England v India, 4th Investec Test, Old Trafford, 2nd day August 8, 2014

Root and Buttler sparkle halted by rain

188

England 237 for 6 (Bell 58, Root 48*) lead India 152 by 85 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Play 01:01
Kimber: England need to beat both weather and India

Depending on which forecast you believe, and which proves most accurate, the tail-end of Hurricane Bertha could yet provided England's biggest obstacle to taking a 2-1 lead in the series. The rain that wiped out the best part of two sessions on the second day of the fourth Investec Test was just a traditional summer deluge but interrupted a vibrant stand between Joe Root and Jos Buttler, which had helped England into a lead of 85, and left a corner of the ground saturated.

It was a much-needed partnership for the home side, who had been pegged back to 170 for 6 - an advantage of just 18 - during the morning session as India's pacemen, especially Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron, made use of conditions similarly favourable to the first morning when the visitors found themselves in all sorts of strife.

When Moeen Ali's off stump was uprooted by the impressive Aaron there was a good chance of India restricting England's lead to something very manageable, but Root and Buttler added 67 in 18 overs either side of lunch before the heavy rain swept in. Puddles quickly formed and although the sun re-emerged, a severely waterlogged corner of the outfield - most of which had drained perfectly adequately - prevented further play and raised concerns about how it would cope with further downpours.

Before the rain, there was a good chance to assess another side of Buttler's game. He was able to begin his Test career by walking in at 420 for 5 at the Ageas Bowl; what greeted him this time was a very different scenario. Given the conditions, both he and Root will probably not have been disappointed to have the first session finish with the twin spin of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja even though there was a hint of turn. An off-drive by Buttler in the penultimate over of the session was arguably the shot of the morning and he showed a tight technique.

There was clear urgency after the interval and the hard running by the pair forced errors in the field from India as they became a little ragged. Despite the time lost, and the likelihood of further interruptions - Saturday is best forecast of the remaining days - the game is already reasonably advanced, with the bowlers having been on top. Also, the pitch is not expected to lose its life and if skies remain overcast the quicks should continue to prosper providing players can get on the field.

The opening session had been enthralling, nip-and-tuck Test cricket. India were a little flat in the first half an hour, perhaps a hangover from a difficult first day, as Aaron, who caught the eye with his pace on the previous evening, was held back from the attack. Pankaj Singh shared the early work with Bhuvneshwar but still could not claim a maiden Test wicket; instead he had to endure seeing an inside edge from Chris Jordan narrowly miss the stumps.

Jordan, one of the higher-quality nightwatchmen you will see, fell to a short delivery from Bhuvneshwar which he could not keep down and Aaron took an excellent low catch, to his right, at midwicket. Bhuvneshwar bowled a touch shorter than is his ideal length and his main threat remained with the fuller deliveries.

One such ball snaked past Ian Bell's edge before the next delivery grazed the bat as the batsman was drawn into playing a delivery he could have left. Bell had earlier passed fifty from 63 balls, but England were still trailing as he departed and India had created themselves an opportunity to balance the match.

Root and Moeen were given a testing examination by Bhuvneshwar's swing and Aaron's pace, which continued to nudge 90mph. Both bowlers challenged Moeen with the short delivery and while Bhuvneshwar was dealt with reasonably, Aaron caused problems and his set-up of Moeen from around the wicket was outstanding.

A well-directed short ball had Moeen sparring into the leg side as he was beaten for pace trying to pull, the ball taking the glove wide of short leg, and after Moeen had come back for a second run the next delivery was a spearing inswinger which went between bat and pad into off stump. Although it was not the short ball which took the wicket, it caused the wicket and the dismissal raised further questions about Moeen's handling of that mode of attack.

India could claim to have won their first session since Lord's, but such was the paltry total they had to defend that as soon as one partnership was threatening substance - as Root and Buttler did - England's lead was soon becoming a concern.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 9, 2014, 20:00 GMT

    Don't worry India, you can still win with one match remaining.

  • on August 9, 2014, 19:56 GMT

    Ok India has lost the test match in 2 1/2 days. I have got all the sympathy for all the sponsors, advertisers, air time business people who have entered into contract for TV and Radios and not but the least the paying public who booked entry tickets for the grounds assuming that the match would go on for five days. To please these businessmen, I would suggest that Mr Cook ask India to bat AGAIN for the third time in this match and no doubt India would be able to score only about 150 runs and still loose the test. I request the MCC to award the match so won as DOUBLE INNINGS DEFEAT. I do hope all the Indians who watched the match would comply with me. Above all why you need Batting coach, Bowling coach, Fielding coach for scoring such scores?

  • mzm149 on August 9, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    @Just_chill_chill: I feel sorry for you. Actually I predicted England will lead by 200 runs, India will last 3 sessions and match will go into 4th or 5th day. But India did much worse than what I had expected. See my predictions are right.

    Now I predict India will lose the Oval one as well.

  • on August 9, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    Excellent batting by Root and Buttler following the early wickets that India badly needed. A huge pity the rain that then washed out any prospect of play, but certainly advantage England.

  • on August 9, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    Aaron bowled really well esp. to left handers alone..!!

  • SirViv1973 on August 9, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    The loss of Root & Buttler just before lunch might not be a bad thing for Eng. Had they carried on batting there may have been a tendency to bat on a bit too long given the impeding rain. As it is Eng have a healthy lead and should now get 50 plus overs at Ind before stumps. If we bowl well in that period then one full session on either of the last 2 days may well be enough to win the match. It's probably just a case of survival for Ind in this match now.

  • on August 9, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    this defeat will make India learn a lot is yes. . These are those days when team selection goes wrong, lack of focus puts down batting..ready to accept defeat and India will bounce back..it's not as disgraceful getting lose 0-5 in ashes. Indian work on their flaws come back with 4+1 bowling attack at oval..it's a lot of improvement than that in 2011 dismay performance. .definitely draw on cards from India this series.. just focus and better yourself India in second innings.. things happen not to worry.. even if England tour India they may face white wash. . come on team India.. be positive, and come back hard in the final test.. chak De India....

  • BHAASCARAN on August 9, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    Cheers at last Pankaj got 2 wickets.But the lead for england is big.Can Indian batsman make amends for first innings failiure or england bowlers topple our batsman or Rain going to saver INDIA

  • Rom1966 on August 9, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Dhoni maybe a brillant 1day captain and player but in the test arena he struggles. Tactically poor and his wicket keeping is awful.

  • Mervo on August 9, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    India's spinners seem quite toothless and devoid of any guile except for sideways spin and that seems unavailable. Where are the spinners who could command respect anywhere through the many ways they had to get batsmen out, such as Bedi, Gibbs, Warne, and Muttiah? India in Australia will be interesting as we have many wickets that reward quality spinners in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. However 6 ducks in this match shows that they are not the best batting side either.

  • on August 9, 2014, 20:00 GMT

    Don't worry India, you can still win with one match remaining.

  • on August 9, 2014, 19:56 GMT

    Ok India has lost the test match in 2 1/2 days. I have got all the sympathy for all the sponsors, advertisers, air time business people who have entered into contract for TV and Radios and not but the least the paying public who booked entry tickets for the grounds assuming that the match would go on for five days. To please these businessmen, I would suggest that Mr Cook ask India to bat AGAIN for the third time in this match and no doubt India would be able to score only about 150 runs and still loose the test. I request the MCC to award the match so won as DOUBLE INNINGS DEFEAT. I do hope all the Indians who watched the match would comply with me. Above all why you need Batting coach, Bowling coach, Fielding coach for scoring such scores?

  • mzm149 on August 9, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    @Just_chill_chill: I feel sorry for you. Actually I predicted England will lead by 200 runs, India will last 3 sessions and match will go into 4th or 5th day. But India did much worse than what I had expected. See my predictions are right.

    Now I predict India will lose the Oval one as well.

  • on August 9, 2014, 14:17 GMT

    Excellent batting by Root and Buttler following the early wickets that India badly needed. A huge pity the rain that then washed out any prospect of play, but certainly advantage England.

  • on August 9, 2014, 13:12 GMT

    Aaron bowled really well esp. to left handers alone..!!

  • SirViv1973 on August 9, 2014, 12:09 GMT

    The loss of Root & Buttler just before lunch might not be a bad thing for Eng. Had they carried on batting there may have been a tendency to bat on a bit too long given the impeding rain. As it is Eng have a healthy lead and should now get 50 plus overs at Ind before stumps. If we bowl well in that period then one full session on either of the last 2 days may well be enough to win the match. It's probably just a case of survival for Ind in this match now.

  • on August 9, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    this defeat will make India learn a lot is yes. . These are those days when team selection goes wrong, lack of focus puts down batting..ready to accept defeat and India will bounce back..it's not as disgraceful getting lose 0-5 in ashes. Indian work on their flaws come back with 4+1 bowling attack at oval..it's a lot of improvement than that in 2011 dismay performance. .definitely draw on cards from India this series.. just focus and better yourself India in second innings.. things happen not to worry.. even if England tour India they may face white wash. . come on team India.. be positive, and come back hard in the final test.. chak De India....

  • BHAASCARAN on August 9, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    Cheers at last Pankaj got 2 wickets.But the lead for england is big.Can Indian batsman make amends for first innings failiure or england bowlers topple our batsman or Rain going to saver INDIA

  • Rom1966 on August 9, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Dhoni maybe a brillant 1day captain and player but in the test arena he struggles. Tactically poor and his wicket keeping is awful.

  • Mervo on August 9, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    India's spinners seem quite toothless and devoid of any guile except for sideways spin and that seems unavailable. Where are the spinners who could command respect anywhere through the many ways they had to get batsmen out, such as Bedi, Gibbs, Warne, and Muttiah? India in Australia will be interesting as we have many wickets that reward quality spinners in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. However 6 ducks in this match shows that they are not the best batting side either.

  • on August 9, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    first kohli drops then dhoni missed run out then umpire marasmus not given lbw every thing going against

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on August 9, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    Every team has its strong bowling attack, AUS- speed, pace and bounce. SA-speed, pace and bounce. ENG-speed, pace and bounce. NZ-speed, pace and bounce. PAK-Spin, pace. Since the past i have seen INDIA's strong point has been spin bowling, chandrashekhar, vinu mankad, anil kumble, harbhajan singh, pragyan ojha... But at the moment i can see, INDIA dont have spin quality anymore, is ravi jadeja is a spinner??? 'sir' ravindra jadeja himself found guilty in 1st test in the land where 'sir' degree used to give. Sad to say INDIA dont have spinners anymore, killed by twin 'D's, Duncan and Dhoni.

