting to revers.
33rd over: England 102-3 (Root 35, Moeen 0) Moeen sees off the rest of the over but only just. His first ball is inside edged just short of Pujara at short-leg!
Everyone is miserable now. At least in my own social media echo chamber. And it’s a shame really because that first session was a cracking bit of cricket. Moeen Ali will be the new man in four minutes or so, another left hander (with another to follow) for Ravi Ashwin to get stuck into but England also have their two best players of spin at the crease. My instinct says Shami or Umesh will open the bowling once Ashwin completes his over though.
Do you ever get the feeling that, like Ben Duckett, David Bowie was just getting out of here early?
33rd over: England 102-3 (Root 35) You would have given that session to England but for that wicket last ball. Duckett looked good in his previous over against Ashwin when he was on the attack but, in his admittedly brief Test career, he’s never looked comfortable when playing on the back foot. See you in half an hour or so.
They’re going to check this carried but it looked out to me. Ashwin from round the wicket finds a bit of extra turn and it takes Duckett’s edge. Rahane takes a fine low catch to his right.
32nd over: England 102-2 (Root 35, Duckett 13) A maiden. Probably just time for one more before lunch, when we can all celebrate this magnificent over rate.
@DanLucas86 Looks like the Indi bowlers take over, not relying on butter-finger colleagues!
31st over: England 102-2 (Root 35, Duckett 13) Four to Duckett, who sweeps very well off his legs and the ball ricochets off the sliding fielder’s knee for four. If there’s a hint of fortune about those runs then there is none a couple of balls later: a thumping drive through the covers played with fast hands for four more. Make it three boundaries off the over, in fact! Duckett top-edges a hard sweep into the gap at square leg and gets four more. Hundred up for England.
30th over: England 90-2 (Root 35, Duckett 1) Time for a bowling change with 12 minutes or so until lunch: Mishra comes into the attack for Jadeja to bowl a bit of leg-spin. He has a very good shout when Root misses a sweep but it pitched, I think, outside leg and they opt not to review. Root celebrates by driving the next ball through the covers and Rahane, falling over, lets it through his legs and away for four. We’ve seen a lot of good cricket in this session but the fielding has not been part of it. Root sweeps fine for two more off the last.
29th over: England 84-2 (Root 29, Duckett 1) As engrossing as the battle between Duckett and Aswin might be (Duckett gets a single from the fifth ball to get off the mark), you, I and the wider world are surely more interested in Shane Warne’s take on global events?
Surely people are voting against Clinton & not for Trump. Which means Trump will win as no one trusts Hilary. Is that a fair statement ?
28th over: England 82-2 (Root 28, Duckett 0) Pah, foolish bowlers giving full-tosses to Joe Root! The England vice-captain flips that through the leg-side for four then turns one off his ankles for two more.
27th over: England 76-2 (Root 22, Duckett 0) Now a bit of turn for Ashwin, who beats Hameed with the first two balls. The batsman was hanging back when he should have been forward then, when he does come forward, he misses it and has to go. Shame that, he looked excellent. Duckett comes in on the back of a good half-century in the defeat in Dhaka. I’m not convinced that Duckett’s tendency to back away and show the stumps is going to be much good against an off-spinner as good as Ashwin.
It’s missed the outside edge and clattering into off-stump. The opener’s impressive debut innings is brutally cut off.
Given! But Hameed reviews straight away. Might well have hit it because it looked plum, straightening from round the wicket.
26th over: England 76-1 (Root 22, Hameed 31) Root, incidentally, went past 1,000 Test runs for 2016 a few overs ago. He’s now the second-highest run-scorer of the year, behind Jonny Bairstow. All of England will now, no doubt, look back on 2016 with enormous fondness.
25th over: England 74-1 (Root 20, Hameed 31) Root takes a single off the first and nothing else happens.
24th over: England 73-1 (Root 19, Hameed 31) Heh. Jadeja brings smiles all round when he gets his delivery wrong and sends down a no-ball that bounces several times before trickling about halfway down the pitch, but then sends a viper spitting past Hameed’s outside edge.
Saha whips the bails off and the umpires check for a stumping but it’s not even close.
Jadeja drags one down which rolls through to the keeper along the floor. Trott hitting that ball for four in 2012 was a glorious moment.
23rd over: England 72-1 (Root 19, Hameed 31) When in Rome… Root uses his wrists very nicely to steer consecutive balls either side of cover and pick up four from each of them. “I don’t suppose there’s any chance of reviewing an even worse decision than Cook’s tonight?” asks Brian Withington. It’s about to be called I think.
22nd over: England 64-1 (Root 11, Hameed 31) The battle between Jadeja and Hameed is a fascinating one: the former varying his pace and his line and the latter so, so watchful to create a bit of a stalemate, but a watchable one nonetheless. It’s a shame the world’s eyes are elsewhere.
21st over: England 63-1 (Root 10, Hameed 31) Now Ashwin comes round the wicket to Hameed; the lack of spin suggesting he wants to push it across him and induce the edge. He does not do that.
