Pataudi Trophy - 4th Test

England v India

England won by an innings and 8 runs

Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100  | Overs 101-150  | Overs 151-200

Minutes away from the start then. It's overcast in south London and the forecast is not great for the next few days. The first four days are a sellout though. Just to recap, England are playing the same XI that annihilated India at Edgbaston. India lost Praveen Kumar to injury and have picked RP Singh ahead of Munaf Patel. Strauss chose to bat because he reckoned the pitch was a dry one.

"We are shouting for England in this one! If they win South Africa will go to No.2!" yells Paul, from South Africa.

Strauss and Cook are out there. Helmeted and menacing. There's that glint in Cook's eye. Or maybe my imagination's working overtime. RP Singh has the new ball. Three slips and a gully. Let's go ...

1050 Cheers Nitin. I wonder if India have got over their torment of Alastair Cook batting for hours and hours. Because he's about to try again.

John Muir weighs in: "A good test (toss?) for England to win, not least because it gives Jimmy Anderson a bit more time before he has to bowl. I'm mystified by RP's selection for India- surely Munaf must be in much better shape to play a test?"

"What does Broad have to do to get some recognition as England's most important player this series? All Atherton/Gower/Hussain want to talk about is Anderson, Atherton didn't even mention him at all when talking about England's attack this series! Truly unbelievable," spews David.

Gary points out that "surely it is last chance saloon for Mr Bopara now... surely!" Indeed. James Taylor is not merely breathing down his neck, but puffing fire balls like a dragon. On that forgettable note, I shall take leave and hand over commentary duties to George Binoy.

1040 Twenty minutes to go for the first ball. That gives you enough time to explore Howzat - our online social cricket game.

Ravi sounds cynical: "So, if you are an Indian fan and want to see them batting, you can come back on Day 3 and 4 to see them bat for two consecutive innings. I am an Indian fan and it pains." A lot of fans are in agony to find that PK is missing out. They reckon he has been one of India's better batsmen on tour. Ouch.

Munaf Patel has been in England since the start of the tour, played in the World Cup, played in West Indies ... but India have decided RP Singh is a better option here. He last played a Test in April 2008. India weren't world No. 1 then. They aren't world No. 1 now. May be, the left-arm angle and his ability to swing it went in his favour.

England win the toss and choose to bat. "It looks like a good wicket to bat on, and I reckon it is dry underneath," says Andrew Strauss. England are unchanged from Edgbaston as they begin life as the World's No. 1 side. Dhoni admits he would have looked to bat too. Praveen Kumar is out injured and RP Singh comes into the side. "We have been outplayed, but we aren't demoralised and we up for the fight today," says Dhoni.

1020 Sourav Ganguly declares that this is a lovely batting pitch, and he will want to bat first. Wasim Akram chips in with "this is a typical Oval wicket". There will be swing and seam until tea on day 1, and then it will flatten out, he says. Ganguly believes it won't turn as much as The Oval traditionally does, since there is some grass on the surface.

1015 The covers have come off. Hurrah! The weather is getting progressively better. Even better news, if you are a fan of England and/or high-class swing bowling - Jimmy Anderson is fit and will play. No injury updates from the Indian camp yet, so we will wait to find out whether Praveen "The Scowler" Kumar makes the cut - India's best bowler on tour is under a bit of an injury cloud. Will RP Swing back into the scheme of things?

A good time to remind our readers that The Oval was the venue of India's first win in England back in the summer of 1971, and one of their better venues in England. Here's more in our Stats Preview.

1000 A warm welcome from ESPNcricinfo towers for the final Test at The Oval. Not so warm at the ground itself, though. The three Cs that all cricket fans dread - coldness, clouds and covers - all make a presence as we begin our coverage. There was heavy rain overnight but it cleared in the early hours and the covers remain just as a precaution. There's no rain now and things are brightening up even as I type.

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you know all about how the series has panned out. In Sharda Ugra's words, India turned up under-cooked, were slowly over-cooked before being Alastair Cooked at Edgbaston. They are now former World No. 1s, and England have deservedly wrested the crown away. Here's Andrew Miller on their beautiful tale of transformation. India just haven't turned up, none more so than Virender Sehwag who brings a still recovering shoulder, a few extra kilos and a king pair with him to The Oval. Will the real Sehwag turn up now, asks Sharda Ugra. Andrew McGlashan's preview sets us up nicely for the action. We'll have the updates as they break here, and a fraction of a second earlier, at the speed of 140 chars per second on twitter, so hit Follow on @ESPNcricinfo immediately.

0.1

Singh to Strauss, no run, RP starts with a leg-side Harmison, but not at the same pace. He ambles in and lets a loosener go down leg side, Dhoni has to tumble to his right and collect on the second bounce. There's no place for a loosener in Test cricket. Do it in the warm-ups.

There's some sightscreen trouble already. Some latecomers finding seats behind the bowler's arm. And they keep on coming.

0.2

Singh to Strauss, 2 runs, RP Singh's line is nice and friendly, on middle and leg, Strauss turns it off his pads towards fine leg

And the loiterers continue loitering behind the sight screen. Strauss is annoyed but manages a smile before taking guard.

0.3

Singh to Strauss, no run, another gentle delivery down leg side, Strauss lets it go, it pitches again before reaching Dhoni

0.4

Singh to Strauss, 1 run, better line and length just outside off from over the wicket, but there's no pace or bounce, Strauss pushes towards cover and runs

0.5

Singh to Cook, 1 run, the leg-side buffet continues, Cook glances a length ball off his hips towards long leg

0.6

Singh to Strauss, no run, another ball down leg side and Strauss lets it go. I have not seen an opening over with lower intensity in a Test match

End of over 1 (4 runs) England 4/0
AJ Strauss    3* (5b)      RP Singh    1-0-4-0
AN Cook    1* (1b)     

Paul: "Movement behind the bowler's arm? Why do the Stewards at the oval always let people move to their seats during the over - and what are people doing at the cricket, paying £50+ per ticket, and continually moving about?"

Ishant to share the new ball ...

1.1

Sharma to Cook, 1 run, short of a length pitching outside leg and slanting across Cook who dabs the ball towards square

1.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, fuller ball from over the wicket slanting across Strauss who pushes off the front foot and gets beaten

1.3

Sharma to Strauss, no run, Ishant hits Strauss on the pad and there are some faint appeals, that pitched outside leg

1.4

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, Strauss tries to close the face to one that pitches around leg and slants across the left-hander, the outside edge goes towards point

1.5

Sharma to Cook, no run, Ishant pitches one full outside off stump, Cook watches it closely and stares the ball down as he lets it go

1.6

Sharma to Cook, no run, fuller and straighter, Cook moves slightly forward and across and blocks it

End of over 2 (2 runs) England 6/0
AN Cook    2* (4b)      I Sharma    1-0-2-0
AJ Strauss    4* (8b)      RP Singh    1-0-4-0

2.1

Singh to Strauss, no run, RP floats the ball wide outside off and gets it to shape away from Strauss

2.2

Singh to Strauss, no run, good length and the line is closer to the batsman, Strauss stays in his crease and blocks

2.3

Singh to Strauss, 1 run, good length and line, angling into off and middle, Strauss dabs towards cover and sets off

2.4

Singh to Cook, no run, RP goes up in appeal but Taufel is unmoved. RP squared up Cook with one that pitched in line after angling in and seamed away from the left-hander, hitting him on the back thigh. That would have gone over the bails

2.5

Singh to Cook, FOUR, Cook prods forward at a good length ball and gets an outside edge between third slip and gully

Four slips now, no gully.

2.6

Singh to Cook, no run, Cook leans forward and pushes the ball towards midwicket

Tim: "125kph and all over the shop. Not going to get many wickets bowling like this."

End of over 3 (5 runs) England 11/0
AN Cook    6* (7b 1x4)      RP Singh    2-0-9-0
AJ Strauss    5* (11b)      I Sharma    1-0-2-0

3.1

Sharma to Strauss, FOUR, this time Strauss gets an outside edge to one that lifts from a length and the ball goes through the cordon to the third man boundary

Andrew: "Is it just me or has RP lost some pace since his last test? I can remember the last time he toured Aus (A few years ago now) and I could swear he was quicker than this!"

3.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, good length and line, Strauss gets an inside edge on to the pad as he pushes forward in defence

3.3

Sharma to Strauss, no run, Ishant pitches on a good length but outside leg, Strauss moves forward and defends on the leg side

3.4

Sharma to Strauss, no run, good length outside off stump, left alone by Strauss

3.5

Sharma to Strauss, no run, well left, Strauss judges the line perfectly and lets a good length ball go just outside off

3.6

Sharma to Strauss, no run, Ishant slants this one wider outside off and Strauss gets beaten on the forward defence

End of over 4 (4 runs) England 15/0
AJ Strauss    9* (17b 1x4)      I Sharma    2-0-6-0
AN Cook    6* (7b 1x4)      RP Singh    2-0-9-0

4.1

Singh to Cook, no run, RP hits a good length angling into the left-hander, Cook is steadfast, blocking towards cover

4.2

Singh to Cook, no run, RP pitches the ball wide outside off and gets it to seam away, Cook decides to conserve energy for this time tomorrow

4.3

Singh to Cook, 2 runs, Cook pushes the ball through cover

4.4

Singh to Cook, 1 run, good line from RP but not much else, Cook strides forward and pushes the ball past the bowler

"In light of the future of Indian Cricket. Can you please not publish the speeds for my overs. Thanks," RPS.

