Alastair Cook averages over 50 in the series so far © Getty Images
Aug 7, 2014
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So England end the day in complete command. They are just 39 runs behind with seven wickets remaining. After James Anderson and Stuart Broad ripped the heart out of India’s top order, MS Dhoni played an innings of tremendous courage to score 71 out of India’s 152. Gary Ballance and Ian Bell then took England to relative safety till Ballance was dismissed in the final over of the day, to guide England to 113 for three at Stumps on Day One. Read Abhijit Banare’s day report here.
Aaron back on now. Can he produce some magic? Down the leg side at 137 kmph. Just a couple of runs there. Huge appeal, but it’s a no ball. And another no ball. Six off that over. Ashwin now. Just one off the over. Aaron again. And it’s a maiden. Here is Ashwin again. Starts with another dot ball. Oh there’s an appeal for a caught and bowled here. But Ballance survives. Ashwin seemed sure that he had a wicket. Aaron again. AND FINALLY, INDIA HAVE A BREAKTHROUGH! Gary Ballance struck plumb in front, and the umpire raises his finger. Ballance out LBW to Aaron! Chris Jordan comes in now as night watchman. He plays out three balls, and England end the day at 113 for three.
OUT! G Ballance 37(87) LBW b Aaron
Ashwin again. Just a couple of runs off that one. Pankaj continues. He has again bowled with a lot of heart but the wickets have evaded him. Now Ballance hits him for a couple of boundaries, as his spirits continue to sag. Ashwin continues. He has not looked particularly threatening. Just one off that one. Pankaj again. Bell gets hit on the pads, and Pankaj appeals with all his heart. Obviously, it’s not out. Bell hits another boundary. Ashwin again. Five dot balls followed by a single off the over. Pankaj yet again. Beaten the bat. Oh again! And now four through third man. Pankaj’s woes continue.
Aaron again. Short ball, Bell pulls for four. Another short ball, another pull, another boundary. Expensive over for India, and England steaming on here. Pankaj again. And Ballance continues to establish his reputation as a tremendous prospect for England. And four more runs! Short, and Ballance cuts. Ravichandran Ashwin to bowl in a Test match for the first time since December, 2013. Starts with a dot ball. Oh here we go! Bell launches into this one and hits it over the ropes for six. Pankaj continues. Another maiden.
Aaron comes back on now. He continues to bowl quick. Touching the 145kmph mark now. Can he inch closer to 150? Just one off that over. Bhuvneshwar into his ninth over now. Five dot balls in a row, but Bell pulls the sixth one away for four through midwicket. Aaron again. He is bowling quick, but not really making the batsman play. Perhaps a bit more direction would serve him better. Oh Ballance flicks this one through midwicket for four more! Great shot. Pankaj continues now. Oh great ball! Bell could have been dismissed there, it was an inside edge that went on to his pad. It could have gone on to hit the stumps there. Oh and Bell gets four off the last ball.
Bhuvneshwar continues. Oh he went past Ballance there! Good bowling. That’s another maiden over. Aaron again. Short ball, AND HE’S FOUND THE MAN IN THE DEEP! Cook went for a pull, and much like MS Dhoni, finds the lone fielder in the area. Pankaj Singh takes the catch, and England are now two down. Aaron working up some serious pace here. His inclusion stands vindicated as of this over. And again, past the outside edge. Good over from Aaron. Bell gets four off the last ball. Bhuvi continues. Ballance leaves. And leaves. Leaves again. Now defends. Defends. And defends. Maiden over.
OUT! A Cook 17(42) c Pankaj b Aaron
Pankaj again. Can he finally take a wicket? Cook takes one. Ballance on strike now, gets off the mark with a clip for three off his first ball. Pankaj comes around the wicket now. Cook gets one high on the pad, a big appeal is turned down. Bhuvneshwar now. Four to Ballance, well driven down the ground. And another couple now, good over for England. So, on comes Aaron now. Quickest bowler in India, by all accounts. Let’s see just how quick he gets. Starts off with 142kmph. Follows up with a couple of 139kmph balls. Oh that one went through Cook. The fastest ball he has clocked so far has been 145kmph. Last ball coming up. And it’s a maiden.