20th over: England 62-1 (Root 9, Hameed 31) Jadeja comes round the wicket to Hameed and the kid flashes a cut just wide of slip via the top-edge. When you’re luck’s in you’re luck’s in though and he gets a boundary to third man from it. That’s his sixth already – who says he’s doughty?
19th over: England 58-1 (Root 9, Hameed 27) As Atherton points out on the telly, the lack of spin means England can drive Ashwin through the off-side without Sir Gallahad levels of peril. Root does just that and earns three runs.
18th over: England 54-1 (Root 6, Hameed 26) Still not much turn for the spinners. Have India missed a trick in not having a third seamer here?
17th over: England 53-1 (Root 5, Hameed 26) India appeal for a run-out when the man at mid-on throws down the stumps after Root changed his mind about a run but England’s vice-captain was well back in his crease. Couple of singles from the over.
16th over: England 51-1 (Root 4, Hameed 25) Hawkeye confirms that the ball was missing leg by a fair old way. Obviously Cook should have reviewed it and he’ll be criticised for that, but it was a pretty awful decision from Chris Gaffaney. Root off the mark with a cover drive for four off the last ball.
First ball after drinks and disaster strikes! Cook goes across to a quicker one that spins sharply and is hit on the back pad. Surely that’s missing leg? But the finger is up and the captain opts not to review!
15th over: England 47-0 (Cook 21, Hameed 25) Hameed repeats his trick from two overs ago, striding forward and plundering four more through the covers. After that he gets in a bit of a tangle leaving one from Ashwin but he’s fine. Don’t panic. That’s drinks. Also refresh the page and I’ve fixed the scores below.
14th over: England 43-0 (Cook 21, Hameed 21) It’s taken 13.4 overs – longer than expected – but now we have (a) the first sweep shot and (b) the first appeal of the day. Cook misses with the former and the latter is rejected as it struck him well outside the line and wouldn’t have turned back in anyway. Other than that etc.
13th over: England 43-0 (Cook 21, Hameed 21) Now we’ll see Ashwin to a left-hander – one of four in England’s top six – for the first time. Cook gets a single into the leg-side.
12th over: England 42-0 (Cook 20, Hameed 21) In fact it’s a double change and spin from both ends: local lad Jadedja replaces Umesh and Cook works his first ball out towards the mid-on boundary for three. “Three? I was going to make it four but three is good too,” thinks Hameed before deciding to go for four anyway, getting in a nice big stride and firmly stroking a cover drive to the fence.
11th over: England 35-0 (Cook 17, Hameed 17) First bowling change and Hameed is going to have to face the world’s No1 bowler, Ravichandran Ashwin, for the first time. Not much turn for the offie although there won’t be if he keeps bowling full bungers as he does third ball. Hameed is beaten by the arm ball but other than that there’s nothing to fear.
10th over: England 35-0 (Cook 17, Hameed 17) Cook plays his best shot of the day, rocking back, opening the face and driving just behind point for his second and England’s fifth boundary of the morning. Meanwhile this isn’t the only England game going on at the moment:
Here’s your #EngWomen lineup for the opener v SL: Winfield,Beaumont,Knight,Sciver,Wyatt,Wilson,Jones,Brunt,Hazell,Langston,Hartley #EngvSL pic.twitter.com/IUjr8tflPk
9th over: England 31-0 (Cook 13, Hameed 17) Shami ruins a lovely shot from Hameed, timed back down the pitch and surely whistling to the boundary if not for an inconvenient trailing boot that prevents any of the four runs it deserved being scored. The bowlers are bowling much shorter to the Mancunian debutant but he’s pretty comfortable ducking them. Hameed repeats that shot off the final ball with slightly less glorious timing and gets two to long-on.
8th over: England 29-0 (Cook 13, Hameed 15) Now that definitely is runs through extra for Cook, leaning into a half-volley from Umesh and getting two for his efforts. Add another couple of singles via an archetypal Cook back-foot pull to long-leg and a nudge off the pads from Hameed.
7th over: England 25-0 (Cook 10, Hameed 14) Surprising Kohli hasn’t got a third slip in – people are saying on Twitter that all of Cook’s runs have come off the edge but I’m pretty certain he got a couple through extra cover. Still, point stands. Hameed edges another but this time it doesn’t carry to Kohli.
I’m starting to think History might not remember 2016 as the year England beat Sri Lanka 4-0 in a home ODI series.
6th over: England 25-0 (Cook 10, Hameed 14) I know it’s early to say and there have been plenty of wrong early calls before this match alone, but Hameed really does look like a Test opener. Umesh strays on to the pads and the right-hander flicks him effortlessly round the corner and sends the ball skipping in an aesthetically pleasing manner to the fence. Oh and no sooner have I finished that sentence than he pushes at one outside off and is dropped by Vijay at first slip! It was low but the simplest of the three chances so far – this is dreadful fielding.
5th over: England 20-0 (Cook 10, Hameed 9) Fun fact: this is the first time Kohli has lost the toss in a home Test. The fifth ball is another grubber – Cook is like that baby iguana, the pitch more akin to those snakes. That really was an amazing bit of cinematography wasn’t it? Four off the last ball, a front-foot push edged past Rahane at gully.