  • 1st_WC_without_Sachin on August 9, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    As far as you and i following cricket, do you have dare to say Dunkan fletcher is a good coach for tests?... No. Should be the answer... Before joining BCCI upto May 2011, he was coach of ECB, and i believe it was the same state of english team in tests what india is suffering now... Duncan fletcher is so much defensive coach... Any arguments???

  • on August 9, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    England are clear favourites hope rain can help India

  • on August 9, 2014, 11:13 GMT

    India India !!! India India !!!!

  • on August 9, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    Poor batting from Moin. He needs to fix his weakness against genuine pace.

  • on August 9, 2014, 10:57 GMT

    very very poor captaincy by dhoni.. 1. prefer pankaj over sami 2. opt to bat after winning toss on fast and swinging post rain conditoons. 3. giving boll to pankaj prior to varon 4. not using varon as striking bowler

  • Jimi01 on August 9, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    @rajesh_india. Your comments are hilarious Mr. "Only rain can save Eng now"? "Bowl anywhere and bowler can pick up wickets" Ha ha. If thats the case where are the wickets? Indian bowlers as well as batsman are pathetic, thank you India for getting our team back in form.

  • on August 9, 2014, 10:52 GMT

    with the ways things are going England are clear favourites in this match..but I am optimistic in India's chances in the oval for the draw..India can take back positives like Aaron s pace , from here. .it's been a blunder in going with pankaj and that too having 3 fast bowlers. .India to include ishwar pandey for pankaj Singh and shami or ishanth if pos umesh yadav or praveen kumar call back for ishanth..and dhawan for gambhir too..its high ti time expecting miracles with lead soring in such a pitch.. better India look to give some fight batting well in second innings not throwing away wkts..it's surely not unlucky for pankaj, it's his indiscipline bowling , lack.of intent to create opportunities.. pankaj Singh and bizzare 8-4 is the cause for Indian lose in this match.. can't rely on rain too to save the match..

  • parikshit_Ops on August 9, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    Not good stuff from Jadeja. Bad line, too quick bowling. He could have had a wicket, if he had bowled more slowly and outside off line, asking batsman to drive.. Moeen bowled good line in last test and was able to extract bounce, Jadeja too is getting some. Not much skill, just common cricket sense required and then we wonder why Moeen Ali got the wickets and Jadeja didn't in last test.

  • parikshit_Ops on August 9, 2014, 10:35 GMT

    Seriously I dont know how Jadeja decides where to bowl. He bowled 2 deliveries loopy ones outside off, had batsman beaten on both occasions. This guy still continues to bowl middle - off stump line for 80% balls. He maybe thinks that he needs to block boundaries but only succeeds in giving easy singles taken buy nudging to left side. Guess its been problem with India's spinners, too much defensive..

  • on August 9, 2014, 9:30 GMT

    Fun fact: Chris Woakes and Pankaj Singh have a collective bowling average of 480 at the time of writing. So if they were your only two bowlers they might bowl the other team out for 4800!

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 9:23 GMT

    @sachin_ten_fan: I also hope we win but I'm inclined to agree with you about Dhoni's tactics etc. I'm also more reluctant to believe that any significant changes will be made regarding Dhoni, management, coaches etc, even if we were to get annihilated in this and the next match. History seems to indicate that such changes won't be made and Dhoni is clearly permitted to make amends for failures in tests with successes other formats.

    I think the best indicator we could have about the future of Indian test cricket is waiting for us a few months away in Australia. I'm not so concerned about whether we win or lose those matches but I'm really keen to see if appropriate changes are made by then. Sensible squad and playing XI selections, a willingness to rotate bowlers before they disintegrate, a show of application and determination by individuals, a refusal to capitulate, the ability to adapt techniques to conditions, etc... A new captain would be great too!!!

    A lot to hope for though...

  • Thewhizzer on August 9, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    I think it's about time when playing a test match to use a covered stadium similar to the one in Melbourne, which can be opened; rain spoils any type of cricket. Nobody really likes the D/L method but no other choice is available at this time. The comment by Kashi0127 is ridiculous in my opinion, why have a third umpire who is Indian is beyond me! The pitches in India are tailor made for them most countries have known this for years. The controversy of the direct review system shows an example of this

  • on August 9, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    The greatness or limitation of life is such that no one can tell under most circumstances what exactly will happen in the future - and this applies to here too because there is no way to tell how england should approach this test (if the rain lets game happen today). Since there is absolutely no way to know aggressive batting can be achieved with saving wickets so cook will not know how to approach this. If he asks his batsmen to bat fast and if runs come quickly with not losing quick wickets then we will tell he did something great, but if this approach backfires then we will feel sad. On the otherhand if he asks his batsmen to bat slowly and if in the process not much runs get scored then also we will feel sad. But one thing is certain - nobody including cook will 100% know what is the best approach in this situation so it is just choosing one option and keeping the fingers crossed and hoping for the best. Goodlucks england!

  • sachin_ten_fan on August 9, 2014, 8:45 GMT

    Best case scenario for indian supporters this morning - England get bowled out for less than 120 runs lead, then India bat all day and score 300 odd runs for 4/5 wickets. Then it rains on day 4 and 5 and we all are happy that rain saved England. On the contrary what will happen is, dhoni will once again start the day off with ever dependable pair of jadeja and pankaj singh for the first 9 overs as the new ball beckons. By then root and butler will have made sure that the lead is 150 odd and beyond India. Then the sting would have gone and Mr impeccable dhoni will wait for declaration to happen in the hope that its going to rain on days 4 and 5. Cook will declare just after lunch with 200 runs lead and that will be enough for them to bowl india out in the remaining 2 sessions. I HOPE MY PREDICTION IS NOT TRUE but its hard to trust dhoni and co in anything. This loss will be good for India and they will once and for all get rid of current management of dhoni (from tests) and fletcher.

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    @Kashi0127: lol

    @markatnotts: "we don't yet know how this series is going to pan out" - spot on. Even with the weather forecasts there is still potential for a result in this match - things could go either way for either team in a single session, or even spell. And the way this series is going, speculations about the fifth match at this point in time seem to me "adventurous" at best!

    On another, totally unrelated note I just wanted to say that I think it is a sign of great respect that South Africa have sent their usual squad (minus Tahir - for which I assume many South Africans would be grateful) to Zimbabwe. It would have been easier, and probably cheaper, to send a second string outfit but good on them for not doing so. Zimbabwe need all the cricket they can get, and regardless of the outcome, I'm sure they will be excited to host a full strength #1 test team!! Good luck Zimbabwe!!!

  • on August 9, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    It looks like the raining is a possibility even today too as per the weather forecast so this is very sad indeed. Although this is not a definitive advantage for england at this moment but considering that there is some advantage to england so this rain is going to spoil everything.

    When will a day come when all the cricket stadiums in rain affected areas will have a roof over the ground (indoor type arrangement), or when will they invent some thick material that can actually cover the whole ground in very short amount of time, also when the rain stops this whole ground covering material should be able to be removed from the ground immediately. If human beings can reach moon in 1969 can't we invent such whole ground covering material in 2014 or an indoor type of roof that can cover the whole ground as and when needed with floodlight options to illuminate the ground when the roof is closed, or even keep the roof permanently covered and make it permanent indoor stadium.

  • prij on August 9, 2014, 8:40 GMT

    By seeing some comments here they are just degrading to the spirit of cricket. cricket is considered as gentlemen's game but fans of this game are no where near gentleman. instead of supporting good cricket whether played by india or england fans just start to degrade the team who hasn't played good. till noe series is 1-1 and this match is not over yet so we don't know who will be the winner. as far as i can say both teams are struggling and both teams have played some good game in the series. I hope this series is a draw so supporters of both the team can shut up and enjoy the game for once. (please publish)

  • MSGharat on August 9, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    If there is rain forecast, it is a dilemma for England whether they go in for quick runs, and lose wickets in the bargain, or take their time and extend their lead so that they do not have to bat again. For India the longer England bat the less they will have to bat in the 2 days. I would like to believe that England is the team which has to take all the initiative, India just wait and watch and hope.

  • on August 9, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    @GRVJPR- You're absolutely right mate.. Our seam bowlers doesn't even have experience of 20 tests combined but they are giving England a run for their money whereas Anderson and Broad have more than 150 tests experience together.. India deserves to win this series.. and they will eventually! Only rain can help England to save this match!

  • Cricfever_PM on August 9, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    Seems rain is saving India and anything more then 120 or 130 run lead would be danger for India, though our bowlers bowled well the runs were leaked too much and i think we must bowl line and length to contain the run and make them play the short/line balls thats the area we can take wickets. The rain prediction is there for another 3 day and this match may end up in Draw or Eng win, and we have very less probability to win the match.

  • markatnotts on August 9, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    @-Will-, superb comments. We don't know yet how this series is going to pan putt so for someone to make arrogant sweeping with scant evidence and then express outrage at anyone who dares to disagree is just completely mad!

  • Kashi0127 on August 9, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    There is a big problem with Indian Cricket Board. Why are we touring England? Or for that matter why is a tour scheduled for Australia? Only overseas tours should be t Bangla Desh and Zimbabwe. Of course we should also include Canada , Ireland, Netherlands and Afghanistan as soon as they get Test status. All of these tours should also be periodically evaluated to see if these countries start winning against India then drop that too.

    India should play with all countries only in India. And India should recommend few changes to playing rules. Every match that India plays should have a 3rd umpire who is Indian and can overrule any field decisions without ascribing any reason. If Indian board does not wake up and adopt these measures there won't be anybody to watch the game and Indian boads will not make money and that will be end of Indian cricket!

  • Kashi0127 on August 9, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    @_-Will-_ you missed GRVJPR (and probably few others). GRVJPR is a die hard India fan who believes India will win even with 9 9 wickets down and trailing by 400 runs on a fast pacy wicket.

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    @Surajrises: Agreed about potential captaincy candidates - scarce to say the least, and the fact that suitable candidates are not really being explored at the moment says a lot about Indian cricket.

    Pujara is presently experiencing a reality check, results pending. Gambhir should retire. I feel Kholi as captian would be a disaster because he seems emotionally immature. Leave Vijay and Rahane alone! Maybe Ashwin? It sounds like a stretch but to me he seems the least unsuitable. Or do a SA job with some young talent- just throw him in the deep end and say "sink or swim"!!

    I really believe our domestic stats are totally misleading: Pujara has bucket-loads of runs at home but is clearly struggling against quality swing bowling. Pankaj has ~300 wickets but can't create chances on a bowling friendly pitch (unlucky last match, hasn't impressed since). Jadeja, Rohit, Dhawan- heroes at home but what have they done elsewhere?

    And this is the pool from which our next captain will be chosen...