4.5

Singh to Strauss, no run, wide outside off stump, left alone

4.6

Singh to Strauss, no run, fuller length outside off stump, left alone once again

End of over 5 (3 runs) England 18/0
AJ Strauss    9* (19b 1x4)      RP Singh    3-0-12-0
AN Cook    9* (11b 1x4)      I Sharma    2-0-6-0

Interesting email from John: "Batsmen seemed to have developed the technique of playing with a very loose bottom hand so the ball won't carry to slip. Is this something that is coached now?"

5.1

Sharma to Cook, no run, Ishant continues to pitch outside leg from over the wicket and finishes on a wicket to wicket line. Cook defends

5.2

Sharma to Cook, no run, Ishant pitches in line with the stumps but slants it too far across the left-hander, left alone by Cook

5.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, that's a better line and length, pitching in line and taking the ball way from the left-hander but keeping it close enough to make Cook push from his crease and get beaten

5.4

Sharma to Cook, no run, similar ball to 5.3 but Cook is a quick learner and lets this one go

5.5

Sharma to Cook, 1 leg bye, short of a length on leg stump, Cook stays in his crease and gets hit on the thigh

5.6

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, short of a length on leg stump again, Strauss turns it behind square and keeps strike

Edmund: "The only way this match could possibly have been interesting would have been if India had won the toss and racked up a large score, putting England for the first time under at least a modicum of pressure. That has not happened, and as a result this match is doomed to a boring and predictable end. Even the English players must get bored at having had so little challenge in this series. How can you be number 1 in the world when you have not even been made to fight for it?"

End of over 6 (2 runs) England 20/0
AJ Strauss    10* (20b 1x4)      I Sharma    3-0-7-0
AN Cook    9* (16b 1x4)      RP Singh    3-0-12-0

6.1

Singh to Strauss, no run, left alone outside off stump

6.2

Singh to Strauss, no run, good length around off stump, Strauss defends towards the off side

6.3

Singh to Strauss, no run, defended back to the bowler off the front foot

Madhu, the stats man, weighs in: "India have lost three or more Tests while failing to win a single match in 14 series, including this one. Australia (1947, 1967, 1991, 1999), West Indies (1958, 1962, 1983, 1989), Pakistan (1982-83) and England (1952, 1959, 1967, 1974, 2011?)"

6.4

Singh to Strauss, no run, Strauss closes the face to a good length ball and plays it towards midwicket

6.5

Singh to Strauss, no run, good length and straight line, Strauss strides forward and defends with bat and pad close together

6.6

Singh to Strauss, no run, short of a length outside off stump, Strauss lets it go

Kieran: "I think Edmund is forgetting England did have to fight for it at times in the first two tests even if they ended up being huge victories. That said, he will be right eventually, but as a child of the nineties it will take some while before I get bored of seeing England dominate, if indeed they have an extended period of such."

End of over 7 (maiden) England 20/0
AJ Strauss    10* (26b 1x4)      RP Singh    4-1-12-0
AN Cook    9* (16b 1x4)      I Sharma    3-0-7-0

7.1

Sharma to Cook, no run, Ishant pitches on a good length outside off, Cook heaves at it and sends it over the midwicket boundary. Not. He let it go again, wearing the Indian bowlers down with bottomless reserves of patience

7.2

Sharma to Cook, no run, defended from the crease on the off side

7.3

Sharma to Cook, 1 bye, Ishant pitches around off and slants it away, Cook lets it go and the ball thuds into Dhoni's fingers. He's shaking them in pain

7.4

Sharma to Strauss, 1 leg bye, that leg-stump line again, Strauss glances the ball towards fine leg

7.5

Sharma to Cook, no run, Ishant gets a length ball to nip back into Cook from middle stump and catches him on the crease, hitting him on the thigh

7.6

Sharma to Cook, no run, that's hit Cook plumb in front of the stumps, he was back in his crease too, but Ishant pitched outside leg stump from over the wicket

End of over 8 (2 runs, maiden) England 22/0
AN Cook    9* (21b 1x4)      I Sharma    4-1-7-0
AJ Strauss    10* (27b 1x4)      RP Singh    4-1-12-0

8.1

Singh to Strauss, no run, short of a length outside off, Strauss shoulders arms again

8.2

Singh to Strauss, 1 run, Strauss drops the ball close to the pitch on the off side and runs the single. RP Singh did nothing with that ball

8.3

Singh to Cook, 2 runs, full ball outside off, Cook didn't time this one but pushed it into the gap at cover

8.4

Singh to Cook, no run, good length outside off, Cook lets it go, and the ball struggles to reach Dhoni on the full

8.5

Singh to Cook, no run, fuller length and closer line, Cook defends on the front foot

8.6

Singh to Cook, no run, good length just outside off, Cook defends towards cover

End of over 9 (3 runs) England 25/0
AN Cook    11* (25b 1x4)      RP Singh    5-1-15-0
AJ Strauss    11* (29b 1x4)      I Sharma    4-1-7-0

Ishant has been replaced by Sreesanth. He should liven things up. India have been insipid today.

9.1

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, length delivery on middle stump from over the wicket, Strauss moves back and across and defends

9.2

Sreesanth to Strauss, 3 runs, fuller and a bit too straight, Strauss stays in his crease and clips it off his pads through square leg

Nidhin: "9 overs into the match..the ball struggles to reach Dhoni on the full, Cook and Strauss ready for a marathon innings and India's bowling once again looks toothless...huh its hurting me"

9.3

Sreesanth to Cook, 1 run, Cook gets an outside edge towards cover as he tries to defend a full ball that slanted across him

9.4

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, Sreesanth pitches full outside off and gets it to jag in, but the ball is too far away for Strauss to play

9.5

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, left alone outside off stump

9.6

Sreesanth to Strauss, FOUR, too full, too straight and too easy for Strauss who flicks the ball off his pads to the backward square leg boundary

Wombat: "Seriously, in a cricket obsessed country with god knows how many million people, India cannot find a bowler who hits anywhere near the 90mph mark? They need to start eating 3 shredded wheats for breakfast."

End of over 10 (8 runs) England 33/0
AJ Strauss    18* (34b 2x4)      S Sreesanth    1-0-8-0
AN Cook    12* (26b 1x4)      RP Singh    5-1-15-0

10.1

Singh to Cook, no run, RP pitches the ball outside off and gets it to move away a touch. Cook lets it go. Again.

10.2

Singh to Cook, no run, fuller length outside off with more shape away from Cook, the unflappable leaver of deliveries outside off

10.3

Singh to Cook, no run, RP goes all the way back and then runs all the way back in to pitch outside off stump. Cook hasn't moved much, and he lets it go again

10.4

Singh to Cook, no run, and another one goes past Cook's watchful eye, giving Dhoni work to do

10.5

Singh to Cook, FOUR, finally! Cook decides that this ball is rubbish enough to punish - it was short, wide and at trundler pace - and cuts it hard through point

10.6

Singh to Cook, no run, back to normal service - left alone outside off stump

End of over 11 (4 runs) England 37/0
AN Cook    16* (32b 2x4)      RP Singh    6-1-19-0
AJ Strauss    18* (34b 2x4)      S Sreesanth    1-0-8-0

Meety: "@Wombat - until India get some pitches that favour pace bowlers in their 1st class scene, they'll struggle to find 90mph bowlers, its too much hard work over there!"

11.1

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, good length outside off stump, Strauss pushes forward and defends towards cover

11.2

Sreesanth to Strauss, 1 run, full and straight, easy for Strauss who leans across and flicks languidly through midwicket

11.3

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, too full and too far down leg, Cook tries to glance but that was always going to be hard to reach. Dhoni moves to his right to take the ball

11.4

Sreesanth to Cook, 1 run, Cook stays in his crease and plays the ball towards cover and calls Strauss through

11.5

Sreesanth to Strauss, FOUR, Strauss moves forward to a full ball and punches it hard and straight past Sreesanth, that will need fetching

11.6

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, Sreesanth bends the ball back into the left-hander after slanting it across but Strauss meets it with solid defence

End of over 12 (6 runs) England 43/0
AJ Strauss    23* (38b 3x4)      S Sreesanth    2-0-14-0
AN Cook    17* (34b 2x4)      RP Singh    6-1-19-0

Pinchas: "If Cooky scores 66 this innings he will average exactly 50 in test match cricket. Madhu missed that one!!"

12.1

Singh to Cook, no run, too wide outside off stump, Cook moves across and lets it go

12.2

Singh to Cook, no run, Cook stays back to one that didn't bounce much, he defends towards the leg side

12.3

Singh to Cook, no run, Cook stays on the back foot once again and defends on the leg side

12.4

Singh to Cook, no run, length ball around off, Cook pushes off the back foot towards cover

12.5

Singh to Cook, no run, defended on the front foot once again

12.6

Singh to Cook, no run, left alone outside off stump

This is India's worst first hour with the ball on this tour. In previous Tests, their new-ball bowlers did something - got the ball to swing, beat the bat, had a few appeals, and even took some wickets. Today, they have done nothing noteworthy. England have strolled through this first hour. It's drinks, by the way.

