Alastair Cook would be under pressure to get runs for himself and his team ©
Alastair Cook scored fell short of his 26th Test ton by five runs © Getty Images



Jul 27, 2014

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It’s been England’s day at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. They won the toss, decided to bat first, and their top-order batsmen got the runs. Sam Robson was dismissed early but Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance ensured they get runs and that too in some style. England played cautious cricket throughout the day, and reaped benefits of a track that seems to be suiting the batsmen. Chants of ‘Sachin… Sachin’ towards the end of the day.


Gary Ballance completes his third Test century, and second in the series. This also happens to be his second in as many Tests. Gets it through a boundary on the off side.


India are attacking with the new ball, with Pankaj Singh creating some issues for the new batsman Ian Bell. Gary Ballance is just a hit away from three figures at the moment.


India take the new ball…

A wicket out of nowhere! Ravindra Jadeja has been bowling excessively down the leg. Cook, batting comfortably on 95 decides to hit another ball down the leg. The ball flicks Cook’s bat, and Indians appealed. Umpire Marais Erasmus after bit of hesitation declared Cook was out.
OUT! A Cook c Dhoni b Jadeja 95(231)


Cook smashed Shami for a boundary over the midwicket. That stroke indicated that the England captain is getting back into form. England cross the 200-run mark in the 69th over of the innings and the day.



It’s been England’s day and session so far. Proceedings have resumed post tea, with the Indians still in search for the second wicket. Cook and Ballance are taking their side into a strong position in this game.


England enjoy another good session wherein they did not lose any wicket, and added 108 runs. Alastair Cook is nearing his century, something that will give him and his side enough confidence going ahead in this series.


Ballance completes his half-century, his third in Test cricket. The left-handed batsman faced 107 balls and cracked five fours to achieve the feat. He and Cook have so far added 108 runs for the second wicket.


England bring up their 150 in the 52nd over of the game. Slow and steadily, they are setting up a platform for a big first innings score. Alastair Cook looks set for e big score. Pitch not offering anything to the spinners either. The England captain has now climbed up to the third spot in all-time highest run-scorers in Tests. He crossed David Gower in the list after going past Kevin Pietersen earlier in the day.


England cruising comfortably at the moment. Alastair Cook is batting well, but is being beaten occasionally. There is not much for the bowlers on this wicket, and with the sun out, batsmen are facing not many troubles.


A close shout for caught behind off Mohammed Shami against Gary Ballance rejected by the umpire. England cruising at the moment as they bring up the 100-run mark. Indians looking a little reckless now, giving away too much width and not attacking the batsmen much at the moment.


Alastair Cook gets to his half-century! The England captain pulls a short delivery off Shami to the leg side to scramble for two runs and gets a fifty. Another short ball by Shami is slammed for four on the midwicket region. This is Cook’s 36th half-century in Test cricket.


Pankaj Singh resumes the proceedings for India post lunch. He beats Gary Ballance on first couple of balls but one down the leg is hit for a boundary.


England will be pleased with their efforts so far on the opening day of this crucial Test. India may have had if not more but at least two wickets, had Jadeja taken that catch off Pankaj Singh to dismiss Alastair Cook. The England captain took the lifeline with both hands, as he fought his way to 48 not out. It’s lunch time at Southampton.


Alastair Cook is battling hard to get some much-needed runs. The dropped catch earlier in the day gave him a lifeline and he seems to be making the most of it. Rohit Sharma into the attack three overs before lunch.


There’s the breakthrough India were looking for all this while. Impressive stuff by Shami who bowls with lot of variety and sends back Sam Robson to the pavilion. Short ball outside off stump, Robson got stuck in the crease and got the edge. Importantly for India, Jadeja did not spill this one at third slip.
OUT! S Robson c Jadeja b Shami 26(59)


More good news for England. For the first time in 11 Test innings their openers have put up a 50-run stand. Robson brings up the half-century stand with a cracking four off Shami towards covers.


So far it has been England’s session on the first day. Not because they have dominated the Indians or have scored freely, but they have managed to preserve wickets which is in a way a moral victory for them. A dropped catch and not much assistance from the track has not helped India’s case. Cook is batting as cautiously as he can.




Shoddy work by Ravindra Jadeja at slips as he gives a lifeline to the struggling England captain. Pankaj comes around the wicket and gets Cook play one that move a little away from him. The batsman got a thick outside edge which was spilled at the third slip. India remain wicketless.




England have made a steady start in the first session on the opening day of their third Test. Pankaj Singh, the debutant for India is getting some movement. Alastair Cook is batting cautiously at the moment.




Alastair Cook hits the first four of the game — a thick outside edge off Mohammed Shami that runs down the ground between the fielder at third slip and gully.
Impressive start by India seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar as he gets an edge off Alastair Cook’s bat, which falls short of the fielder at the second slip. Sam Robson is away with a stroke down the ground as England collect two runs on the fifth ball.

Toss: England captain Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat against India in the third Test.

Both the sides have made two changes each. England have surprisingly dropped Liam Plunkett and drafted in Chris Jordan.  They have also replaced the out of form Ben Stokes to bring in Chris Woakes.

For India, Rohit Sharma comes in for Stuart Binny and Pankaj in for Ishant.


England: Alastair Cook (c), Sam Robson, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Gary Ballance, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, James Anderson, Stuart Broad

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pankaj Singh, Mohammed Shami

Big news: Ishant Sharma has been ruled out due to injury. Pankaj Singh has been handed his Test cap by Sourav Ganguly. This is a huge development as Ishant was the man of the match in the previous game. A big blow for India!

Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of the third Test between England at India at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton. India are 1-0 up in the series following their victory at Lord’s. It was a memorable victory as India bounced out England and went on to win the game by 95 runs. MS Dhoni‘s men would be looking forward to put pressure on the hosts. But, there is a different backdrop to this. Dhoni is not happy with the fine on Ravindra Jadeja and the shadows of the pushgate controversy still looms large.

I am Devarchit Varma and will take you through the game. There is an interesting setting at Southampton as the word is that there still is a bit of grass on the surface, though not as much as Lord’s. England’s bowlers would have to apply themselves very well and bowl well as they had squandered the advantage at Lord’s. Alastair Cook continues to be under pressure and runs are needed off his bat. But, more importantly, England have to bat well as a unit. You can read our preview or watch the video here:


India: MS 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.

England: Alastair Cook (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Simon Kerrigan.

Time: 10:00 GMT | 15: 30 IST

Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here