  • Kashi0127 on August 9, 2014, 7:43 GMT

    @Rajesh_india_1990 Aron compared to Marshal? That's a joke. Aron was good no doubt but to compare him to anyone of these - Marshall, Roberts, Garner, Holding, Lillee, Steyn (am sure there are lot more) is ridiculous

  • Kashi0127 on August 9, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    I feel England should declare right away and try and get India out ASAP. The morning pitch would certainly help pace bowlers and I would not surprised if India fold for less than 100.

  • GRVJPR on August 9, 2014, 7:31 GMT

    Clearly England saved by rain. Indian pacers were making them shiver. England can't play fast short ball that is clear now. It is 10th match in a row where they are bounced out. Even if england takes a lead of 200, the match is in balance. English bowling is not capable of picking 20 Indian wickets if umpires don't make howlers like in last test match to gift them wickets. Jordan and wokes are quite ordinary to be very frank. All in all It has been a great tour for this young indian team whose opening bowlers don't even have a 20 test match experience. Well done young India to give run for money to Old and boring england team. There is no doubt India is a deserving winner of this series.

  • jimbond on August 9, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    A few things are clear by this time. Indian batsmen- especially this lot has no clue of how to play on pitches where ball tends to move a bit. The second is that England's batting is still far from recovered. Cook's previous innings was merely lucky- his days of dominance are gone- he has been found out. Anderson and Broad- on their day can run through a slightly weak team. But if any top order could blunt them a bit, England is there for the taking. One of the problems with Indian batting is their top order which can't see off the first new ball. Gambhir has the same weakness as Dhawan, and Vijay in his normal form cannot manage to play swing. Pujara somehow is playing strangely. Kohli is overated, and India was foolish to drop Rohit Sharma instead of Jadeja/Ashwin on this pitch.

  • AVRAJAN on August 9, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    My suggestion is the coach should teach Ashwin to correct his weak areas and make him a top order batsman.Bring Ishwar in place of jadeja and make India a full pace attack like the one time West Indies. Appoint a old-pro like Des.Haynes as batting coach for India.

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:54 GMT

    @baskar_guha- Even if England gets 100 run lead, They won't declare bcz they know 100 runs lead isn't satisfactory enough against this Indian batting line-up, They may have failed in the first innings but they won't repeat the same in the second innings and Cook looks smart enough to me who would know what this batting line-up can do even though ppl here at cricinfo don't .. He won't declare until he's satisfied with a lead of atleast 200 runs..

  • Nutcutlet on August 9, 2014, 6:47 GMT

    In view of the poor weather forecast for Sunday, Cook needs to regard today as a day that all but delivers the victory. Buttler, Root and the rest need to set out in business-like manner and a lead of no more than 250 should signal a declaration. This should be achievable by mid-afternoon. If JA & SB can have at least half a day at the brittle Indian batting lineup by the close today, the match may not need more than a couple of hours' play on Monday. And that may be all that is available, as tomorrow is very likely to be a complete washout and Monday's forecast may not deliver more than a half day. This is an opportunity for Cook to show a bit of nous as captain. Let's hope he grabs it.

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:33 GMT

    the simple equation that will decide this test match. the lead england will take and the no of wickets india loose during covering the deficit. if they loose more than 3, they will loose this test

  • baskar_guha on August 9, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    As I see it, there are probably 6 sessions left in this test thanks to wet weather on Sunday and Monday. If I were England, I would declare as soon as I get to a 100 run lead and try to put the unsure Indian top-order under pressure. If I were India, I would make it very hard for England to get a large lead - initially by trying to take wickets but inevitably through containment if possible.

  • on August 9, 2014, 6:06 GMT

    @_-Will-_- We shall see who's gonna have the last laugh at the end of this series.. I have already promised everyone here that I will have the last laugh here at cricinfo..literally! For the moment, Enjoy our comments.. And please don't act like a know-it-all person.. You're not the only cricket fan in the world, I am entitled to my opinion and you or anyone can't stop me or my friends from supporting our team no matter how they perform... We know in our heart and soul that India's winning this series bcz we are die-hard fans not paper fans...

  • Surajrises on August 9, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    @Wapuser Your Cricketing judgement is poorer than Dhoni & Cook's Captaincy. On what basis do u think that Pujara can actually lead this side! Even if u had said Gambhir, I could have understood but Pujara! India needs him to focus on his batting than the additional responsibility of Captaincy! Unfortunately for India and fortunately for Dhoni, the selectors are not able to see anyone in this team who is capable of leading India in Test Cricket thanks to Virat Kohli's performance as well! Dhoni knows that as well and he will actually not quit till he feels he is done with this format and till then I don't know how many more Test Series will India lose! India have managed to save Cook's Captaincy at Southampton for least till the period of next Ashes Series. With Virat's dismal performance throughout this series I don't know how are the selectors going to react and will they give him another go for a Test Series abroad. He just seems to have lost all his focus! He looks depressed!

  • on August 9, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    I think aus and sa good teams to play test cricket

  • on August 9, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    dhoni will retire after his 100test. next match bring ojha for gg. if ishant isn't fit bring ishwar for pankaj.

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    I wish to extend my thanks to Arun Bose, black_bird, Rajesh_india_1990 and others who post similarly. Your comments are always amusing and never fail to bring significant comic relief to an otherwise fairly serious thread!!

    Please keep up the good work, and do not worry about those who say you guys are an embarrassment to all other Indian fans!!

    You have managed to distinguish yourselves from level-headed Indian fans, and indeed cricket fans in general, by ensuring your comments are so far removed from reality as to void any serious consideration!!

    Thanks again!!!

  • on August 9, 2014, 5:35 GMT

    Too shocked by the Indian batting collapse to comment! England deserve to win and if the rains ruin it, that would be really unfair.

  • on August 9, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    What is most frustrating is doni's luck factor in the last about 2 years or so. wherever the luck factor can have a role it almost always goes in favor of doni. Winning frequent tosses, winning crucial tosses, off-form players of his team mysteriously gaining form, in-form players of the opposition team mysteriously losing form, crucial umpiring decisions going in favor of him - you name any all these go in favor of doni. See here what is happening- at Lords also there was some rain possibility and if rain indeed came there then england could have saved that test, even it rained for one session england could have survived and even the weather forecast suggested rain in lords but it never came but here now it is downpour for multiple sessions and it may happen again in the next few days, so again doni will have the last laugh. I am not telling england is definitely ahead here but overall it seems engalnd is bit ahead but doni's huge luck is pulling things back to his favor again.

  • mzm149 on August 9, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    @just_chill_chill: FYI Pakistan didn't lose the matches against Ireland and Afghanistan.

    As far as Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are concerned let's compare overall records of India and Pakistan against them.

    Against Bangladesh

    in tests

    Pakistan lost 0 out of 8 (0%) India lost 0 out of 2 (0%)

    in ODIs

    Pakistan lost 1 out of 31 (3.22%) India lost 3 out of 28 (10.71%)

    in t20

    Pakistan lost 0 out of 7 (0%) India lost 0 out of 2 (0%)

    Against Zimbabwe

    in tests

    Pakistan lost 3 out of 17 (17.65%) India lost 2 out of 11 (18.18%)

    in ODIs

    Pakistan lost 3 out of 47 (6.38%) India lost 10 out of 56 (17.86%)

    in t20

    Pakistan lost 0 out of 5 (0%) India lost 0 out of 2 (0%)

    You can judge yourself which team has better record. Showing weakness of Pakistan will not make India a great team by any means.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 9, 2014, 5:14 GMT

    @Black bird - 'Kohli will break all records in 8 years bat,bowl,field'. Way things are going now it wont take that long.The catches definitely,or the drop catches to be precise!Batting-doubtful seeing his struggles v pace.Bowling- @110 ks,not likely. :)

  • on August 9, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    India will lose this match. Poor show by the Indian Batsmen.

  • on August 9, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    Time has come to replace dhoni atleast in test format.I think pujara can handle test captaincy and we need re- think about Kohli's batting position.According to me rahane should promote at 3 pujara 4 and kohli 5.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 9, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Just a word on commentators on star.A big praise for Sourav 'Dada'.Been a treat,as well as informative listening to his v balanced opinions in both Eng and Hindi.Easily best,most balanced Ind commentator,arguably best on view.Cant say same of Dahia,Lal.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 9, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    @Arun-Bose -Yes,mate. Ind to complete a resounding inngs. + 500 run W by stumps today! A possibility if tests were played in a parallel universe, or for that matter ,@ Mars! Unfortunately its not so.Welcome to Manchester,mate!-:)

  • cricfansince91 on August 9, 2014, 4:51 GMT

    Apart from playing 5 bowlers and electing to bat on winning toss, MSD has been his usual self- Very Conservative with decisions bordering on called Stupid... but he still has chance to make up by going for kill whenever the game begins, for at least first 40 minutes with Bhubaneshwar & Varun aaron.. and if nothing happens he can fall back to his defensive ways!!!! there is noway India can prevent lead except by taking early wickets!!!!!

  • pro_test on August 9, 2014, 4:48 GMT

    @Arun Bose I dont see India winning this test. England will easily take lead of around 150 and thats a big lead IMO. So either England Win or a Draw in case of bad weather destroying the game.

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 4:37 GMT

    @Wilbur Cabral: I don't understand your statement. You ask us to compare this squad with the last squad that was humiliated in England (and Australia). You also state that this squad does not contain the likes of VVS, SRT, RD etc. But the squads that were beaten badly by England and Australia DID contain those players. Are you saying we would be better off with or without them? I don't follow!

    And Lords was not a convincing win - England gifted that one to us. As for Dhoni, I agree there isn't an obvious replacement. We should have sorted this out years ago when it became apparent that Dhoni is simply not test match material. Dhoni's achievements in other formats are praiseworthy but his success does not extend to tests. We can't change captains mid series but we should start thinking about it now imo.

    Also, how long a rope should we give certain players before resting or dropping them? We're too hellbent on reputation. If we select on current form alone we end up with a better team.

  • landl47 on August 9, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    Or to put it another way, Arun Bose, you're praying for rain.

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 9, 2014, 4:01 GMT

    Varon Aaron aka Malcolm marshall will fire thunderbolts @150ks and will rattle this english team tommorow..#legends.are.born.not.created

  • bhushanB on August 9, 2014, 3:56 GMT

    @Happy_hamster

    My post on Anderson not being as fast as Aaron, is just in response to wapuser, who said that even anderson and broad were as fast as aaron -- just my observation on the speed. Other than that nothing against Anderson's pace or lack of it.

    For that matter Bhuvi bowled the best in this series so far and he is definitely the slowest of the lot and that does not undermine his quality. He was just overused and had to bat a lot more in the first two tests, that showed its effect in the Test No.3. If at all Dhoni has managed him reasonably better, he would have performed definitely a notch higher and out of the reach of any other bowler this series...