Wombat: "I understand your point Meety but they don't even play that many first class matches. Sreesanth for example is approaching his 29th birthday and has only played 67 first class matches! I am sure if India unearthed some genuine quicks they would hardly play any first class games."

End of over 13 (maiden) England 43/0
AN Cook    17* (40b 2x4)      RP Singh    7-2-19-0
AJ Strauss    23* (38b 3x4)      S Sreesanth    2-0-14-0

Pragmatic: "@Meety: Producing dead pitches is no excuse for not producing bowlers who cannot hit the 90 mph mark. Look at Pakistan, they don't exactly have green-topped pitches to say the least."

There's a silly mid-on in place.

13.1

Sreesanth to Strauss, 1 run, Cook tucks the ball off his pads towards square for a single

13.2

Sreesanth to Cook, FOUR, too full and too straight, Cook marches on towards that Test average of 50 by clipping off his pads to the square leg boundary

13.3

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, played off the back foot towards silly mid-on

13.4

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, fuller ball and the line is straighter, played towards mid-on

Andrew: "It speaks volumes about the state of English cricket that Alistair Cook has only batted 118 times in his 72 Test matches. That means that England have only had to bat once on 13 occasions in that period. Granted, there will be some draws in there but still…"

13.5

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, good length and straight, defended on the leg side

13.6

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, full delivery but the line is too wide outside off for the batsman to be interested

End of over 14 (5 runs) England 48/0
AN Cook    21* (45b 3x4)      S Sreesanth    3-0-19-0
AJ Strauss    24* (39b 3x4)      RP Singh    7-2-19-0

Ishant's back, replacing RP Singh.

14.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, Ishant pitches outside off stump and slants the ball away from the left-hander, Strauss lets it go

14.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, Ishant hits Strauss on the pad but the appeal is aborted because the ball pitched outside leg from over the wicket

14.3

Sharma to Strauss, no run, Strauss lets the ball go again as it slants across him

14.4

Sharma to Strauss, no run, full ball outside off stump, Strauss shoulders arms

14.5

Sharma to Strauss, no run, excitement! Ishant bowls the first bouncer of the day and Strauss doesn't really know what to do. He tries to pull off the front foot and gets smashed on the helmet. He needs a new one. Ishant took a chunk out of this one.

If this match isn't giving you enough entertainment, try Howzat.

14.6

Sharma to Strauss, no run, good length from Ishant just outside off, Strauss lets it go

End of over 15 (maiden) England 48/0
AJ Strauss    24* (45b 3x4)      I Sharma    5-2-7-0
AN Cook    21* (45b 3x4)      S Sreesanth    3-0-19-0

Anil: "Cook as already overtaken R. Sarwan in all time scorers of runs in Tests. How many other will he overtake today, tomorrow or day after?"

15.1

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, Cook strides forward, protects his off stump, and lets the ball go

15.2

Sreesanth to Cook, 2 runs, full ball around off stump, Cook digs it out and drives through mid-off to bring up England's fifty

15.3

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, played towards midwicket off the front foot

Rohit: "@Andrew: 2x+y=118; x+y=72; hence, x=46, y=26 (not 13)." Linear equations on Cricinfo's commentary, that's a first.

15.4

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, defended on the front foot towards cover

15.5

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, defended back to the bolwer

15.6

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, short of a length and straight, Cook defends on the back foot towards cover

A timely stat from Madhu: "Cook and Strauss have now been involved in 31 fifty-plus partnerships, a record for England batting pairs. 27 of those have come for the first wicket."

End of over 16 (2 runs) England 50/0
AN Cook    23* (51b 3x4)      S Sreesanth    4-0-21-0
AJ Strauss    24* (45b 3x4)      I Sharma    5-2-7-0

16.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, another short ball, this time the batsman ducks under it

Amlan: "Can't we fast forward this match and come straight to India's batting? At least there will be runs as well as wickets!"

16.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, Ishant follows up the short ball with a fuller one that slants across Strauss, beating the outside edge of his tentative poke off the back foot

16.3

Sharma to Strauss, 2 runs, Strauss gets squared up by a length ball and the outside edge goes safely through the cordon, along the ground mind you

16.4

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, too straight this time and Strauss nudges the ball towards fine leg

Davi: "@ Rohit @ Andrew unfortunately the Cricinfo figures (gospel) show 71 matches and 124 innings! Back to the drawing board!"

16.5

Sharma to Cook, no run, Cook stays on the back foot and defends one that doesn't rise much from a length

16.6

Sharma to Cook, no run, Ishant beats Cook's bat with one that pitches around leg and slants across the left-hander

End of over 17 (3 runs) England 53/0
AN Cook    23* (53b 3x4)      I Sharma    6-2-10-0
AJ Strauss    27* (49b 3x4)      S Sreesanth    4-0-21-0

17.1

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, aggression! Sreesanth picks up the ball on his follow through and acts like he's going to hurl the ball at Strauss, who doesn't take the chance and scampers out of the way

17.2

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, left alone outside off stump

17.3

Sreesanth to Strauss, FOUR, shot! Full ball outside off, Strauss moves forward and plays a punchy drive that beats the fielder at extra cover and speeds towards the boundary

17.4

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, good length outside off, left alone by the batsman

17.5

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, good length outside off stump, left alone once again

17.6

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, defended on the back foot towards the leg side

End of over 18 (4 runs) England 57/0
AJ Strauss    31* (55b 4x4)      S Sreesanth    5-0-25-0
AN Cook    23* (53b 3x4)      I Sharma    6-2-10-0

Jamie: "Already mentioned (by Pinchas) that Cook needs 66 to average 50 in tests. How about a scorecard of Cook 66, Pietersen 114, Morgan 233 & Bresnan 82 - they too achieve 50.00. Bopara, though, needs ..."

18.1

Sharma to Cook, 1 run, good length on off stump, Cook stays back and pushes the ball towards cover point

18.2

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, leg-stump line once again, allowing the batsman to nudge off the body and collect easy runs

18.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, Ishant beats Cook again with one that pitches around off and slants away, Cook was drawn into the forward push

18.4

Sharma to Cook, 1 run, Cook adjusts well to defend one that comes back at him after several that slanted away, he hits it into the ground towards the cordon where some village fielding allows the single

18.5

Sharma to Strauss, no run, good length outside off stump, and Strauss shoulders arms

Ishant changes his approach to around the wicket.

18.6

Sharma to Strauss, no run, good length delivery angling into Strauss who defends on the back foot

End of over 19 (3 runs) England 60/0
AJ Strauss    32* (58b 4x4)      I Sharma    7-2-13-0
AN Cook    25* (56b 3x4)      S Sreesanth    5-0-25-0

19.1

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, pushed off the front foot towards cover

Sriram: "Amidst the calamity, good to see Ishant giving 100% though no luck so far..." Ishant has been India's best bowler. But that's not a hard thing to be at the moment.

19.2

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, too wide outside off, Cook lets it go

19.3

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, Sreesanth finally beats the bat. He bowls a full ball outside off stump, Cook went for the cover drive and didn't make contact, the ball barely carries to Dhoni

19.4

Sreesanth to Cook, no run, defended on the back foot towards the off side

19.5

Sreesanth to Cook, 1 run, the line is poor - down leg side - and Cook clips it off his pads towards long leg

Will: "Bopara needs an almighty 341 to average 50 in tests!"

19.6

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, defended from the crease towards the bowler

End of over 20 (1 run) England 61/0
AJ Strauss    32* (59b 4x4)      S Sreesanth    6-0-26-0
AN Cook    26* (61b 3x4)      I Sharma    7-2-13-0

20.1

Sharma to Cook, no run, wide outside off stump, left alone once again

20.2

Sharma to Cook, no run, Ishant pitches outside leg, Cook moves back and tries to turn the ball towards square leg, he gets a bit of an outside edge on the off side

20.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, defended on the back foot towards the off side

20.4

Sharma to Cook, no run, good length and straight, defended from the crease towards the bowler

20.5

Sharma to Cook, no run, Ishant angles the ball into Cook from round the wicket, the batsman gets behind the line and defends

Ashley Hague: "Strauss would need to score 1250 runs in this innings to average 50. I think."

20.6

Sharma to Cook, FOUR, shot! Cook leans forward, a long stride, and caresses the full ball through cover with a flowing drive. High elbow and all that.

End of over 21 (4 runs) England 65/0
AN Cook    30* (67b 4x4)      I Sharma    8-2-17-0
AJ Strauss    32* (59b 4x4)      S Sreesanth    6-0-26-0

RP's back. Two slips and a gully.

21.1

Singh to Strauss, no run, gentle delivery on a good length outside off, left alone by Strauss

John: "So, to sum up, for Cook, Pietersen, Morgan, Bopara and Bresnan to average 50, England need to score 842, plus whatever the others scrape together. Sounds doable!"

21.2

Singh to Strauss, no run, full ball outside off stump, too wide for Strauss to play at it

Smudgeon: "How many joy-free overs will RP Singh have to bowl to average 50?"