Bhuvi again. He continues to pitch it up, but again the batsmen just let it pass. Another maiden over to Alastair Cook. Pankaj continues, Robson gets a single. Cook defends. Not a very riveting period of play going on here at the moment. Bhuvi again. Robson on strike. He defends. And defends, and defends, and defends. OH HE’S BOWLED HIM! Robson, having defended for so long, decides that he could just leave one ball alone. Unfortunately for him, it swings back in and knocks out his stumps. India draw first blood. In walks Ballance.
OUT! S Robson 6(24) b Bhuvneshwar
Pankaj continues. He continues bowling well, but the batsmen manage to pick him off for singles. Four runs off that over. Bhuvneshwar continues. Oh he finds the edge of Robson’s bat, but it has gone through the slip cordon. No fielder there. Oh another outside edge, this one falls just short of Vijay at slip! Dhoni could have gone for that one, but again stood still. Pankaj continues. Oh beautiful shot! Straight drive and four more. Cook looking really good.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar to open the bowling for India. He pitches it up immediately. Cook defends. Another one pitched up, a single for Cook. Robson beaten comprehensively first ball. He defends the next few. Pankaj Singh continues now. Oh good carry straight away. Pitches this one up, and Cook drives it down the ground, great shot for four. Oh Pankaj is asking some interesting questions of Cook. Here’s Kumar again. Quick single to Cook. Bhuvi pitching the balls up and swinging it quite nicely.
Jordan continues. Oh Dhoni flashes really hard at this one, just evades the jumping slip fielder and Dhoni gets four. Another boundary, this one goes through midwicket with a flick. Dhoni pulls for one off the last ball. The skipper is playing a wonderful innings here. Here comes Broad. Oh big hit from Dhoni AND HE’S FOUND THE FIELDER! Very unfortunate way to get out, this is the end of a tremendous innings. What this means though, is that everyone’s favourite No 11 is about to walk out to the middle! Also, this is Broad’s 12th Test fifer. Pankaj plays a typical Pankaj shot first off. Backs away, slogs and barely makes contact. AND HE’S BOWLED HIM! Broad bowls it full and straight, Pankaj slogs with all his heart, and the stumps are rattled. India are bowled out for 152.
OUT! MS Dhoni 71(133) c Jordan b Broad, P Singh 0(3) b Broad
Chris Jordan comes on now. Will Dhoni go for the big hits now? He walks down the ground first ball, but gets an inside edge. Dhoni defends now. Oh short ball, Dhoni goes for a huge pull, but misses it entirely. Last ball of the over coming up. Almost an action replay! Short, swing and miss. Broad to continue, Aaron on strike. Aaron doesn’t seem quite as entertaining a batsman as Pankaj Singh does. Aaron does his best to defend. Finally manages to get one on the bat off his fourth ball. They take a single. Broad pitches another one up, Dhoni smashes that one through covers. Very good batting from him. The last ball is short, and Dhoni gets a single off the last ball to keep the strike.
Woakes comes on now. Dhoni gets to his 32nd Test fifty with another boundary through covers. Very good batting from him today, a real captain’s knock! Dhoni flashes at one off the final ball of the over, gets another boundary. Broad continues. OH HE’S CLEANED HIM UP! That’s the end of Bhuvi, it was a good delivery seaming in. Bhuvi leaves it, and it knocks the stumps over. And another wicket goes down. Should have played at that one, really! In walks Varun Aaron. Oh HUGE appeal, but somehow, somehow Aaron survives.
OUT! B Kumar 0(6) b Broad
Here comes Broad again. Bowls it short, AND ASHWIN HOLES OUT! Oh dear, Ashwin plays a poor shot after batting so very well till this point. Goes for a pull, gets it high on the bat, and Sam Robson takes the catch. In walks Bhuvneshwar. Can he get another fifty? India would dearly love it if he does. Oh Bhuvi gets an outside edge, but survives. Great over from Broad.