    Posted by wapuser on (August 8, 2014, 13:57 GMT) @Rajesh_Indian_1990 You're comparing Aaron to the great Malcolm Marshall ? Wow. Thunderbolts? He's bowled in the mid 80s which I agree is sharp but nothing outstanding. So please spare us. He's no Akhtar or Lee. Even Anderson and broad was as fast as him.

  • black_bird on August 9, 2014, 3:39 GMT

    Whoever is asking to drop kohli is either plastic indian fan or india haters. This guy is playing consistently well. 100s after 100s for a long long time. Just couple of innings he did not score hundreds and haters are bashing him?. Mark my word, within 8 years, he will break all records as batsman, bowler, fielder.

  • on August 9, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    All the comments about replacing Dhoni, Kohli and Pujara are really something to cringe about. Compare the performance of the current squad against the performance of the last squad which toured England. At least this one's been able to convincingly WIN a test match- and that too, at a venue that was blatantly prepared in favour of the hosts. To add to, there are no Tendulkars, Dravids, Laxmans and Zaheer Khan's in our squad, how can you guys crucify Dhoni? C'mon guys, you cannot expect a test squad with a reputation as bad travelers not to have such an extended bad run, especially during a build up period. I wish you guys would cut Dhoni and Co. some slack. He IS the best available person for the job.

  • on August 9, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    rain definitely came at the right time for india. england had batted out the morning session, which is the most difficult one. india just edged them in the morning session by taking 3 wickets. now was england's turn to make some quick runs before the new ball was taken, but the rain interrupted taking away england's advantage. now they will have to do the hard work again in the morning session with every likelihood of getting bowled out in difficult conditions tomorrow morning that means advantage india. this is the beauty of test cricket. if india shows some gutts with the bat in their 2nd innings, the match is still anybody's. england for now are in the driver's seat with this meager lead on a tough pitch. really hope for an uninterrupted play. great match!

  • on August 9, 2014, 2:47 GMT

    I agree with those of the view that more Indian players should play County cricket, especially a batsmen like Pujara who doesn't cut the mustard in the IPL. Let him give the opportunity for lesser known talents to shine at the IPL.

  • on August 9, 2014, 2:37 GMT

    rain definitely came at the right time for india. england had batted out the morning session, which is the most difficult one. india just edged them in the morning session by taking 3 wickets. now was england's turn to make some quick runs before the new ball was taken, but the rain interrupted taking away england's advantage. now eng will have to do the hard work again in the morning session with every likelihood of getting bowled out in difficult conditions tomorrow morning that means advantage india. this is the beauty of test cricket. if india shows some gutts with the bat in their 2nd innings, the match is still anybody's. england for now are in the driver's seat with this meager lead on a tough pitch.

  • on August 9, 2014, 2:24 GMT

    India lost this tour at the selection post. I mean, a total newbie (Pankaj Singh) for the lively pitches of England, and a genuine pace and swing bowler (Yadav) pushed to Bangladesh? Yeah, congratulations selectors, you keep on killing our expresses. Look what Varun has done, made them dance...he may have wasted many deliveries, but he has three wickets to moot. Umesh would have done something similar, i'm sure. I mean, when you have Ishant (pace and bounce), Varun (far more pace and bounce) and Umesh (pace and wing), why look at the Pankal's and Shamis? Let Pankaj keep on blaming luck and Shami go and dance. So well done! But hey, the scoreline is 1-1 and its still not lost. The Umesh and Ishants aren't on their way to Mars!

  • on August 9, 2014, 2:06 GMT

    There's a possibility that we might get full 90 overs today, England are just 85 runs ahead(Which is a nothing lead IMO), Indian bowlers will get remaining 4 wickets in quick time today if weather permits and then Indian batting line-up will bat out the whole day if weather permits.. I don't see England winning this game, It's either India win or a possible draw(Only due to rain).. India's not losing this one(or this series).

  • jmcilhinney on August 9, 2014, 1:58 GMT

    The funny thing about Moeen's dismissal was that he pulled his front leg bag as he realised that the ball was coming in but, if he'd just let the ball hit the pad, he would have been hit outside the line of off and been not out LBW.

    This game could provide a test for Cook's captaincy. If England do mange to build a appreciable lead, Cook may have to declare sooner than he'd like to ensure that they have enough time to win if more rain comes. If they lose wickets then it may be a moot but I'm not sure that England would want to bat more than half-way to tea tomorrow. If they can bat that long then they should have over 200 lead and probably shouldn't end up having chase for than about 150. It would be a travesty if England batted too long and didn't leave themselves enough time to bowl India out.

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 1:52 GMT

    Continued....

    5) hire proven coaching staff that will push players out of their comfort zones and towards their full potential

    6) hold coaches and players to higher standards - discard them if they continue to fail to deliver results despite umpteen chances

    7) when bowlers like Yadav and Aaron appear, do all that is possible to nurture and guide them to reach their full potential. This includes psychological guidance as well as technical and physical training. And give them at least a fraction of the chances less talented players seem to enjoy without reason.

    8) instill in all players a genuine desire to compete to win - drive this message home until it becomes a fundamental component of the team ethos

    9) install a captain with the same desire to win every match he plays

    10) define specific goals

    These are just some points and I suppose I'm just echoing what several others have already mentioned for years till present. Easier said than done, yes, but if everything were easy....

  • nathankathiravan7 on August 9, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    Dhoni missed the trick, he got Moeen Ali's wicket. Should kept on going with V Aaron and B Kumar after lunch...

  • CricketChat on August 9, 2014, 1:41 GMT

    If Eng can secure a lead around 225-250, it's their test to lose. Hopefully, the rain stays away rest of the match. Meanwhile, Ind can continue to make new records while the quest for a stable continues.

  • John-Orford on August 9, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    Silverbails, Kohli, Dhawan and Pujara may have performed badly, but it's India's hard luck that they are all out of form. I see TenCricket where I live and watch them playing good stuff, even against South Africa. In particular Kohli looks like an Indian great to come.

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 1:19 GMT

    Here are some ideas I wish India would adopt for the fifth test and beyond:

    1) Select squads and playing XI's on current form only 2) Abandon the four bowler theory altogether 3) Use four pacers and Ashwin unless a rank turner is provided for Jadeja 4) Exclude Gambhir, Pankaj and Shami from future touring squads 5) Rest batsmen like Pujara and Kholi after fewer failures than they are now permitted. 6) Drop them if they continue to fail despite a balanced mix of rest and chances

    My thoughts are based on the likelihood that more urgent changes to Indian cricket will not be made. Some of these include:

    1) competitive domestic pitches so that domestic runs and wickets are more indicative of a player's actual capabilities elsewhere than India 2) send worthwhile players to foreign domestic circuits 3) protect genuine test players from T20 and even 50 overs format if necessary 4) devise a system to compensate them for loss of earnings due to missing T20's etc

    to be continued....

  • JoshFromJamRock on August 9, 2014, 0:51 GMT

    I believe in choosing a team that takes into consideration the opponent's weaknesses. England struggle against spin and genuine pace. Picking medium pacers is futile against them as they play such bowlers day in and day out. Bhuvi is a very skillful bowler but the other 77-82 mph bowlers aren't worth it in England.

    If India had chosen Yadav, Aaron, Bhuvi, Ashwin and Jadeja as its bowling attack, they have had England on the ropes. In regards to the batting only Rahane and Vijay down well. Pujara and Kohli have been getting some beautiful unplayable deliveries but Dhawan, Gambhir and Rohit have obvious flaws in their techniques.

  • _-Will-_ on August 9, 2014, 0:48 GMT

    The following sequence has been a recurring theme in our away tests for some time now:

    1) build pressure 2) relieve pressure before serious inroads are made 3) lose any advantages that pressure may have created in the first place 4) let the match drift away....

    Any viewer who is new to test match cricket could be forgiven for thinking this is actually part of the Indian game plan, so routinely does this occur.

    In this match, particularly in the second session yesterday, Dhoni's bowling changes appeared to defy logic. It is impossible to know what might have happened had rain not intervened, but suffice to say that Root and Buttler appeared entirely comfortable at the crease after Ali's wicket fell. They were allowed to settle in against our two least threatening bowlers. They were allowed to cruise through to lunch without a hint of pressure, and after lunch were treated to much the same.

    For the life of me, I just can't work this sort of stuff out....

  • Silverbails on August 9, 2014, 0:41 GMT

    Sadly, it looks like there are only likely to be 2 possible results, regardless of the predicted rain on Sunday - either an Indian loss or a lucky draw. This Indian team has shown that they've returned to their bad old touring days. Not used to the cold or the conditions, and getting hammered by the opposition!! Sound familiar? Sadly, it's been the top order batting that has let india down badly. Kohli, Dhawan and Pujara have all performed badly. Or, is it just that they prefer the cash from the ODI's and T20's to spur them on? Absolute lack of batting technique in the longest form of the game. This is the only format that really matters in the pantheon of the game. Anyway, I fear another drubbing here, and at the last Test Match. Result may be either 2 -1 or 3 - 1 to England. It really is hard to see any other results from this hapless team. Time to replace the defensive Dhoni with another Captain of the Test Team...

  • Pritt32 on August 9, 2014, 0:24 GMT

    The forecast not looking promising at all. India seems be out of the game with a paltry total of 152. England reeling at 237 for 6 shows India lack the killer instinct to take 4 wickets and there is a possibility the lead could stretch to 200, making it difficult for Indian victory. India have made England look good with toothless performances, when there is nothing outstanding about the team at all and stronger opposition would do a better job than India like Australia. Indian have to raise their game in this match.

  • on August 9, 2014, 0:14 GMT

    If we can get just 4 sessions from now on in the remaining three days of 9 sessions England will be home. England will bat for about 25 overs and bat like aT20 to build a 200 runs lead. In three secessions England can get India out comfortably, probably less than the lead and romp home. It's now up to the rains to save India!

  • on August 8, 2014, 23:58 GMT

    @sreek09 on (August 8, 2014, 19:44 GMT):

    You are right. No pro-active thinking at all. Both the coach and captain just react to whatever goes wrong in the previous test. Even in choosing the playing XI, they go by PAST records. For instance, I really wonder, whether they watched the relative performance of Aaron Vs Shami in the nets, before this test.

  • dunger.bob on August 8, 2014, 23:42 GMT

    I think India is doing pretty well considering their poor start. They are slowly clawing their way back to parity as far as I can see. .. Years ago I heard someone say that if you want to get the real game situation take the current score and add 2 wickets to it. Obviously it doesn't always work but you'd be surprised how close to the actual money it usually is. .. given that, India could be in a much worse situation right now if they hadn't done such a good job with the ball. .. It's definitely still game on, weather permitting.