21.3

Singh to Strauss, FOUR, not too many at this rate, a leg-stump half-volley with no protection on the square leg boundary, Strauss flicks it away

21.4

Singh to Strauss, no run, left alone outside off stump

Jiggy: "Broad needs to score a whopping 1162 runs in this innings to average 50 overal!"

21.5

Singh to Strauss, no run, good length around off stump, Strauss defends on the back foot

21.6

Singh to Strauss, no run, good length outside off stump, left alone once again

End of over 22 (4 runs) England 69/0
AJ Strauss    36* (65b 5x4)      RP Singh    8-2-23-0
AN Cook    30* (67b 4x4)      I Sharma    8-2-17-0

Suresh Raina has the ball, in the first session of a Test match. Epic scenes of Indian failure at The Oval.

22.1

Raina to Cook, no run, Cook tries to pull but doesn;t make proper contact

22.2

Raina to Cook, 1 run, Cook nudges the ball towards square leg for a single

22.3

Raina to Strauss, 1 run, short ball outside off stump, driven off the back foot to the fielder on the cover boundary

22.4

Raina to Cook, no run, Cook drives towards mid-off

22.5

Raina to Cook, 1 run, this time he nudges the ball off the pads towards square

22.6

Raina to Strauss, no run, defended on the back foot on the off side

End of over 23 (3 runs) England 72/0
AJ Strauss    37* (67b 5x4)      SK Raina    1-0-3-0
AN Cook    32* (71b 4x4)      RP Singh    8-2-23-0

Jet: "@Smudgeon: about another 103 overs at his current career economy rate should do it for RP."

23.1

Singh to Cook, no run, good length outside off stump, left alone by Cook

23.2

Singh to Cook, no run, defended from the crease towards cover

23.3

Singh to Cook, no run, good length outside off, Cook plays the ball towards cover

23.4

Singh to Cook, no run, left alone outside off stump

23.5

Singh to Cook, no run, full ball outside off stump, Cook plays it towards cover

23.6

Singh to Cook, no run, Cook punches the length ball from outside off towards cover

End of over 24 (maiden) England 72/0
AN Cook    32* (77b 4x4)      RP Singh    9-3-23-0
AJ Strauss    37* (67b 5x4)      SK Raina    1-0-3-0

24.1

Raina to Strauss, 1 run, an uber short ball from Raina, that might be the easiest pull Strauss has ever played

24.2

Raina to Cook, no run, defended on the front foot, I'm amazed that Cook doesn't have a go at Raina. Such admirable self-control.

24.3

Raina to Cook, 1 run, played through midwicket for a single

24.4

Raina to Strauss, no run, punched off the back foot towards cover

24.5

Raina to Strauss, no run, punched off the back foot towards the bowler

Where's Mishra?

24.6

Raina to Strauss, no run, defended off the front foot once again

End of over 25 (2 runs) England 74/0
AJ Strauss    38* (71b 5x4)      SK Raina    2-0-5-0
AN Cook    33* (79b 4x4)      RP Singh    9-3-23-0

25.1

Singh to Cook, no run, good length on off stump, defended solidly

25.2

Singh to Cook, no run, Cook moves back to a length ball and plays it calmly towards cover

25.3

Singh to Cook, 1 run, defended on the front foot towards mid-on

25.4

Singh to Strauss, no run, short ball, and Strauss lets it go

Salil: "all the smug condescending diatribe being written about India, would love India to turn this around, think of India as work in progress...not a week goes by when we dont hear reference 1966 world cup win...perspective please"

25.5

Singh to Strauss, no run, defended from the crease, no pace or movement from RP

25.6

Singh to Strauss, no run, defended on the back foot towards the bowler

5.00pm You may have to wait a long time, as play has been abandoned for the day. So that's that. Meanwhile, though, the Mexican wave has circled the globe: We've had Wellington, Vancouver, Florida, Columbia (South Carolina), Texas, Chicago, California, Scotland, Portugal, Czech Republic and far beyond. Well done doctor tom! And on that note, we'll call time on today's match coverage. Not much to report, really, but do have a look at Andrew McGlashan's report all the same. And join us at 11.00am, UK time, tomorrow for day two. Goodbye!

"Wave from Netherlands!" writes Sanjay. "I'll wait for my next turn."

Sajid Munawer writes: "I have found one interesting and boring thing while its raining. Alastair Cook's Batting Average is higher than his Strike Rate. Come on Alastair Cook."

"It's a bit of a red herring to go on about four English players being South African," writes Stephen. "Two are, of course, but Strauss at the least clearly isn't. Yes he was born in South Africa, but so was JRR Tolkein and nobody says he's South African (apart interestingly from the 100 Great South Africans TV show). Nasser Hussain was born in India, but nobody says he is Indian."

"When's the Mexican Wave going to get to the Algarve!" wails Ross. "I can't sit around all day waiting!"

Pete has this: "Mexican wave continued from Bishop, California where i am staying overnight on holiday! Lousy Australian joke: "An Australian walks out of a bar." Cerebral.

Will the freemason responds: "@Raja "There are no masonic plans for world domination. A) we've had 300 years to try so shouldn't we have done it by now? B) we struggle to organise committee meetings let alone anything else!"

Zishan Ali Khan would like to clear up a few things about Indian schools cricket: "That thought doesn't cover the full picture of India , we have only 3 or 4 major cities with proper cricket systems in schools. You cannot weigh in jus those cities with the whole of England. And more importantly Indian kids are getting less and less interested in test cricket and with a very comlex structure of the High School Syllabus, hardly anyone has the drive to practice for 2 or 3 day matches, forget about playing them."

4.48pm Frustratingly, it's raining again at The Oval. Although, it may be a passing shower, as Andrew Miller says it's "spitting slightly" so our chances of play aren't completely scuppered.

Good work, Donald! "Continuing the wave in Czech Republic."

"I have one question if English county is that much stronger, than why they fill the eleven with so many non English players?" Asks Rajesh. Perhaps it's because England is becoming an increasingly multicultural country that cricket is on the up here?

If this is your work, Dheeraj, it's a stunning effort:
"How we Indians love this rain
It's served well to soothe our pain
For contrary to what others say,
this has probably been India's day
The cherry has been spared the English cane."

"What's this about Scotland not joining in?" splutters Iain Lloyd from Edinburgh. "We love a mexican wave, as long as we don't spill our beer!"

4.38pm There is going to be a pitch inspection at 5.10pm. Hurrah!

Sorry, couldn't resist: "What is the difference between Ricky Ponting and a funeral director?" writes Gautam. "A funeral director doesn't keep losing the ashes."

Umpire watch Having said that, it's stopped raining and the umpires are now in the middle having a look at conditions. We'll let you know as soon as anything comes to light. Covers are coming off!

Mark Kidger writes: "A young foreign player has to be good enough to be offerred a contract. A lot of English counties would love to have a foreign player will to stay for a whole season rather than just 2 or 3 weeks. Failing that, Allan Border came to England and played a season for Gloucs 2nd XI and Downend just before his Test call-up and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan was one of many to have played a season as a club professional in the Lancashire League. A county contract is not the only way to get experience in different conditions!"

4.30pm Between bursts of rain and the mopping up operation, play is looking unlikely today. It's brightened up a touch in West London, but is still dank and grey in Kennington.

Umpire watch Rod Tucker and Simon Taufel have been spotted strolling along the edge of the boundary, flanked by some excitable schoolkids. Sadly, they're not out in the middle. Hmm.

"Any other cricinfo-watchers interested in joining me in a virtual mexican wave up and down the country, to amuse ourselves during the rain break? We could boo when it gets to Scotland, because THEY won't join in..." We'll kick things off here in Cricinfo Towers, doctor tom!

"Feel that I can come into my own now the jokes have started," writes Rishi. "What do you call a world class Australian? Retired."

4.20pm English county cricket may be healthy, but it's a different story at school level, reckons George: "India's schools cricket is light-years ahead of England's. Remember the story about young Arman Jaffer piling up 498 last year? How many English schools have ever played 3 or even 2-day matches? Surely in a small country where most schools play only against schools within a 100 mile radius, it should relatively straightforward to organise some "proper" 2-innings matches?"

Right, Australians have copped a few jibes in this rainbreak, here's Emerey to get his own back: "4 South Africans and an Irishman are led into a bar by a Zimbabwean. The barman asks "So where's the rest of the English Cricket Team?"

Speaking of Gloucestershire players, Mark Kidger points out: "And one IVA Richards played cricket for Landsdown in Bath before coming a superstar..."

"Speaking of WI's erstwhile pace battery, I was at the SSC in Colombo in February 1979 when Malcolm Marshall felled Sunil Wettimuny in an ODI. It was b-r-u-t-a-l. SL all out for fewer than 100. WI continued batting after target was reached to keep crowd entertained. But Marshall was such a classy chap that, story goes, after the match, he stayed at the hospital where Wettimuny was to make sure Sunil was alright." Nice anecdote, Sri.

Raja: "@Will, can you let us in on any of the freemasons' world domination plans. I'd be glad to offer cricket lessons in return."

"Good point Krish," writes CS. "But I wonder which county might want to sign up Raina, based on his poor showing in English conditions."