OUT! R Ashwin 40(42) c Robson b Broad
Woakes now. Ashwin gets a couple off the second ball of the over. Broad again. Ashwin flashes at one, but misses. Ashwin takes a single, but his strike rate is under 100 for the first time in quite a long time. Broad pitches it up to Dhoni and again causes a problem. Why would you bother bowling short when pitching it up is causing so many issues for the batsmen? Woakes again. Bowls a short one to Ashiwn, but Ash misses the pull. Oh lovely shot! That was wide, and Ashwin drove it through covers. Strike rate back to 100. Couple of dot balls, and down it goes again. Gets three off the last ball though, now he’s on 40 off 40.
Anderson continues. Ashwin gets a single. Oh short to Dhoni, he upper-cuts it for four through third man (shocking). Anderson follows up bowling one slightly short, but Dhoni again pads it away. OH IS THIS A DROP? Ashwin edges this one, but it looks like Buttler has fluffed the chance! Woakes comes on now. And Ashwin plays another beautiful drive that fetches him three more. And now Dhoni drives one for four through covers to bring up the 50-run stand. Dhoni now on 47. Another good shot off the last ball, gets him two more runs. Broad continues now with a change of ends. Ashwin flicks him for a single. Dhoni leaves. Again, good batting from the pair. Broad either bowling on the pads or way outside off.
Anderson again. Bowls four in-swingers in a row to Ashwin, then bowls an out-swinger that gets the outside edge to third man for four. Frustrating stuff for Anderson, he is bowling beautifully. Broad comes on now. He pitches one short to Dhoni, and he pulls one very well all along the ground for four through square leg. And now Ashwin clips one off his pads for three. Ashwin really enhancing his reputation as a batsman. India’s 100 comes up as well. Very, very good partnership between these two now. Ashwin might well go past Dhoni at this rate!
Jordan again. Ashwin plays a terrific drive, but Moeen fields it nicely, and saves three. Dhoni again plays with his thigh-pad. Anderson makes Ashwin looks awkward for the first time in his innings with a ball that moves in a long way after pitching. Short ball, Ashwin pulls, and gets six! First six of the innings, but it comes off an outside edge. Anderson pitches the next one up and finds Ashwin’s pads, but it was going down leg. Short ball again, but wayward, Dhoni lets it go past him. Here comes Stuart Broad. He has bowed six overs for just eight runs and has taken a couple of wickets too. Ashwin plays him awkwardly, but gets a single. Ashwin batting with a strike rate of over 100. Dhoni shoulders arms to one that swings a long way after passing him. Buttler had to put in a full-length dive to collect what seemed like a straightforward delivery. Dhoni leaving well, with his bat well away. It is a strategy that seems to be working for him.
Jordan to continue. Ashwin pulls him for a single. Ashwin already looks a better batsman than we have seen all morning. Dhoni drives with his outside edge, gets four more to his favourite third-man area. Harsha Bhogle on commentary says, “Where would India be without third man?” And rightly so. Now Jordan bowls one short and wide, Dhoni gives that everything, and nearly gets six. It went for four to third man (where else?) instead. India have now scored 51 percent of their runs in that area. Anderson now. He strays on to Ashwin’s pads and gets hit for four down fine leg. Ashwin looking quite secure in the middle.
Welcome back to the post-lunch session. Chris Jordan starts things off to MS Dhoni. First ball swings big, Dhoni lets it go. Jordan bowling much better than he was bowling at the start of his spell. He starts off with a maiden over. Good way to begin after lunch. Well well well. It’s Anderson to bowl to Jadeja now. How poetic. Jadeja shoulders arms off the first two balls. AND ANDERSON GETS HIS MAN! This was swinging in to Jadeja, hits him on the pads, Anderson appealed and the umpire raised the finger. Jadeja LBW to Anderson. In walks Ashwin. Gets off the mark right away with a couple. He takes another single to end the over.
OUT! R Jadeja 0(4) LBW b Anderson
Catch all the action of the first session in our photo gallery here
Woakes will bowl the final ball before lunch. Dot ball to start the over. Dhoni now using his bat more than he was against Anderson and Broad. Scratch that, he just plays one with his thigh-pad. And India survive without losing their sixth wicket before lunch.