  • Happy_hamster on August 8, 2014, 23:24 GMT

    There are realistically only 2 possible outcomes an Indian victory is frankly not happening (odds:England 2/5, draw 5/2 and India 12/1). Varun looks pretty good he and Bhuvi bowled well in helpful conditions, the big guy is not much of a threat and Ashwin/Jadeja might get a lucky wicket if someone holes out, bhushanB on (August 8, 2014, 19:47 GMT) what is the relevance of Andersons pace or supposedly lack of, he is a seam bowler and has bowled excellently in this series, he was head and shoulders above any 'pace' bowler (either side) when England last toured India, so what is your point?

  • matt69 on August 8, 2014, 23:03 GMT

    Indian team management: please recall VIRENDER SHEWAG for the last test and prevent embarrassment in the batting department again!!

  • on August 8, 2014, 22:58 GMT

    @bhushanB makes a very good assessment of India's failure. Not long back, "pundits" were comparing Pujara and Kholi with Dravid and Tendulkar. It is ridiculous to compare a lifetime of excellence with a few good scores on benign featherbed pitches. I think there is no short term cure for India's failings on fast wickets. Top Indian batsmen should be encouraged to play English county cricket to fix their game against swing / bouncers.

  • Indiaforever on August 8, 2014, 22:50 GMT

    Considering the forecast for the last 2 days are really bad, the game looks to be going to a draw. Will be interesting to see how England go about their batting tomorrow and if India can get the last 4 wickets cheaply then India still have a chance to draw the game. Am hopeful for the weather to not be so bad, even if it means India lose.

    Aaron has bowled well, he is an exciting prospect for India. Looking forward to seeing Pujara and Kohli especially, to come back strongly.

  • sudhindranath on August 8, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    If we get about 130 overs for the rest of the match, then England should use 40 of those to score 140 more runs (to get a lead of 225). Then let's say India consumes 80 overs to score about 250 runs (i.e. an improvement over their first innings score of 152 in 46.4 overs). Then England will have about 10 overs to knock off the 25+ runs needed to win.

    So, England's priority will be to score real fast after the first hour on Saturday..

  • VillageBlacksmith on August 8, 2014, 22:19 GMT

    Eng guilty of letting game slip from 8-4… If they had polished off India around lunchtime day 1 as they should have they would already be 200+ ahead and all this weather would not be a problem… Not clinical enough from Eng…

  • on August 8, 2014, 21:58 GMT

    @Emily Jason, do you know of a team that lost 10 matches overseas consecutively? got thrashed by England 4-0, than lost 4-0 to Aussies, 1-0 to South Africans, 1-0 to New zealand, than lost an embarrassing series to Eng in their own home ground 2-1, almost got whitewashed in their home ground by pak, got shamed by Ban, Any guesses people, any guesses?

  • on August 8, 2014, 21:48 GMT

    @just-chill-chill, Pakistan managed to draw the series with ZIM and IRE even though they lost one match each from both of their hands,on the other side, they were able to thrash Eng, Level series with No 1 side in the World,South Africa, and chased down an impossible target against sri lanka to level the series, meanwhile India has been thrashed relentlessly around all part of the world, Nz, Sf,Eng,Aus. Pakistan is a better site for now in the tests and the rankings prove it.

  • whirlaway on August 8, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    Team goals for Day 3:

    England: Extend lead to 200-250; Take at least 6 India wickets by close.

    India: Restrict England lead to 125-135. Wipe out the deficit for the loss of at the most 2 wickets. Get ahead by 70-80 runs without losing more than 3 wickets overall.

  • roger1981 on August 8, 2014, 21:32 GMT

    HI Wapuser...I have a question for you...Shoaib Akhtar & Bret Lee were considered as the fastest, however from their respective countries Wasim Akram and Glen Mcgrath were fast medium though they were the best. So who would you prefer in your team fastest of the bowler or a wicket taking bowler..I guess 9 out of 10 would prefer and i.e. wicket taking bowler...Why I said 9 out of 10 as your the 1 I left who likes pace...

  • 2nd_Slip on August 8, 2014, 21:21 GMT

    Indian bowlers are always blamed for India's spoor showing in test cricket, whereas the real problem lies in their batsmen, who can only score on flat pitches tailor made for IPL and ODI cricket e.g. Virat Kohli, Shikar Dahwan, Rohit Sharma, Gambir, Dohni, Yuvraj Sigh,Jadeja and Suresh Raina all of them don't cut the grade when it comes to test cricket, far too inconsistent and overrated IMO

  • thozar on August 8, 2014, 21:00 GMT

    A lot of comments on @rajesh_india_1990's message that compared Aaron to Marshall. I think rajesh may not have meant that. But..., why cant Aaron be as good as or even better than Marshall? The lad is very young. When Marshall made his debut, he would also have been compared to Wesley Hall, Andy Roberts, and Michael Holding. And people would have laughed at it. But, Marshall proved himself. Aaron is not Marshall yet but I think he will be as good as him. Look at his speed especially the ball with which he got Ballance out yesterday and Ali today.

  • thozar on August 8, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    It is clear that England cannot play pace. Once Ishant returns for next game, then England will be rattled. I think we should probably get Shami in for Jadeja too. With 4 strong pacemen and Ashwin, I expect us to win and win easily. Although Bhuvi is not very fast, his accuracy compensates for his slowness. All of England's bowlers are way slow when compared to Aaron. I continue my stand that this match is ours. 85 runs lead is nothing. The new ball is due in 9 overs. So even if England survive that long, they will not get more than 20 runs. So, with a lead of 105, we need to bat sensibly. If we get 300, match is definitely ours. If we get only 200, then it will be close. But I expect our under pressure batsmen to perform very well in the 2nd innings.

  • Nampally on August 8, 2014, 20:50 GMT

    Even Day 2's rain cannot save India. There are 3 more days for the test match. If at least 2 of the 3 days are washed out India has a faint chance of saving this match. The problem here is India's Top 4 batsmen who are grossly deficient in their technique to cope with swinging new Ball. When Vijay, Pujara & Kohli - considered "hot shots" Fail to score, India has non existent Batting!. None of these guys had guts to stay there & face the bowling on a faster pitch. Strangely enough Skipper Dhoni even without copybook technique showed Guts & Determination to fight it out with excellent support from Rahane & Ashwin (considered to be a Bowler, but he was an opening batsman). Even including N.Ojha to open the innings was better than putting Gambhir to face this bowling. So "Nether the Head Nodded nor Tail wagged" as in the previous 3 Tests but runs came from least expected guys. The top 4 bats should take a cue from Dhoni, Ashwin & Rahane & show some Gumption to Save the 4th Test !

  • bhushanB on August 8, 2014, 19:55 GMT

    Biggest disappointments in the tour so far are - Pujara, Kohli and Shami..... these three are almost taken for granted to succeed. This is where it hurt India really bad. Dhawan was finally finding his feet and was replaced by our famous poke & prod gambhir... Neverthless for away tours we will need another opener in the mould of Aakash chopra - even a clone of Vijay would suffice... Unless another Viru in prime form comes out of no where (everyone thought Dhawan would be that one)... The openers need to see off the shine on the cherry - basically see off the first 25-30 overs and tire the main bowlers - does not matter who the bowlers are, so that 3 & 4 the best batsmen in the team can capitalize on that start... Pujara has a long way to go to fill in Dravid's shoes - basically his stiff/tight backhand is a technical flaw compared to Dravid that is hurting him....People would now realise the importance of Dravid, for all the sacrifices he made even when being the best technically...

  • bhushanB on August 8, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    @wapuser

    Anderson and Broad are no where near Aaron's speed. After his first spell his speed read - Fastest 90.1, slowest - 86.1, avg - 88.2 --- shown on live TV. Anderson may have hit 86.1 once or twice, which is the slowest Aaron bowled.

  • on August 8, 2014, 19:47 GMT

    @mzm149- Do you know of a team that has lost 13 consecutive tests to Australia. No draws in between !13-0 between 1998 and 2010? Amazing record right ? better than indias i suppose. The same team lost to the glorious Zimbabwean team last year and were whitewashed by South africa 3 nil. Any guesses people ? Anyone ?

  • sreek09 on August 8, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    It seems that under Fletcher India is always one game behind. Before this test match insistence was given for all the India batsmen to practice sweep to tackle Moeen Ali, and guess what Moeen Ali was not required to bowl at all.

  • mzm149 on August 8, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    @just_chill_chill: First you must explain India's loss to Bangladesh and their narrow escape to the same opponents where India were all out for 105 and 119 and where weather saved them in one game.

    India lost to England even at home whereas Pakistan whitewashed them in UAE (their supposed home) in the same year with almost the same team.

    Pakistan's batting is quite average and I admit it. But even with such batting they are doing much better than India. Actually they levelled series with South Africa recently, no. 1 side in the world. Now you must explain Bangladesh fiasco and those whitewashes.

  • on August 8, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    The ground needs serious rework and the fans who were there should get a 60% refund on tickets . You pay a lot to see test cricket and to lose 54 overs when the sun is out for 40 of them overs and no play is a very poor show indeed.

  • landl47 on August 8, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    Bhuvi and Aaron bowled well in the morning to take 2 wickets + the night watchman, but either side of lunch Root and Buttler put together a partnership which is threatening to take the game away from India. It's been obvious for some time now that Root is going to be a top-class test batsman and Buttler was very cool and calm in only his second test. Whether he will be a test-class WK is a bit more open to question, but to see these 23-year-olds busily working the ball around the field at 3.5 runs per over left no doubt that England has a couple of good ones here.

    Even with today's rain there is still enough time to finish the test. The factors will be how big a lead England can take and how the pitch will play when India bats again. If the pitch is freshened up and the ball is still moving then anything over a 150 lead for England is going to be hard to overcome.

    Unless, of course, the weather eliminates enough play to prevent a result.

  • on August 8, 2014, 19:39 GMT

    being indiana my points are ..evwryone in india has now become selector...we alway think the player who does not get selected in final 11 would have won the match...is it ebough for dhoni to stay as test captain just by scoring 70 odd runs in low scoring match for india as he is the only one who now seems to enjoy loosing captain's post match interview....I seriouslly think dhoni being professional in terms of money might be gatting commission from sir RJ by selecting him..some of indian fan like me said india can win this test by getting 300+ lead in 2nd inning, but for that sir RJ, pankaj and may be ashwin will have to bowl from england side not anderson and broad....last but not least as I m de coming fan of @rajesh_india_1990 if varun is new marshalll then how about joe root is new rahul dravid???..

  • CurrentPresident on August 8, 2014, 19:36 GMT

    From where it's at, looks like a 7-8 wicket victory for England.