Talk about self-flagellation, Varun Mishra: "1st Test Lord's: defeat by 196 runs. Have I made it large? 2nd Test Nottingham: defeat by 319 runs. Again the same question, have I made it large? 3rd Test Birmingham: defeat by innings and 242 runs. The same question comes up, have I made it large?"

4.07pm We've just received word that it is an ankle - rather than thumb - injury that has kept Praveen Kumar out of this Test. Here's a statement from Anirudh Chaudhry, the Indian team manager: "Praveen Kumar was suffering from pain in his left ankle from an injury sustained while bowling in the 2nd innings of the 3rd Test Match between England and India at Edgbaston. Treatment was administered to him and he has been responding well to treatment. However, there are still some residual symptoms in his ankle due to which he was ruled out of the 4th Test between England and India at the Kia Oval."

4.05pm There's a decent crowd in at The Oval, and they're starting to get a little antsy at this delay. The light had been good for a while, but now it's raining again! Many have paid £75 to get into the ground today.

Here's Alan again: "Another one for you Anthony, what's the difference between a pot of yoghurt and an Aussie? Pot of yoghurt has more culture. Boom boom, I'm here all Test."

"The County isn't some bar that you can walk into just because you want to" says SRK. "How many Counties will actually pick the Indian youngsters. That said, it would be awesome if they tried."

Thanks for setting us straight, Paul: "Last Glos cricketer to play for England in Tests was Jon Lewis in 2006 - he also played in 13 ODIs. "Never knowingly underbowled"."

Stuart: "The selectors need scrap this silly obsession with having keepers open, use Ian Bell instead, and put Jos Buttler in the lower order to give it a good clout, we really lack proper big hitters down the order." And Jos Buttler is, for me, a more versatile batsman than Craig Kieswetter. But is his keeping up to international standard?

This joke, from Peter, is so bad it goes all the way round to being good again. "While it's raining a bit: 'Why does Snopp Dogg always have an umbrella? For drizzle.'"

3.40pm We're being treated to highlights of The Oval ODI between England and India in 2007, in which Tendulkar was dismissed in the 90s. As Gnasher has amusingly pointed out, if he hadn't tried to smash Panesar over cover, we wouldn't still have all this fuss over a 100th hundred! After you've had a look at that scorecard, check out this Buzz from today's game, it's a good one.

"Looking at the future I wonder if any of the young indian players like Rohit, Virat, Pujara, Raina will put their hands up skip an IPL season to go play for a county to get experience playing English conditions." I'm sure it'd do them the world of good, Krish. English county cricket is the world's premier first-class competition once more.

"Glad to see Will Gidman getting a mention," writes Mark. "800+ runs and 40-odd wickets is a decent season. If he played for a so-called fashionable county he would be talked about for a one-day or Lions call-up. He plays for Gloucestershire however, so no one will take any notice as usual." Who was the last Gloucs player to represent England? Mike Smith? Jack Russell?

"I propose a bare knuckle fight between Nasser Hussain & Ravi Shastri for rain delay entertainment." I'd pay to see that, Dinesh Perera.

"I'd heard Sir Don was a Freemason, but it's not relevant," writes Will. "He was an exceptional talent. Whilst becoming a Freemason (over 20 years ago) is perhaps the best thing I've ever done, sadly it hasn't improved my cricket!"

Dickson: "@Tim, you mean the same Martin Guptill that tonked your bowlers all over Brisbane in the Chappel Hadlee series in 2009?"

"I think this series is the ideal one to test and try a few of the young players, such as Woakes, Taylor, Bairstow, Rashid," writes Wesley. "I think England should look to rotate their players and not just pick the "best" team, but to develop players for the winter."

3.20pm We've been waiting all series for him to get his 100th ton. Well, while we wait on, have a look at Sachin Tendulkar's first Test century, at Old Trafford in 1990, here. Please note, that's only availabe in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

And now the Aussies are bashing the Kiwis: "Shows there is some quality in the County system, although it also shows there is some absolute rubbish there too," writes Tim. "Even Martin Guptill has been making runs in County cricket this year."

3.08pm As many of you are pointing out, there seems to be a surfeit of quality all-round cricketers at the moment. Chris Woakes is one of them, and he's just taken 7 for 20 against Hampshire at Edgbaston. Do you reckon he's earned a place in England's one-day squad? And who else? And what should the make-up of India's playing XI be, if they are to end this tour on a bright note?

"Never an odd time to pick on the Aussies," writes Anthony. "And the best joke i have ever heard. Congrats Alan on behalf of the entire UK."

3.02pm The Supersopper is out, which is a good sign.

David Wright responds: "@Alan Us Aussies have been using that joke about the Poms for decades, it's good to see the recycling scheme is being well utilised ;)"

Odd time to start picking on the Aussies, but here's Alan's contribution: "What's the difference between a jet-engine and an Aussie cricketer? The jet engine stops whining when it lands."

2.48pm This is from Andrew Miller: "Still no sign of a mopping-up operation. Spits of rain in the air, and the covers are glistening under the floodlights. Bleak." You'll find updates and insight on his Twitter feed.

2.45pm Any yet another, this one from Lewis: "RE: Michaels Challenge Derbyshire's Jon Clare 31.23 / 27.77." There appear to be some quality allrounders out there!

Bharathram has something to entertain us: "India have no pace battery right now. Have a look at WI's erstwhile pace battery in this video. (Not for kids, it gets brutal)."

James has found another! "Re Michael's challenge: Graham Napier, batting average 48.66, bowling 34.00." Hmm, yes actually there are a couple, as Vibhanshu points out: "Samit Patel batting average 36.94, bowling average 25.71."

Steve Wood writes: "I think Ponting is the more likely descendant of Jesus, judging by his ability to turn everything into whine." Miaow!

Jezzer has found an answer: "Re Michael's challenge: Arul Suppiah of Somerset has 35.00 with the ball and 40.72 with the bat in all first-class matches this season." But who's the other one?

2.15pm I'm sad to say, that the rain is still falling at The Oval. Did any of you head over to our Youtube channel? Find anything you like? Share it with the class.

Hugh: "@Rob, it's all about Ravi's 341."

"Since we're getting all Dan Brown, maybe Bradman was a direct descendant of Jesus?" writes Gaurav. "Which explains his infallibility!"

Surendranadh V has this: "@Matt..yes he is according to wikipedia. There's also this, not sure how reliable it is.

Michael has laid down another challenge: "I've found another wonderful waste of time inspired by the depth of batting in England's line-up: find an England qualified 11 who average more batting than bowling in all 1st class matches this season. I have 9, can anyone find the other 2?" Bowling Batting Hogg 15.61 15.69 Borthwick 30.88 34.76 Broad 25.62 30.54 Harris 26.41 31.58 Blackwell 32.35 46.55 Stokes 29.57 45.87 W Gidman 22.68 44.83 Woakes 18.73 45.11 Bresnan 17.16 54.83

"Here's an interesting question for all you out there. I was having a discussion with a mate today on the way back from the shops, and he reckons Sir Donald Bradman was a freemason. My first question is, was he? And my second question is, if so, why didn't we hear about it?" And third question, Matt, does it really matter? It would be interesting to know though.

"I haven't managed to get around to the bowling averages yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing Jimmy Anderson hit 1791 to reach 50.00 (I gave him the benefit of the not out). Three India batsmen can't drop to 50.00 - but if Dravid and Sehwag get ducks their averages will be all but identical at 52.35 and 52.34 respectively. Only Bresnan (needs 82), Pietersen (114) and Gambhir (77) are likely to be able to achieve the target after Cook (66). Hey - it's a slow day at work, and I hope I pressed the calculator buttons in the right order!" Slow day indeed, Rob!

1.50pm And the rain continues to fall. Ho hum. For a bit of excitement, give our new online social cricket game - Howzat - a go. You're also sure to find something to your liking if you hop over to our Youtube page to check out the latest videos. It'll certainly help to pass the time until we get some play!

1.45pm After you've entered that competition, you may as well stick around on Facebook and have your say on our page. And better yet, 'Like' us! To complete the awesome cricketing trifecta, find us on Twitter. Extra points for digging out all of our writers on there.

1.35pm Bad news (or not, depending on whom you're supporting) I'm afraid. It began to drizzle during the lunch break and the groundstaff have brought on the covers. The resumption after lunch is likely to be delayed. As always, however, we've got plenty to keep you entertained. For starters, you could enter our competition to win Alastair Cook's signed Test shirt and have the chance to get your hands on what could turn out to be a very prestigious memento. Click here to enter.

Lunch: 1.03pm And so ends India's worst session of the series with the first new ball. They did nothing to test Strauss and Cook. Admittedly the pitch wasn't doing much but there was a palapable lack of intensity. You didn't see anyone encouraging anyone like they would when the going is good. They just let things go, and Strauss and Cook will certainly rank this among the easiest opening sessions they've faced. I'm off to stretch my legs, Liam will be your commentator after the break.

End of over 26 (1 run) England 75/0
AJ Strauss    38* (74b 5x4)      RP Singh    10-3-24-0
AN Cook    34* (82b 4x4)      SK Raina    2-0-5-0

One final explanation for no early starts before Ishant Sharma resumes proceedings. This is from Paul: "@John Barrett - one reason why tests shouldn't start earlier in the UK is that the match tickets are already expensive enough without having to travel earlier in peak (very expensive) times."