Woakes again now. That’s a maiden over, just one bye. Jordan again. Again, innocuous looking. But he manages to beat Rahane’s forward defensive. Rahane slices at one, gets four to third man again. Last ball is pitched up and nicely played with a straight bat by ‘Jinks. Woakes continues. He is bowling quickly, but has yet to ask the same questions that Anderson and Broad were asking. Wow, that one was bowled on the leg stump, Dhoni let it pass and it really took off. That’s gone for four byes down to third man. Buttler had no chance of stopping it. Here comes Jordan. OH THAT’S THE BREAKTHROUGH! Rahane, after playing so well for so long, has gone for a drive without moving his feet, and the resultant edge goes right into the hands of Bell at slip. Ravi Jadeja comes in. Interesting decision, Ashwin might have been the wiser choice at No 7. Oh an LBW appeal now, but Jadeja survives.
OUT! A Rahane 24(52) c Bell b Jordan
So Anderson finally out of the attack, Chris Woakes continues, change of ends for him. Woakes runs in, but Dhoni backs away. He’ll have to run in again. Oh lovely shot! Rahane pushes this one through mid-off for four, the runs are coming for India. But these two batsmen hold the key. That also brings up India’s 50. Looked far off a while ago! Jordan continues, bowls one outside off and Dhoni throws the proverbial kitchen sink at it, but misses. Dhoni looks like he wants to attack Jordan here.
Jimmy Anderson continues, this is his eighth over on the trot. Oh Rahane pushes at one outside his off stump, manages to avoid the edge. Good over from Anderson again, just two off it. Here comes Woakes again. Dhoni lets it pass without playing at it. This has been a feature of his batting today. No need to use the bat when you can use your body. Woakes pushes this one up to Dhoni, and he absolutely smashes this through covers. Good to see he hasn’t gone into a shell. And meanwhile, Alan Wilkins tries to pronounce “Amitabh Bachchan” in commentary for some reason. Doesn’t do a remarkable job of it, it must be said. Back to the cricket now, it’s Anderson into his ninth over. Pitched up, swinging from leg to off, and Rahane defends with a dead bat. Dhoni gets another boundary, through third man off Anderson. He is batting quite well given the match situation and conditions. Chris Jordan into the attack now. He has a strike rate of 134 at the moment. That’s 134 with the ball, not the bat. Rahane on strike. He starts off with one wide enough to be caught by first slip. Rahane drives beautifully through the covers, gets three. Jordan has not looked too threatening in the four balls that he has bowled so far.
Anderson again. WOW, that one was short and quick and Dhoni hardly had the time to move. Another one that Dhoni has taken on his shoulder. Short ball, and this time Dhoni goes for the pull, gets a single to square leg. In comes Chris Woakes after the drinks break. Indian supporters might not mind watching someone other than James Anderson and Stuart Broad bowl. Wokes pitches this one up, Dhoni flashes at it and gets four over Chris Jordan’s head at slip. Dhoni becomes the first Indian batsman to get to double figures today!
Here’s the scorecard not too many Indian fans would like to see:
Pictured above: An Indian cricket fan’s nightmare © Getty Images
Broad again. Gets Rahane in trouble with a quick ball that nips back in, appeals for LBW, but gets turned down. Broad does not seem happy with the call though. Harsha Bhogle on commentary says that the “niceties” of the game seem to be forgotten nowadays. Anderson bowls one up to Dhoni and appeals for an LBW; funny thing is, the ball went for four through mid-off! It was pad-bat though, so a valid appeal. India now up to 23. What a partnership this has been (still makes me sad to say something like this about a 15-run stand)! Broad again. Oooh he’s going past the edge again. Rahane and Dhoni hanging in by the skin of their teeth here!
Anderson again. And a wicket does NOT fall in that over. Phew. He does hit Dhoni on the helmet though. Broad again. Rahane plays a gorgeous cover drive to get four. If India manage to survive this spell and Rahane scores a few runs, there will be odes written about him. Another over passes without a wicket falling. It is sad that after two wicket-less overs, I find myself saying that India are steadying the ship! Anderson again. Ooooh, Dhoni squirts at that one outside the off stump again, but survives it. Dhoni defends one for four through the slip cordon. It was actually well played, he used soft hands there. Dhoni is hardly using his bat unless he has to!
Broad again. AND THE CARNAGE CONTINUES! This is absolute madness, Pujara out now! Terrible, terrible shot! Pujara driving with leaden feet, and his edge is snapped up by Jordan at slip. England all over India here. Broad bowling a hostile spell here, skipper MS Dhoni takes a couple on his body. Perhaps he’s not too keen on using his bat, the way the edges have been flying to the slip cordon!