    England will get close to or over 400, India will bat better in second innings, but it won't be enough, England will chase down a modest target around 100 on the fifth day.

    Good signs for bowling - English batsmen are susceptible to pace, even someone like Aaron who is not as accurate or experienced. Bhuvi still bowling decently well. Next test Ishant can replace Pankaj (can't believe I am looking forward to Ishant, but Pankaj is that ineffective), or draft in Yadav.

  • rk_ks on August 8, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    No matter what. India in 2nd innings will be collapsed even more badly. Indian loss is inevitable. Until and unless Dhoni gets rid of his pet players and defensive mentality, the team is not going to improve. And for god sake please sack the current coach. Don't show the worldcup as an excuse. Anyone can do a better than him. If Ravi Jadeja is a bowler, why he bowled only 7 overs. Give Pankaj another chance in the next test. Remove Jadeja and either get Ishwar Pandey or Rohit Sharma.

  • bhushanB on August 8, 2014, 19:29 GMT

    @mzm149 I guess it would not hurt to try your luck (prediction) in the stock market.

  • sergio11 on August 8, 2014, 19:26 GMT

    @wapuser...its actually a pitch that help spinners on 4th and 5th day..in star sport they showed a pitch used for domestic game..near to the pitch thats used for this match..it had lot of wear and tear and add to that the extra bounce...hence dhoni batted first so that he can bowl last..if ind can bat well in 3rd inng and can get atleast 200 run lead...ul see ashwin and jadeja run through the eng batting order for sure...if moeen can ashwin and jadeja can...on a 5th day pitch...

  • golgoal on August 8, 2014, 19:23 GMT

    @mzm149 LOL so India losing to SA and Eng is same as Pakistan getting humiliated by Ireland and Zimbabwe. Carry on dude !!

  • coolitbaby on August 8, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    @mzm149 when it comes to losing to minnows in World Cups, Pakistan will get the world cup in that surely. Think of Ireland and Bangladesh. You should focus your energies on predicting next time again when Pakistan is gonna lose to a minnow. My prediction - very very soon.

  • mzm149 on August 8, 2014, 19:20 GMT

    I hope weather doesn't save India this time like in ODI against Bangladesh earlier this year where India got all out for 119. Actually they were 105 all out in previous game against the same opponent.

  • just_chill_chill on August 8, 2014, 19:16 GMT

    @mzm149 So in your book, India losing to SA and Eng is same as being Pakistan getting hammered by Ireland and Zim, and narrow avoid getting roughed up by Afghanistan? Why are you avoiding the question that was posed to you?

  • bhushanB on August 8, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    May be can't find too much fault with Dhoni - He is a street smart cricketer who grewup with bits and pieces cricketers without much technique or temperament, but who could rise to the occassion and perform beyond their capability. This works fine in the shorter formats where one if not the other of the bit or piece would click.. He does not understand the longer format, where you need text book cricketers with great temperament for the game, who are ready to practice in the nets day in and out on a single speciality to perform consistently at the highest level. Any team can afford to have just one bits and pieces of cricketer who would try to do something extravagant out of the book tricks, but the longest format requires people who has the ability to do the same thing again and again and again...

  • whirlaway on August 8, 2014, 19:05 GMT

    Team goals for Day 3 first session:

    England: Extend lead past 175-185 i.e. score another 90-100 runs plus.

    India: Restrict England lead to 125-135 i.e. take 4 wickets for 40-50 runs. Then bat through to lunch without losing a wicket.

  • on August 8, 2014, 19:03 GMT

    Basically, it appears that Dhoni doesn't understand Test cricket. IPL is fun, but not good prep for the five day game...

  • whirlaway on August 8, 2014, 19:00 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK: I am just charting the possibilities. Today's rains were not torrential or anything like that, but the loss of 54 overs was more than I had expected. For all we know, the rains on Sunday or Monday might not be as bad as today's. And yes, I think a result is still possible if we get 90 overs tomorrow (which is very likely) and about 40-50 overs on the next two days combined.

  • mzm149 on August 8, 2014, 18:57 GMT

    @just_chill_chill: My predictions were quite precise when India was whitewashed in England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Even if weather saves India's face in this match, next one will be another thrashing. Oh BTW when India was thrashed by Bangladesh in Asia Cup 2012 my prediction was quite precise even then.

  • Zomac on August 8, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    India would do good if they restrict eng for about a lead of 120 or so den all they would need would be to bat sensibly the entire day.since tomorrow is predicted to be the best day to bat so if India end up at about 200 for the loss of 3 wickets then that would be a great fightback frm them. And since the forecast for Sunday is not good so that would make for an intriguing final day.if India enter the final day with a lead of 220 then I would say it is advantage india or if India enter final day anything less than 200 then it is advantage england

  • on August 8, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    India can still aim for victory, provided they finish off the England lower order for under 130-150 lead. Buttler and Root are the real trouble, but after that, Woakes, Broad and Anderson can either play really good or get out cheaply, there is no middle ground. And then comes the toughest task, India have to bat long and patient. Somehow the top three must finish off the deficit of 130-150 and then the rest must contribute at least 200 runs more. On day 4 and day 5, provided the sun beats down and the wkt dries, 200 will be a very tough target with Ashwin and Jadeja bowling. Ashwin though didn't appear lethal today, still bowled very good areas, which he did not do in SA 1st test. Also he turned a couple delivers on just the fourth session of the game. Definitely 200 will be tough for Eng to chase on day 4/5. Or they have to survive somehow tomorrow and hope for Bertha to flood day 4/5. The draw seems most likely. Pankaj must be replaced by Umesh next match, who is gonna drop in early

  • SpaMaster on August 8, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    India is not resigned to weather. All that the Indian batsmen have to do is think whatever England gets in the 2nd inning they would be able to get in the 3rd innings and add 50-70 runs to it. It would still be anybody's game given that this pitch has traditionally helped spinners in the later part of a match. To those yapping why Dhoni picked two spinners in such a fast-bowler-friendly wicket, that is the reason. So don't rule the slow bowlers yet. I don't think this bunch of Indian players are banking on rain to save them. Expect them to come back hard in the first session tomorrow.

  • bhushanB on August 8, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    India should groom and rotate the following bowlers....

    1.) Bhuvi - Sandeep sharma (genuince swing bowler).... 2.) Shami - Aaron - Umesh (raw pace - shami needs to increase his speeds).... 3.) Pankaj - Pandey - Ishant (Hit the deck - with height) (hate Ishant, but for Dhoni's sake has to suck it up).... 4.) Ojha - Mishra - Harmeet singh (?) (genuine spinners).... 5.) Binny - Irfan - Rishi dhawan (pace bowling allrounders).... 6.) Jadeja - Ashwin - Aparajith (?) (spin allrounders) (hate the first 2, for Dhoni's sake has to suck it up)....

    And when I say manage - get 4 genuine bowlers for the tests with a 5th bowling allrounder - Three genuince pace bowlers, one genuine spinner should be part of the squard at all times. Based on the pitch the allrounder spot can be filled either with a pace bowling allrounder or a spinning allrounder..

    This is the basic setup to start performaing abroad as well as in India.

  • on August 8, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    whatever may come....eng will finish this match in 4 days....Indian batsman's will support them free handedly... Indian would need Max two sessions to get all out....top 5 batsman's are in race to reach to dressing room...it is not about team selection it is all about attitude and persistent.... hard work..and will..which is missing big time with Indian batsman...

  • just_chill_chill on August 8, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    @mzm149 wow that is some seriously precise prediction. were you able to make such accurate predictions when pakistan was hammered in ireland and zimbabwe and struggling to avoid whitewash?

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 8, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Bowlers fresh after lunch and what does Dhoni do? Hand the ball to Jadeja and Pankaj! Pathetic! Yes sir, gift poms this match and the series on a platter. For all your statements about process and results, your process is pathetic and so are the results. Change your process; for once! And sir, can you please move forward a couple of steps so that our wretched slip cordon can do the same? Again sir, your process behind the wickets stinks to lunar orbit! Ridiculous!

  • bhushanB on August 8, 2014, 18:34 GMT

    Who ever it is (facebook users do not showup, unless we logon to facebook, which is not possible at work)... made the obvious but perfect statements...

    Jadeja and Ashwin are not test bowlers, they both are bits and pieces of cricketers.... and if Dhoni cannot breathe without them in the squad, get just one of them, but not both.... India will need Ojha, Mishra kind of genuine spinners in the team. Same thing with Ishant, when Aaron and Umesh - notably the fastest bowlers in India are waiting eternally Ishant has played 50+ matches with nothing notable.. except the lucky one in 10 matches sparks....

    India should have Ojha, Mishra, Aaron, Umesh in the squad and give them enough chances (10% of what the sharmas or jadejas or ashwins get) before banishing them for good.

  • on August 8, 2014, 18:26 GMT

    When you have first innings deficit to cover up, then who better than Sehwag to do it? Understand he is an ageing lion but definitely a more impact player than any of the opener playing in this series.. Would love to see him again on field. The biggest worry in this series is consistent failure of dhawan/pujara/kohli... The rain has helped India today... let's hope for more of it tomorrow, else the match seems to be heading only in one direction... A 2-1 lead for England....

  • mzm149 on August 8, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    England should bat one more session tomorrow and try to take lead to 200. It is possible. Take 5 or more overs of second session but 200 should be the aim. Then they should try to bowl India out in 3 sessions. They may give target of around 50 odd runs but that won't take more than 12 overs to chase considering all of these players play ODIs. That means a bit over one complete rain-free session will be required on day 4 or 5. It is possible to get 40 overs out of possible 180 overs no matter how much it rains. Fingers crossed.

  • on August 8, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    The last test Pragyan Ojha played, he took a 5 for.. He hasnt played a test since.. I dont knw, in which universe does Jadeja get picked over Ojha.. He is a bits n pieces player.. He may come good in ODI & T20.. But test is a different ball game.. Ojha, Yadav,Mishra(though injured) are all sitting back home.. when the worthless are being picked again n again n again.. Jadeja & Ishant, both were extremely lucky at lord's.. just bcoz we dont have a decent back up for an off-spinner(Bhajji being the next best), we have to persist with Ashwin.. but jaddu is a lost cause.. I dont know why is Dhoni so obsessed with him.. Ishant too.. Yadav,Aaron,Bhuvi n Shami(wen he's good), what a combination it would have been, add to it Ashwin/ Ojha/Mishra.. The stupid selections have cost India the game.. hope Yadav gets picked for the next test series along with Mishra & Ojha.. in batting Kohli n Pujara need to step up.