Cliff has a better explanation for no early starts. "The extra time is added on in the evening rather than the morning in England partly because of the light available in the evening and partly because of the heavy dew possible in the mornings. My lawn was soaked this morning." Meanwhile India break from their huddle. Wonder what is left unspoken that they have to have a huddle. Cuddle, David Lloyd calls it

10.55am David Edwards has a alternative explanation for inflexible starting times in England. "If we started earlier it would clash with morning tea," he says. I agree David. Anyway, morning tea has been had, and Strauss and Cook must be looking for something more substantial as we near the start of day two

10.50am "Why why why didn't the match start at 10.30! or even 10 for that matter. Does anyone know how this officially works? Who decides?" John Barrett, I suspect that because England enjoys longer days in summer they make up for lost time in the evenings as opposed to mornings. In almost every other country we would have started half an hour earlier

10.40am Oh by the way, as I said it is a beautiful sunny day at The Oval, and we should start on time. We will have lunch as scheduled, the middle session should be half an hour longer, and the final session should be an extended one too

10.30am We have been before. Welcome to yet another episode of the Great Indian Wait For England's Declaration In The 2011 Series. It certainly seemed like that yesterday until rain intervened.

Don't expect any mercy or boredom from England batsmen. It's a beautiful sunny day, the pitch is fairly flat. India will need a much more inspired show than yesterday, England will want to get in in the first session, and then look to score quickly to make up for the lost time on day one

26.1

Sharma to Cook, no run, angled across Cook, who gets a good sighter he can leave alone

Three slips and a gully in place

26.2

Sharma to Cook, no run, closer to off, Cook gets forward, and then lets it go through to Dhoni

26.3

Sharma to Cook, no run, this pitches middle and leg, makes Cook play, who pushes it towards mid-off

26.4

Sharma to Cook, no run, slight seam movement away after pitching middle and off, Cook is beaten by the movement as he pushes defensively. Just short of a length, so couldn't go right forward

26.5

Sharma to Cook, OUT, Ishant strikes! What a completely different first over than yesterday. Sharma stays in the channel just outside off, this time slightly fuller, Cook thinks he can drive at this, he does so, but the front foot is not quite close to the line of the ball. A healthy edge settles with Sehwag at first slip

AN Cook c Sehwag b Sharma 34 (126m 87b 4x4 0x6) SR: 39.08

In comes Ian Bell

26.6

Sharma to Bell, no run, wide outside off, Bell has nothing to do with this

End of over 27 (wicket maiden) England 75/1
IR Bell    0* (1b)      I Sharma    9-3-17-1
AJ Strauss    38* (74b 5x4)      RP Singh    10-3-24-0

RP Singh to bowl now

27.1

Singh to Strauss, no run, Edged, and falls short! An ambitious shot from Strauss, looking for the pull from well outside off, the ball doesn't come up, and he gets a soft bottom edge that falls well short of Dhoni

27.2

Singh to Strauss, no run, Edged and short again! Slightly more in control this time, though. This is fuller, around off, shapes away, Strauss plays at it with soft hands, and the edge falls well short of the third slip

27.3

Singh to Strauss, no run, no movement here, Strauss gets right behind in a solid defensive push

27.4

Singh to Strauss, no run, full, slight swing away, Strauss pushes it to mid-off

27.5

Singh to Strauss, no run, short of a length, pitches outside off, angles towards the stumps, Strauss defends

27.6

Singh to Strauss, no run, full, outside off, slight shape away, Strauss shoulders arms

End of over 28 (maiden) England 75/1
AJ Strauss    38* (80b 5x4)      RP Singh    11-4-24-0
IR Bell    0* (1b)      I Sharma    9-3-17-1

"Would be great for a spectacle if India could get through the top order - oh please lord make something interesting happen," says Gazza

28.1

Sharma to Bell, no run, short of a length, still wide enough for Bell to shoulder arms

28.2

Sharma to Bell, no run, this one moves in after pitching shorter length, but not close enough to bother Bell

"Cook continues his poor run of form this series. Oh, he did get one half decent score didn't he?" He did okay one of those days, Chris McSweeny

28.3

Sharma to Bell, no run, fuller, closer to off, Bell leaves it alone again. This jumps off to reach Dhoni face-high

28.4

Sharma to Bell, no run, sharp movement from outside off, but Bell is still not playing at them, this one is still far enough

28.5

Sharma to Bell, no run, another leave - Sharma is giving Bell nothing to drive, Bell is not playing low-percentage shots

28.6

Sharma to Bell, no run, slightly fuller, Bell puts bat to ball finally, although this is still fairly wide. He plays with soft hands, towards cover

End of over 29 (maiden) England 75/1
IR Bell    0* (7b)      I Sharma    10-4-17-1
AJ Strauss    38* (80b 5x4)      RP Singh    11-4-24-0

29.1

Singh to Strauss, no run, back of a length, around off, Strauss stands on the crease and defends it back to Singh

29.2

Singh to Strauss, no run, length ball, again pitched around the off channel, Strauss pushes towards cover

29.3

Singh to Strauss, no run, gets a false shot out of Strauss. A little swing after it pitches just outside off beats Strauss's poke

29.4

Singh to Strauss, no run, heads towards middle and off this time, Strauss pushes half forward and defends towards mid-on

29.5

Singh to Strauss, no run, wide of off now, left alone

"Can I be the first to say that Ian Bell needs just 308 to give himself a 50 average!" In my knowledge, you are, Roger Butcher

29.6

Singh to Strauss, 1 run, first runs off the morning come off the last ball of the fourth over. This one strays ever so little, and Strauss clips it off the pads, wide of mid-on

End of over 30 (1 run) England 76/1
AJ Strauss    39* (86b 5x4)      RP Singh    12-4-25-0
IR Bell    0* (7b)      I Sharma    10-4-17-1

30.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, short ball, and that's what you should do after you have broken the same batsman's helmet the last day. This one doesn't quite come up, and Strauss drops his wrists under it

30.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, another bumper, this bounces well, but is pitched outside leg, and Strauss half-ducks under it

30.3

Sharma to Strauss, no run, another bouncer, middle and leg again, Strauss gets under it

"Must be difficult for RPS this morning. An entire evening of the cricket world doubting his ability. He may not deserve his place, but the constant banter and lack of faith (especially from his home nation) is really too much." Gareth, the joke's not as much on RP as it is on the selectors. It is ridiculous that they didn't know the extent of Zaheer's injury well before the press release was sent out. If the selectors had been bothered, they would have called up the team physio, and sent Singh to England soon after Lord's

30.4

Sharma to Strauss, no run, follows it up with a good short ball, which moves away after pitching middle and leg. Beats the outside edge

30.5

Sharma to Strauss, no run, a similar delivery, but Strauss has played this better, pushing well inside the line, intentionally

30.6

Sharma to Strauss, no run, another false shot, Strauss stands tall and looks to turn this ball to leg, gets a soft leading edge, which falls short of gully

End of over 31 (maiden) England 76/1
AJ Strauss    39* (92b 5x4)      I Sharma    11-5-17-1
IR Bell    0* (7b)      RP Singh    12-4-25-0

A much better start by India, not quite sure why they can't do this on the first morning of Tests

31.1

Singh to Bell, no run, pitched within the stumps, slight shape towards leg, Bell defends to cover

31.2

Singh to Bell, no run, angled across, pitched well outside off, Bell is not playing at them

"When was the last time, if ever, everyone in a side batted to or above their average in a match?" Ed Whyte, perhaps in the first Test of all. Even then, someone might have scored a duck, though. Singh goes round the stumps meanwhile

31.3

Singh to Bell, 2 runs, this one moves in from just outside off, Bell guides it with the movement, gets a couple to square of fine leg

31.4

Singh to Bell, no run, just outside off, no movement, Bell stands tall and pushes it to cover

31.5

Singh to Bell, FOUR, very well played, RP is getting movement in from outside off when bowling from round the stumps, but Bell dabs at this late, and places it between second slip and gully

31.6

Singh to Bell, 3 runs, this is a real short and wide on, Bell gets on top of the bounce, and cuts this between backward point and cover-point

End of over 32 (9 runs) England 85/1
IR Bell    9* (13b 1x4)      RP Singh    13-4-34-0
AJ Strauss    39* (92b 5x4)      I Sharma    11-5-17-1

32.1

Sharma to Bell, no run, length ball, angling in towards off, hits the inside half of Bell's bat, goes along the ground towards square leg

32.2

Sharma to Bell, no run, another length ball, angling in towards the off stumps, defended to leg

32.3

Sharma to Bell, no run, pushes forward to defend this to cover

"Just to let you know that I need 50 runs to get an average of 50. Only problem is that I´ve never played cricket, is unfit and Swedish. Still I enjoy your coverage." Jörgen Lindström, you will have to get dismissed once to get yourself an average

32.4

Sharma to Bell, no run, well down the leg side, Bell misses out on a four delivery

32.5

Sharma to Bell, 1 run, back to a length, just around of, Bell opens the face with soft hands, gets a single past gully

32.6

Sharma to Strauss, no run, Sharma has bowled really well to Strauss today. Another short delivery, into the ribs, Strauss fends at it, gets an inside edge onto his body. The ball rolls just by the side of the stumps

End of over 33 (1 run) England 86/1
AJ Strauss    39* (93b 5x4)      I Sharma    12-5-18-1
IR Bell    10* (18b 1x4)      RP Singh    13-4-34-0

Time for some Sreesanth now, who tweeted last night: "I don't forgive people because I am weak. I forgive them because I am strong enough to know people make mistakes."