OUT! C Pujara 0(6) c Jordan b Broad
Anderson to Vijay. ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST! Beautiful delivery from Anderson, that’s taken Vijay’s edge to Cook at slip. India in dire straits here. Vijay suffers a duck. Virat Kohli the new man in. Big opportunity on his shoulders. OH HE’S GONE! Almost an action replay of the previous dismissal, and Kohli is back in the hut now, again caught by Cook! Swing, pace, and deadly accuracy from Jimmy completely blowing India apart here!
OUT! M Vijay 0(14) c Cook b Anderson, V Kohli 0(2) c Cook b Anderson
Stuart Broad will bowl now. Starts off bowling one full and on Gambhir’s pads. Gambhir gets a couple to get off the mark. Gets another couple off the third ball. Last ball of the over really lifts off, well played by Gambhir, but Buttler isn’t able to hold on to that, four byes for India. Anderson to continue. It’s another maiden. Here comes Broad. OH HE’S GONE! Broad gets Gambhir, squared him up completely! Gambhir gets the outside edge and Root at Gully gobbles it up gleefully. India lose their first wicket, and Gambhir’s comeback doesn’t go too well. Pujara comes in at No 3, as usual a bit too early for his liking.
OUT! G Gambhir 4(7) c Root b Broad
Interestingly, this is the first time ever that this pair of Vijay and Gambhir are opening together. Here we go, first ball of the Test coming up. It’s Jimmy Anderson to Murali Vijay. First ball swings big, Vijay lets it go. Anderson pitches it up, Vijay defends. Anderson bowls wide, Vijay lets it go. Good cricket all-round. It’s a maiden.
Here is an interesting stat: MS Dhoni is the first captain of Independent India to win a toss at Old Trafford!
We have just had the toss, after a bit of a rain delay. India have won the toss and will bat first. Three changes for the Indian side. Gautam Gambhir, Ravichandran Ashwin and and Varun Aaron come in and will replace Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami. England go in with the same side that won at Southampton.
India: MS Dhoni (c &wk), Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravidnra Jadeja, Varun Aaron, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pankaj Singh
England: Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Joe Root, Ian Bell, Moeen ALi, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live blog of the fourth Test between India and England at Old Trafford, Manchester. I am Shiamak Unwalla, and I will be bringing the live updates to you. After a humiliating defeat at Southampton, Indians are hungry to fight back. But they have been hit by several injury concerns and form of certain players. The Indians haven’t declared their changes, it is likely that India might pick Ravichandran Ashwin and possibly Gautam Gambhir. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness is still in concern and is likely to make it for the match. England on the other hand have hinted at retaining the same XI from the third Test. Read the Preview of the fourth Test here
The series has been marred by the Anderson-Jadeja issue with the matter finally laid to rest as International Cricket Council refusing to appeal over the verdict. Dhoni spoke at lengths about the issue in the press conference. At the end of the conference he still didn’t revel what his combination would be for the Test. “We dropped a few catches in the last match and it didn’t look like we will take 20 wickets on that pitch. So we will see how the wicket (at Old Trafford) is and then we will see who our best 4-5 bowlers are and then we will decide the team composition,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cook is all geared up. With an impressive outing with the bat and captaincy at Southampton, he will look to capitalise on the form earned after a barrage of criticism. Yet he is in no mood to go easy. “We also want to play competitive cricket, we don’t want it to be too nicey-nicey. There’s always that muddied line. There’s little bits where he (Anderson) might have overstepped the mark occasionally throughout his career, but you’d rather him be on the line than too passive,” said Cook.
Read more about the pitch at Manchester here
India are here for the first time since 1990 and yet to win a Test at this venue. See India’s record at Manchester against England here
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (c &wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Varun Aaron, Pankaj Singh, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishwar Pandey, Stuart Binny, Mohammed Shami. To read analysis of Indian squad click here
England: Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Gary Balance, Joe Root, Ian Bell, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Steve Finn, Ben Stokes.
Catch live score and ball-by-ball commentary of the match here
Catch all the coverage of India’s tour to England here