  • on August 8, 2014, 18:09 GMT

    Except dhoni every one in the world knew that this wicket is fast bowlers paradise ,but he selected 2 spinners on this wicket.indian team is going to pay dearly for this lapse

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on August 8, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    @whirlaway (post on August 8, 2014, 17:23 GMT): So now you've changed you tune then eh? Suddenly my posts re. the weather and this game most likely a draw don't seem so daft after all. Apology accepted. Oh wait - you still think there's enough time for a result...

  • on August 8, 2014, 17:55 GMT

    Only rain can save India. Sorry to be sour puss but i hope this one gets rained out. Lets fight it out in the fifth test. Replace Jadeja with Ishant or Shammi. Ashwin is a better test batsman and bowler than jadeja. Jadeja is a better fielder. Nice to see an indian bowler (Varun) hurrying the batsmen. Stay fit Varun. The bouncer followed by the wicket taking bowl of Moeen was a joy to watch. Never seen that with an indian bowler in a test match before.

  • on August 8, 2014, 17:41 GMT

    Ind are still in the game because it's England who will bat last. And in 4th innings, even 150 run target would look huge with Ashwin in the side. And we know how deadly Bhuvi and Aaron can be as the game progresses. Ind just need one gud session tomorrow.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on August 8, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    India is missing Shami and Yadav. Bad team selection as usual.

  • cric1965 on August 8, 2014, 17:24 GMT

    Kohli has to play Ranji trophy matches has show his form to enter test team. Test is not t20 or ODI

  • whirlaway on August 8, 2014, 17:23 GMT

    Looks like there will be a full day's play on Saturday but big chunks of Sunday and Monday will be lost to rain. If 4 out of 6 sessions are going to be lost, then England will have to do most of the work tomorrow if they want to win this.

    First, extend the lead to 125 in the first hour and then take it to 250 in the next hour and a half. At least to 200. Then have India bat for about 3 1/2 hours on Saturday and get at least 6-7 wickets for about 150-200 runs. Then hope that there will be at least 2 sessions of play possible on Sun and Mon combined. That will be enough time to get India all out and score whatever runs (<100 perhaps) are needed to win the match.

  • Surajrises on August 8, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    Because India got bowled out for just 152 and that too within just 1&half session, I think there is no time lost in this Test Match. 3 days of play is a lot considering the pitch is behaving beautifully but for the fact that India has just 2 bowlers performing at the moment who alone can't clean up the tail and England need only 2 of their best bowlers to bowl out India once again! Ashwin should have been given longer spell but Dhoni had mentioned in the Post Match Presentation at Trent Bridge that when it comes to holding up one end, he trusts Jadeja more than Ashwin and that speaks a lot about Dhoni as a defensive Captain. But the future England Captain Joe Root & Buttler could seal Eng's fate tomorrow morning in the 1st session by scoring good runs and by hurting India. We can't have Aaron bowling more than 6 overs in a spell or we might not have him in the Next Test because of injury. England for me are still very much ahead in this Test Match and Ind need to fight fight & fight...

  • just_chill_chill on August 8, 2014, 17:17 GMT

    @wapuser As one great scientist once said "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result". By all means, if you think having Dhoni as a captain and having him do the same things again and again is going to somehow get you different results, then go ahead and do it. By the way, you do realize that we are getting hammered abroad for almost 3yrs non-stop, don't you?

  • on August 8, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    Saved by the rain chak de phatte

  • Texmex on August 8, 2014, 16:54 GMT

    You got to hand it to Dhoni. Why on earth did he start the post lunch session with Jadeja and Pankaj his 2 worst bowlers in this match? Shouldnt he have started with his 2 best?

  • on August 8, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    I think that India can perform well in their 2nd innings in the 4th test of BIG INVESTEC TEST SERIES and seal the series against English men side.....I hope MSD make India flags proud in the upcoming Indepence day by winning over the English men side in the 4th Test match a very good comeback by Ashwin and he wants 2 bowl a lot of over compared to Jaddu..........JAI HO CHAKDE INDIA CHAKDE INDIA

  • on August 8, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    within a day indians forget dhonis contribution with the bat without that india wouldnt have got 80 score

    you want gambir or kholi as capitan who is out of form

  • on August 8, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    India does not need new captain, it needs good pace bowlers, standards in indian pitch should be improved so that our bowling improves. Batting will also need to be improved. Only changing the caption without providing few good bowlers is no good Next caption is not going to do any miracles.

  • Al_Bundy1 on August 8, 2014, 16:35 GMT

    Dhoni should have gone with 4 pacers. This pitch is known as a fast pitch. Why does he kip playing Jadeja? Jadeja is not a test class player. He is a bits and pieces player - suitable only for T20. If Shami had played instead of Jadeja, he would have easily picked up 2 wickets on this pitch. Ideally Yadav should have played instead of Pankaj, but yadav is not even in the squad.

  • on August 8, 2014, 16:29 GMT

    @Rajesh_India_1990 You must be dreaming!! You are comparing another Indian trundler to one of the greatest fast bowlers ever. Please spare us the laughs.

  • The_bowlers_Holding on August 8, 2014, 16:26 GMT

    Hopefully we will get a bit more play to enable England to push on (curretly 12:17 EST, 17:17 in UK), I have to agree with certain Indian posters re: Jadega; if Ashwin is playing why would you pick him at a seamer friendly venue, his bowing is poor and his one decent knock was the streakiest 50 I have ever seen. I expect England to post a lead around 200 and win relatively comfortably but that is not a given. p.s. I thought the former perennial poster GSingh was partisan and lacking in basic cricket knowledge but Rajesh_india_1990 comparing Aaron to Malcolm Marshall (amongst many ridiculous comments) makes him Numero Uno in assiine comments.

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 8, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    Dhoni lot of thinking about batting. Thats why dhoni prefares to jaddu,ashwin not on wicket taking bowlers like misra,oja.but fact is misra can do much better with bat over jadeja. And oja also make at least 5-10 runs consistantly.

  • whirlaway on August 8, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    If there is play for 15 overs or so today, it could be to India's advantage - provided they use the conditions and the new ball if needed to take the next 4 wickets cheaply. If there is no play, England gets to continue under better conditions tomorrow and can extend lead to 200-250. And then India will be asked to bat late Saturday and on Sunday when it could be on-off-on-off due to rain.

  • on August 8, 2014, 16:16 GMT

    its is very difficult and challenging test for india. its not going to easy win or draw for india but if weather might be clear then its going to easy lose for india cz of indian team play such as bangladesh, kenya etc play in india. time for changes in team.. BIG CHANGES.... dhoni should aslo replaced of captancy..

  • Nampally on August 8, 2014, 15:58 GMT

    Inept batting by the top 4 "designated Batsmen" has left India in a deep Rut!. It has always been the Indian bowlers who kept India in the match in all tests so far. Kumar batted so well so far before he finally failed to score. He leads the bowling too. In this Test Dhoni has finally included Aaron & Ashwin- after unjustifiably dropping both in previous 3 tests. So it is Aaron & Kumar who have kept India with a fighting chance. India needed 4 good pace bowlers, like England had, Umesh Yadev instead of Pankaj & Shami in place of Jadeja to give India a continuous & sustained pace attack. Even so with just 2 good pace bowlers India did well to capture 6 wkts. If the present 2 bats are dismissed fast, India can still fight back. However that doleful top Indian batting order need to justify being called "batsmen". Ashwin - a bowler- with Dhoni saved blushes for the Indian batting. Bowlers always did their job despite Dhoni's poor choice of bowlers. Can batting show Up once for a change?

  • StatisticsRocks on August 8, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    Imagine if only Umesh Yadav was also playing instead of Pankaj Singh. Time to drop Kohli, jadeja, Gambhir, as they are useless. Many other youngsters are waiting, give them a chance. Rahane is the Dravid of 2011 and the only batsmen who is capable of playing test cricket anywhere. Time for a huge revamp of Indian cricket. How many more defeats is acceptable to BCCI, Stop picking players based on their past reputation. We should have 2 test teams, one who can play away and that would be Rahane alone, along with Bhuvi, Aron, Yadav, and those who can play at home like the Kohli's, Sharmas Pujara and almost every one else.

  • spot_on on August 8, 2014, 15:25 GMT

    I mean. India needs a thinking captain and a coach. of all the resources in the pool, Pankaj and Shami are the ones who got selected. Look at the way the Aaron kid is making the poms smell the cherries. This is what India needs. A couple of Fiery bowlers and a couple of bowlers who can contain the run leaks. I wouldn't worry about the batsmen. Batting is always dependent on bowlers. If you have enough confidence in your bowlers that even they can defend the smallest of totals, then arguably you wont have the fear of batting. Dhoni and Fletcher should be shown the way.

  • on August 8, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    England will surely be defensive now and will try not to loose more wickets while India will have to be aggressive to remove these two sett batsmen.. good luck india

  • on August 8, 2014, 15:13 GMT

    England just needs to bat one more session. I don't see India winning this match from here, even if it rains for the next two days. England will probably need two sessions to bowl India out.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on August 8, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Looks as rain has had final say in d2.But Eng sitting sound and pretty with lead touching 100,considerable and telling in these conditions.2 set batsmen,3,4 dangerous in form l/o bats to come.Eng easily looking @ lead of 150-200.Should be plenty for a W.

  • on August 8, 2014, 14:24 GMT

    Unless Dhoni's obsession with Jadeja is overcome, no hope for team India. I mean why is Jadeja in the team for this test, in what capacity? How is he more suitable than someone like Stuart Binny, given the pitch and conditions?

  • whirlaway on August 8, 2014, 14:23 GMT

    Could there be an hour's play possible late today? If it is, then England will be looking at adding 40-50 for the loss of 0-1 wickets. And India should be trying to get the remaining England wickets in that time, which will leave England with a first innings lead of 125-130 runs.

  • rk_ks on August 8, 2014, 14:20 GMT

    Dhoni wants to play Ravindra Jadeja somehow. That's why he is asking to Jadeja to bowl to new batsmen at the crease. Nobody understands why he loves Ravi Jadeja so much.

  • coolitbaby on August 8, 2014, 14:18 GMT

    Dhoni is well past his use by date. Time to find a new captain. His batting has become useless as well. In the last 40 test innings in which he has batted, he has gone past 50 only 9 times (5 of them within India). India is getting whitewashed in series after series. New players come and go. Same results. On what basis has he been retained as a captain?? Really painful to watch.

  • on August 8, 2014, 14:15 GMT

    Today the most toughest to be is Dhoni. Whatever he does is critisized. First they asked him to pick gambir and he failed in a single innings and they r blamming dhoni. Pujara fails blame dhoni. Its people who said pankaj is unlucky and deserves another chance and he fails and people blame dhoni. Without r ashwin india wouldnt even have managed 120 runs.