33.1

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, starts off with an outswinger just outside off, left alone by Bell

33.2

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, better now, closer to off, making Bell play, who does so with soft hands, towards gully

Three slips and a gully for Sreesanth

33.3

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, outswinger again, Bell is right behind it, and drives it to straightish extra cover

"Jörgen Lindström - You need 10 other swedes to constitute a team, to get your 50 average..." Krishna, England won't mind him if he can average 50 in Tests

33.4

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, another outswinger, starts a touch wider, and is left alone

33.5

Sreesanth to Bell, 1 run, bowling from well close to the umpire, another outswinger, Bell pushes this wide of mid-off for a single

33.6

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, back of a length, pitches outside off, moves back in, Strauss pushes off the back foot, gets an inside edge back to the bowler

End of over 34 (1 run) England 87/1
AJ Strauss    39* (94b 5x4)      S Sreesanth    7-0-27-0
IR Bell    11* (23b 1x4)      I Sharma    12-5-18-1

34.1

Sharma to Bell, no run, short of a length, around off, Bell stands tall, pushes to cover

34.2

Sharma to Bell, no run, back of a length, angled in towards middle and leg, pushed to square leg

34.3

Sharma to Bell, no run, well down the leg side, Bell can't get to it

Matt: "Can I get a shout-out for the Lesotho national cricket team

Just over a year ago they lost two very talented players in a tragic car accident - Masusu and Tolofi, Rest In Peace"

34.4

Sharma to Bell, no run, strays down the leg side again, Bell misses out again. The ball hits the pad, and lobs towards Dhoni

34.5

Sharma to Bell, 2 runs, short outside off, a soft pull shot from Bell, is a bit surprised by the bounce and pace, gets a soft top edge that eludes square leg

34.6

Sharma to Bell, 3 runs, nice little push through covers. This is a length ball outside off, Bell just extends his arms through it, past cover for three runs

End of over 35 (5 runs) England 92/1
IR Bell    16* (29b 1x4)      I Sharma    13-5-23-1
AJ Strauss    39* (94b 5x4)      S Sreesanth    7-0-27-0

35.1

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, length ball, outside off, swings away, left alone

35.2

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, edged and short for the third time this morning. This is pitched closer to off, making Bell play, takes the edge with the swing, but it falls short of Sehwag at third slip. Bell nods in acknowledgement

35.3

Sreesanth to Bell, FOUR, Bell may as well acknowledge this shot with a brief nod too. This is a delicious cover-drive as Sreesanth is slightly too full, and Bell leans it to the drive. Bang off the middle of the bat

35.4

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, slightly shorter, outside off, left alone

35.5

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, short of a length, outside off, left alone

35.6

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, fuller now, makes him play, which Bell does solidly, off the front foot

End of over 36 (4 runs) England 96/1
IR Bell    20* (35b 2x4)      S Sreesanth    8-0-31-0
AJ Strauss    39* (94b 5x4)      I Sharma    13-5-23-1

36.1

Sharma to Strauss, no run, stays on the short side to Strauss, not much room, Strauss pushes to cover

36.2

Sharma to Strauss, no run, stays short of a length, just outside off, Strauss lets it be

36.3

Sharma to Strauss, no run, stays short of a length, gets closer to the body with the line, Strauss defends it back

Four slips and a man between gully and backward point

36.4

Sharma to Strauss, no run, slightly wide of off, and Strauss shoulders arms. He can leave these on length too

"in this p'ship of 21, Strauss has scored 1 whereas Bell has 20," stays Vibhash. "Strauss being a true boss...letting his subordinates do all the hard work whereas he is free-riding."

36.5

Sharma to Strauss, no run, left alone outside off, bounces in front of Dhoni a

36.6

Sharma to Strauss, 1 run, and on cue, Strauss doubles his run tally today by clipping this off the pads

End of over 37 (1 run) England 97/1
AJ Strauss    40* (100b 5x4)      I Sharma    14-5-24-1
IR Bell    20* (35b 2x4)      S Sreesanth    8-0-31-0

Sharma is off the field. Hopefully for not too long

37.1

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, pitched up outside off, Strauss drives, Raina makes a diving save at extra cover. However Raina's technique might be, I have seen Raina field often at 500 for 3 or similar situations, and he always looks like there is no other place he'd rather be

37.2

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, another overpitched delivery, driven to mid-off

37.3

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, shorter, outside off, Strauss lets this go to Dhoni

37.4

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, punched off the back foot, finds Raina in the covers again

37.5

Sreesanth to Strauss, no run, pitched up outside off, goes on with the angle, Strauss lets Dhoni do the rest

37.6

Sreesanth to Strauss, OUT, Loose loose shot. Strauss has scored two runs in more than an hour again, and he now goes for the release shot off a wide delivery. Wide and full. He has to really stretch to reach it. Gets an edge as the ball moves away with the angle. Wasim Akram says on air that a bowler should bowl there on purpose once in a while

AJ Strauss c †Dhoni b Sreesanth 40 (183m 106b 5x4 0x6) SR: 37.73

End of over 38 (wicket maiden) England 97/2
     S Sreesanth    9-1-31-1
IR Bell    20* (35b 2x4)      I Sharma    14-5-24-1

During the drinks break, Rob Davis has summed up Strauss thus: "How highly do we rate Andrew Strauss? He's had some very good batting periods where he's held the batting together yet often been a weak link while others have thrived, he's hardly the equal of Michael Vaughan as a thinking captain but he's consistent and won't let himself be cowed and he can be a terrific catcher. Sum total?" Here's RP Singh

38.1

Singh to Bell, no run, back of a length, bell stays back and defends

38.2

Singh to Bell, no run, slight movement in, defended to leg

38.3

Singh to Bell, no run, slight movement in again, Bell pushes forward and defends

38.4

Singh to Bell, 2 runs, a touch too straight, and he has clipped it away for a couple behind square

38.5

Singh to Bell, no run, too straight again, played in front of square where Mishra puts in a diving save

38.6

Singh to Bell, no run, shorter, outside off, defended to cover

End of over 39 (2 runs) England 99/2
IR Bell    22* (41b 2x4)      RP Singh    14-4-36-0
KP Pietersen    0* (0b)      S Sreesanth    9-1-31-1

One hour left to win a signed Test shirt from Alastair Cook if you can correctly predict the series result. Go!

Kevin Pietersen to face for the first time. Meanwhile more people walking just over the sight screen. Wonder where the stewards are? Of course they are keeping Alec Stewart from the ground

39.1

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, outswinger, but wide enough for him to leave it

39.2

Sreesanth to Pietersen, FOUR, gets an early edge from KP, who half-heartedly pokes forward at this. A soft outside edge goes along the ground and past third slip

39.3

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, fuller, closer to off, Pietersen comes forward and defends

39.4

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, comes forward and pushes this square with an open face

"India winning a session for the first time since Trent Bridge..wow. The greater challenge lies ahead though. We all know that they are guilty of cooling the pressure cooker," says Dillon

39.5

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, goes wide of the crease, bowls wide too, Pietersen pushes forward and drives this to mid-off

39.6

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, looks to leave this, but decides to do a touch late, and the ball takes the bottom edge even as he is withdrawing the bat. Still it bounces well short and safe

End of over 40 (4 runs) England 103/2
KP Pietersen    4* (6b 1x4)      S Sreesanth    10-1-35-1
IR Bell    22* (41b 2x4)      RP Singh    14-4-36-0

40.1

Singh to Bell, no run, short of a length, angled across, pushed to cover

40.2

Singh to Bell, no run, punched off the back foot, towards cover

40.3

Singh to Bell, no run, stays short of a length, angling away, Bell punches again, can't beat the cover ring

40.4

Singh to Bell, no run, fuller now, around off, Bell is half forward and push-drives it to mid-off

40.5

Singh to Bell, no run, short of a length, pitches middle and leg, angles outside off, Bell gets behind it, pushes it to cover

40.6

Singh to Bell, no run, slight shape back in, ever so slight, Bell is right behind it and defends

End of over 41 (maiden) England 103/2
IR Bell    22* (47b 2x4)      RP Singh    15-5-36-0
KP Pietersen    4* (6b 1x4)      S Sreesanth    10-1-35-1

41.1

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, widish but Pietersen is reaching out for them, gets an inside edge on this one, but it falls safe

41.2

Sreesanth to Pietersen, FOUR, much better delivery, pitches close to off, makes him push at this, gets the outside edge with the swing, but it goes wide of the third slip for four. Wouldn't have carried even if they had any more slips

We now have three slips and one man around the fifth slip

41.3

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, slightly shorter, Pietersen pushes at it again, this time off the middle of the bat

41.4

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, goes wide of the crease now, pitched just outside off, Pietersen leaves this along for a change

41.5

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, wide of the crease, starts outside off, Pietersen leaves it alone