4th over: England 16-0 (Cook 6, Hameed 9) We’re making a quick change on the OBO: Haseeb Hameed is now known as Hameed rather than Haseeb because it looks like everyone else is doing it and I was wrong. He’s not on strike in this over though and his captain adds two to the score with a neat push through extra-cover.
3rd over: England 13-0 (Cook 3, Hameed 9) No, that’s the right score: Haseeb gets his first boundary in Test cricket and the first of this series with a hard cut, which he top-edges over the slips, before adding his second with a similar shot, which was much more convincingly hit. The first run for 19-year-old Haseeb came earlier in the over, scored with soft hands dropping it into the off-side for a single.
2nd over: England 3-0 (Cook 3, Haseeb 0) Umesh Yadav from the other end and he begins with an excellent inswinging yorker to the left-hander, which Cook digs out well. Another edge follows though! Just past second slip and away for a couple, but this has been incredibly nervy from Cook. In fact that’s just about carried to Kohli so it counts as a drop but that was a near-impossible one to take. The uneven bounce is making life difficult for batsman and fielder alike.
Cook is batting like a serious Hillary Clinton fan so far.
1st over: England 1-0 (Cook 1, Hameed 0) Goodness me Haseeb looks young doesn’t he? Anyway, the zippy Mohammed Shami is taking the first over with Cook on strike. The pitch looks terribly cracked and there is movement off it immediately, the ball leaping up and nipping away from Cook. Shami switches to round the wicket straight away and Cook is dropped! A thick outside edge to Rahane at gully and, moving to his right, he shells a fair straightforward chance! And it’s past gully, this time along the ground, that Cook gets the first run of the day.
Here we go. The players are out for the anthems. Meanwhile I’ll leave this here without comment.
Again it’s been called too soon. Amit Mishra plays so there’s no debut for Pandya.
M Vijay, G Gambhir, C Pujara, V Kohli, A Rahane, R Jadeja, R Ashwin, W Saha, M Shami, U Yadav, A Mishra
They are playing five bowlers. Virat Kohli doesn’t say who they are though, which is helpful.
Looks like earlier reports that England will play four seamers were wrong: Rashid and Ansari play. Maybe other early forecasts tonight will be wrong too.
Cook, Hameed, Root, Duckett, Moeen Ali, Stokes, Bairstow, Woakes, Ansari, Rashid, Broad
They’ll bat first, obviously.
“I’m feeling ‘The Fear’ before an England Test Match even starts,” writes John Davies. “Granted, it’s not cricket-related – but somehow that makes it worse.”
Bit more England team news. Reports are coming in that England will go with four seamers. Presumably that’s Broad, Woakes, Stokes and Ball. Gareth Batty is also out, says Jonathan Agnew, so it’ll be Ansari or Rashid. I’d prefer the former but I suspect it’ll be the Yorkshireman.
Ten minutes or so until the toss. In the meantime, we have a sumptuous smorgasbord of things for you to read. Might take longer than 10 minutes actually.
Related: Fumbles, fallouts and faulty planes: England’s nightmarish 1993 tour of India | Rob Smyth
Related: Temba Bavuma’s clock-stopping brilliance underlines art of fielding | The Spin
Related: England’s Haseeb Hameed feels Test debut in Rajkot is ‘meant to be’
The first email of the day comes in from Smylers: “Hi, Dan. After Bangladesh’s victory, Our 4-year-old* looked at England’s second innings scores and pointed out that the 3 players with ‘big’ [double-digit] scores all have a ‘k’ in their names. The only other player with a ‘k’ is Woakes, who was the 4th-highest scorer (with 9). So maybe England should be looking for more players with ‘k’s? Recalls for Plunkett, Kerrigan, Borthwick, and Rankin? Any uncapped ‘k’ players out there?
“Unrelatedly, an American friend has just enquired “Brits: Recommended coping strategies?” Obviously I immediately suggested cricket and pointed him to your coverage”
This is a good night, isn’t it?
That’s great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes and aeroplanes, Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn, world serves its own needs, dummy serve your own needs. Feed it off an aux speak, grunt, no strength, the ladder starts to clatter with fear, fight, down, height. Wire in a fire representing seven games in a government for hire and a combat site. Left of west and coming in a hurry with the furies breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped. Look at that low plane, fine then. Uh oh, overflow, population, common group but it’ll do. Save yourself, serve yourself, world serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed, dummy, with the rapture and the reverent and the right, right. You’re vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light.
Feeling pretty psyched for this then folks? The Scottish poet Mick Imlah said sport matters because it doesn’t matter, and what better distraction from anything else that might be going on right now than this: a five-match series, in the most testing of touring conditions, and against a team that isn’t Australia to boot! England’s bright, brash, up-and-coming team of fiery youngsters go to take on the world’s No1 Test team in their own backyard. England have won the last three series between these two sides but must bounce back from a disappointing result in Bangladesh, against a side that’s presently looking near-unbeatable at home.