41.6

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, again wide of the crease, Pietersen stretches forward to defend this length ball back to Sreesanth

End of over 42 (4 runs) England 107/2
KP Pietersen    8* (12b 2x4)      S Sreesanth    11-1-39-1
IR Bell    22* (47b 2x4)      RP Singh    15-5-36-0

42.1

Singh to Bell, no run, tries the bouncer, encouragingly for RP, Bell tries a pull shot slightly belatedly, and ends up playing well away from the ball down the leg side

42.2

Singh to Bell, FOUR, fuller, on the pads, nicely glanced away late and fine. Hot Spot shows a bit of an inside edge onto the pads, but the fine leg is square

42.3

Singh to Bell, no run, better line, around off, Bell pushes this back to the bowler

42.4

Singh to Bell, no run, short and angled across, Bell lets Dhoni make the collection

Deepak: "RPS can try and bowl a little slower and try to exploit KP's weakness agains left arm slow bowling." Ouch

42.5

Singh to Bell, no run, length ball around off, Bell on the crease and defends this back

42.6

Singh to Bell, 1 run, gentle short ball into the ribs, Bell has enough time to roll his wrists on the pull. Gets a single to long leg

End of over 43 (5 runs) England 112/2
IR Bell    27* (53b 3x4)      RP Singh    16-5-41-0
KP Pietersen    8* (12b 2x4)      S Sreesanth    11-1-39-1

43.1

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, Sreesanth continues to get the swing away, starts just outside off, and Bell leaves it alone

43.2

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, close to the stumps, pitches it full, just outside off, swings away, Bell pushes it to cover

43.3

Sreesanth to Bell, 1 no ball, goes wide of the crease, gets extra bounce with a 132kph length ball outside off. Bell lets it be. Sreesanth has overstepped

43.3

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, wide of the crease, angling in, moving away, Bell pushes it to cover

43.4

Sreesanth to Bell, no run, goes wide of the crease, but this time ends up straying well down the leg side

43.5

Sreesanth to Bell, 1 run, shortish, into the pads, helped away for a single

43.6

Sreesanth to Pietersen, no run, comes well forward and has to stretch wide to play at this wide one. Keeps it down, driving it towards mid-off

End of over 44 (2 runs) England 114/2
KP Pietersen    8* (13b 2x4)      S Sreesanth    12-1-41-1
IR Bell    28* (59b 3x4)      RP Singh    16-5-41-0

Just the one slip for Singh now

44.1

Singh to Bell, no run, gets slight shape into middle and leg, Bell pushes it down to mid-on

44.2

Singh to Bell, no run, angled across now, 123kph, not too wide, but left alone

44.3

Singh to Bell, no run, back of a length, around off, pushed back to the bowler

44.4

Singh to Bell, no run, fuller, angled across his body, Bell shoulders arms

44.5

Singh to Bell, no run, short and wide, Bell guides it square, Gambhir is sharp at point, denies them the single

44.6

Singh to Bell, no run, fuller, 126kph, around off, pushed back to Singh

End of over 45 (maiden) England 114/2
IR Bell    28* (65b 3x4)      RP Singh    17-6-41-0
KP Pietersen    8* (13b 2x4)      S Sreesanth    12-1-41-1

First signs of Amit Mishra. He has two right-hand batsmen to bowl to. Just one slip

45.1

Mishra to Pietersen, FOUR, and what a statement from Pietersen. This is short, and Pietersen is allowing him no looseners. Rocks back, and muscles this wide of mid-off for four

45.2

Mishra to Pietersen, no run, fuller now, on middle and leg, Pietersen doesn't let it spin, pushes it to midwicket

45.3

Mishra to Pietersen, 1 run, tossed up outside off, Pietersen gets a big stride in, and gets a single to long-off

45.4

Mishra to Bell, no run, tossed up around off, just short of a length, Bell stays back and defends

45.5

Mishra to Bell, no run, nicely flighted, pitches middle and leg, turns towards off, Bell defends

45.6

Mishra to Bell, 1 run, slightly short, and he guides it to deep point for one

What confidence in the spinner. Bowls his first over with a slip and a long-off. It's 120 for 2, not 720 for 2

End of over 46 (6 runs) England 120/2
IR Bell    29* (68b 3x4)      A Mishra    1-0-6-0
KP Pietersen    13* (16b 3x4)      RP Singh    17-6-41-0

Singh goes round the stumps

46.1

Singh to Bell, no run, gets late swing in, full delivery, Bell pushes this to midwicket

I can see Sharma on the field. Don't know when exactly he came back

46.2

Singh to Bell, 1 no ball, more swing in, but this is pitched shortish, and Bell defends. Oversteps too

46.2

Singh to Bell, no run, again some movement in, but down this one ends up down the leg side

46.3

Singh to Bell, no run, punched off the back foot, Raina makes another diving save at extra cover

46.4

Singh to Bell, no run, dabs at this one just outside off, goes to point on the first bounce

46.5

Singh to Bell, no run, full, just outside off, Bell jabs at it, hits it straight into the ground

46.6

Singh to Bell, no run, pitched up, Bell drives on the up, but finds Sharma at mid-off

End of over 47 (1 run) England 121/2
IR Bell    29* (75b 3x4)      RP Singh    18-6-42-0
KP Pietersen    13* (16b 3x4)      A Mishra    1-0-6-0

47.1

Mishra to Pietersen, FOUR, Pietersen looking to impose himself on Mishra. Dances down the track nonchalantly, is beaten in the flight, but still flicks it over midwicket, from well outside off

47.2

Mishra to Pietersen, no run, stays in the crease now and defends

47.3

Mishra to Pietersen, no run, nicely bowled, tossed up, slight dip, pitches middle and leg, turns away slightly. Defended

47.4

Mishra to Pietersen, no run, another forward-defensive from Pietersen

47.5

Mishra to Pietersen, no run, flighted around middle and leg, Pietersen comes forward to defend

47.6

Mishra to Pietersen, no run, slight drift in towards leg, Pietersen covers the spin and defends

End of over 48 (4 runs) England 125/2
KP Pietersen    17* (22b 4x4)      A Mishra    2-0-10-0
IR Bell    29* (75b 3x4)      RP Singh    18-6-42-0

Sharma comes back for a couple of overs before lunch. He has bowled well today. Has two slips and a gully for Bell

48.1

Sharma to Bell, no run, left alone outside off, this is short of length, and doesn't interest Bell

48.2

Sharma to Bell, no run, angling in towards the top of off, Bell defends it back

"Says all you need about what Dhoni thinks of Mishra that Raina got a bowl last night and not Mishra. Ok, Mishra's got a no-ball problem, but at least he's a bowler, unlike Raina." Tim, perhaps that had something to with two left-hand batsmen at the crease

48.3

Sharma to Bell, no run, back of a length, just outside off, pushed to cover

48.4

Sharma to Bell, no run, fuller, Bell drives, finds mid-on

48.5

Sharma to Bell, no run, slight movement in, from short of a length outside off, Bell pushes tentatively, gets an inside edge onto the pads

48.6

Sharma to Bell, no run, short of a length, left alone outside off

End of over 49 (maiden) England 125/2
IR Bell    29* (81b 3x4)      I Sharma    15-6-24-1
KP Pietersen    17* (22b 4x4)      A Mishra    2-0-10-0

"Looking at the over-rate, I strongly doubt Dhoni's presence in the boxing day test at melbourne." Boxer, I think India have a home series against West Indies before they travel to Australia

49.1

Mishra to Pietersen, 1 run, flighted legbreak, guided into the off side for a single. The throw from Raina has hit Pietersen smack under the elbow

Pietersen gets some treatment. Of course Sunny Gavaskar would have spoken of the virtues of making sure the treatment goes for long enough to make sure this is the last over before lunch

49.2

Mishra to Bell, no run, big legbreak outside off, left alone

49.3

Mishra to Bell, no run, another legbreak that pitches outside off, Bell comes forward and then leaves it be

49.4

Mishra to Bell, no run, tossed up towards middle and leg, Bell pushes this back to Mishra

49.5

Mishra to Bell, no run, slightly short of driving length, which makes Bell stretch right forward into a forward defensive

49.6

Mishra to Bell, no run, flighted into middle and leg, Bell defends this back to the bowler

End of over 50 (1 run) England 126/2
IR Bell    29* (86b 3x4)      A Mishra    3-0-11-0
KP Pietersen    18* (23b 4x4)      I Sharma    15-6-24-1
Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100  | Overs 101-150  | Overs 151-200
Series Results
England v India at The Oval - Aug 18-22, 2011
England won by an innings and 8 runs
England v India at Birmingham - Aug 10-13, 2011
England won by an innings and 242 runs
England v India at Nottingham - Jul 29-Aug 1, 2011
England won by 319 runs
England v India at Lord's - Jul 21-25, 2011
England won by 196 runs
More results »

Match Coverage

Photos

Aug 22, 2011

Andrew Strauss and his team-mates strike a jubilant pose, England v India, 4th Test, The Oval, 5th day, August 22, 2011

Andrew Strauss and his team-mates strike a jubilant pose

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Aug 22, 2011

Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell get their hands on the mace, England v India, 4th Test, The Oval, 5th day, August 22, 2011

Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell get their hands on the mace

© Getty Images

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