  • on August 8, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    @Rajesh_Indian_1990 You're comparing Aaron to the great Malcolm Marshall ? Wow. Thunderbolts? He's bowled in the mid 80s which I agree is sharp but nothing outstanding. So please spare us. He's no Akhtar or Lee. Even Anderson and broad was as fast as him.

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 8, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    The one and only rain should stop the india defeat. I think dhoni realize ofter this test and play with 4 fast bowlers. For the next test dhoni go with Ishant,bhuvi,aron,shami india should win the test on fourth day.

  • on August 8, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    Shami lacks the knowledge or application to bowl overseas. India have to learn from this innings. Aaron should've played from Match One. It's not like Aaron got 5 wickets in one spell. But at his pace, he could do that any time any where. Even his economy has been just 3.... Which is acceptable for Test level, and he'll only get better with time. It's time to face it, Pankaj isn't international quality. He did get "unlucky" with edges, but he isn't good enough to even create chances every over. He bowls 2-3 good balls every spell, which is NOT ENOUGH. His economy of 4.5+is HORRIBLE for any test bowler, unless it's a part timer. Yadav or Ishant could've made a huge impact this match too. India have found their top three pacers for the time being. Bhuvi, Aaron & Ishant. Add Yadav, and it would be one formidable pace quartet for overseas tests. With Shami, Ishwar, Mohit, Kulkarni, India have good enough reserves. Ashwin will be hard to handle on Days 4 & 5. Let's go Men In Blue.

  • sachin_ten_fan on August 8, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    What a poor post lunch session for India and for Dhoni. He starts with jadeja and pankaj Singh, 2 worst bowlers in the team. What is he thinking? He did the same after taking Moeen Ali's wicket. He took Aaron off! He did the same thing in 2011 at Lords when ishant had bowled the spell of his life before lunch, Dhoni brought of all the players raina on to bowl straight after lunch. There are so many occasions you can think of when he has done something similar. He may have his own tactics but cricket is a simple game, as far as possible keep it simple. In overcast conditions root and battler would not have liked face Kumar and Aaron. Dhoni plays into their hands. Obvious as it may sound, but not to Dhoni.

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 8, 2014, 13:35 GMT

    The one and only rain should stop the india defeat. I think dhoni realize ofter this test and play with 4 fast bowlers. For the next test dhoni go with Ishant,bhuvi,aron,shami india should win the test on fourth day.

  • sreek09 on August 8, 2014, 13:32 GMT

    I think Dhoni makes his decisions without seeing the pitch. During the last test even commentators pointed out that Cook visited the pitch so many times before the toss in first day morning, Dhoni not even once. He should have played this team in last test match. In this test match he should have played Shami in place of Pankaj and importantly bowl after winning the toss.

  • kahvas on August 8, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    Dhoni's captaincy has always been strange. We got lucky once when he asked Ishant to bounce England out, again a once in a blue moon miracle. Why did he choose to bat in cloudy conditions on this pitch? Also, why have 2 finger spinners in the team. Jadeja is useless in such pitches, cant bat, cant take wickets. Should have had an extra batsman, maybe ojha should have been given a chance. Pankaj is a street level bowler, Shami even if out of form would have been a better choice. Ishant should have been sent back and should've got Umesh Yadav in the team. Once we lose this series, there's a great chance to fix the main problem, get rid of Dhoni as captain.

  • whirlaway on August 8, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    Team goals for the rest of Day 2:

    England: Extend lead towards 200. If restricted to a lead of 150, get 2-3 India wickets by close.

    India: Restrict England to 300 (lead of 150 for England). If needed to bat today, score 50-60 runs without losing a wicket.

  • VinodGupte on August 8, 2014, 13:26 GMT

    This may be Pankaj Singh's last game. Three outings is a decent barometer to judge a player's worth. He is not unlucky. He is average.

  • RD_CricFan on August 8, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    India now really missing his third strike bowler. Pankaj looks like not going to take any wicket in his intenational career.

  • on August 8, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    When will the game be finished?

  • rickyvoncanterbury on August 8, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    IMO with at England 6 for 232 it is getting to the stage where they could lose over 125 to 180 overs to bad weather and England can still win this game

  • Nampally on August 8, 2014, 13:03 GMT

    Dhoni has 5 bowlers- 3 seamers + 2 economical spinners in Ashwin & jadeja. Since the wkt. currently is pace friendly & Indian total v.low, Dhoni's best choice is to tie down runs from one end & use the wkt, takers Kumar & Aaron in short bursts of 5 overs + Pankaj in shorter bursts of 3 overs. This way he has chance to restrict the England total. He is showing heavy inclination towards Pankaj who is very expensive + not taking wkts. He has given over 70 runs in 16 overs. Aaron has bowled only 14 overs whilst Ashwin 13 overs & Jadeja just4 overs have been most economical. Jadeja is more or less rested from bowling. Is he exhausted after his golden Duck? Put him to good use by bowling him more overs. India does not need passengers in the XI. The one bowler which the Indian selectors failed to bring in is Yadev who would have been outstanding on this pitch. Ishant sharma should have been replaced with Yadev like injured Saha has been with Ojha. Why special treatment for Ishant?

  • on August 8, 2014, 13:01 GMT

    pankaj singh is flowing runs and have no ability to take wicket...so plz stop saying he is unlucky he is unlucky....

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    please stop saying he is unlucky he is unlucky he has no quality fast bowling thats it..

  • FiGhtCluB_99 on August 8, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    Disappointing captaincy from Dhoni. Straight after lunch he starts with the two bowlers who have looked the least likely to take a wicket - Pankaj/Jadeja. At least one of Kumar/Aaron/Ashwin should have started.

  • brusselslion on August 8, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    @black_bird: Nothing wrong with the theory.... Putting it into practice might prove a little more problematic.

  • pratit on August 8, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    Typical of Dhoni- starting a new session with Jadeja and Pankaj, the two least impressive bowlers. The first few overs can set the course for the whole session.

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    @pratit, totally agree with your comments. Inclusion of Umesh Yadad would have made a huge difference in the Indian attack. Pankaj do not have the pace to beat the batsmen on english conditions. It is the weak bowling that put india on the back foot through out this series rather than the batting skills of england. This English team will certainly fall like pack of cards against a decent pace attack. IMO the best bowling combination for india in these conditions will be Umesh, Ishant, Kumar and Varun. Unfortunately, Ishant had to sit on the bench due to injuries and Umesh did not get a call.

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    Please SOS Yadav. Next match they should play 2 spinners as it turns at the Oval, but Ashwin should bat at 6, Jadeja at 8. The three pacers should be Bhuvi, Aaron & Yadav. Ishant is unlikely to be fit, and in any event, he got lucky once with bouncing them out; the future is BK, VA, and UY.

  • black_bird on August 8, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    India is doing well. if they can take 300 or 400 runs lead at 3rd innings. Then the match is over for england. go india, go world champions.

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 8, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    varun Aaron aka malcolm marshall is firing thunderbolts......as i told yesterday just bowl anywhere in 22 yards this pitch will give u heap of wickets

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    I am really disappointed with england batsmen, even in their home grounds they struggle sooo... much. I am not taking away the discipline and the skill with which indian bowlers bowled but england batsmen are not in good form and also their skill against moving ball (bhuvi) and pace (aaron) etc is in question. I knew the moment Cook threw away his wicket with that unnecessary shot of hooking or pulling what ever it was england batsmen are going to suffer, because solid foundation from the top order is needed in these tricky & tough batting conditions. If england bowlers are really better than indian bowlers then they should have restricted indian batsmen to within 100 or so in this pitch, so it is like lords test where the real value of england bowlers performance got decoded only when the roles got reversed (indians started bowling). England you need to put much much much much... better effort than this, otherwise the momentum will easily swing towards india again, God lucks England!

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 8, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    MS defnately miss ishawar pandey on this surface. Bowling with two spinners at two ends very bad stratagy. If england lead 150 runs the two spinners use less on fourth/fifth day. What is the use of sir.sir.sir.ravindra jadeja in the teamg. Ravi clicked 1 match out of 20- 30 matches. this kind player not at all required at international level.

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    Once again Moeen Ali's vulnerability against short pitch delivery was found out here at Old trafford.. What a goof of a batsman..

  • PMadhavarao on August 8, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    Well Done India in the morning session. Keep up the good work. Need good captaincy from now onwards.

  • pratit on August 8, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    Dare say Pankaj Singh has probably played his last test. He may get a few wickets and prove me wrong, but there does not seem to be much going for him. Given that hulk of a frame, pace and bounce were likely to be his weapons but he has troubled none with those. Surprised that Aaron is bowling so well. Thought he was ideal for tests and not ODIs. Just shows that England are uncomfortable playing bowlers with genuine pace and bounce and India made a blunder by not picking Umesh Yadav. Anyway, for the next few years the 5 fast bowlers in the Indian test squad should be- Kumar, Yadav( the best Indian fast bowler), Shami, Ishant and Aaron. These guys should be preserved for tests. Let other mediocre bowlers like Vinay Kumar labour in ODIs.

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  • pratit on August 8, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    Dare say Pankaj Singh has probably played his last test. He may get a few wickets and prove me wrong, but there does not seem to be much going for him. Given that hulk of a frame, pace and bounce were likely to be his weapons but he has troubled none with those. Surprised that Aaron is bowling so well. Thought he was ideal for tests and not ODIs. Just shows that England are uncomfortable playing bowlers with genuine pace and bounce and India made a blunder by not picking Umesh Yadav. Anyway, for the next few years the 5 fast bowlers in the Indian test squad should be- Kumar, Yadav( the best Indian fast bowler), Shami, Ishant and Aaron. These guys should be preserved for tests. Let other mediocre bowlers like Vinay Kumar labour in ODIs.

  • PMadhavarao on August 8, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    Well Done India in the morning session. Keep up the good work. Need good captaincy from now onwards.

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    Once again Moeen Ali's vulnerability against short pitch delivery was found out here at Old trafford.. What a goof of a batsman..

  • Chaitanyareddy90 on August 8, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    MS defnately miss ishawar pandey on this surface. Bowling with two spinners at two ends very bad stratagy. If england lead 150 runs the two spinners use less on fourth/fifth day. What is the use of sir.sir.sir.ravindra jadeja in the teamg. Ravi clicked 1 match out of 20- 30 matches. this kind player not at all required at international level.

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    I am really disappointed with england batsmen, even in their home grounds they struggle sooo... much. I am not taking away the discipline and the skill with which indian bowlers bowled but england batsmen are not in good form and also their skill against moving ball (bhuvi) and pace (aaron) etc is in question. I knew the moment Cook threw away his wicket with that unnecessary shot of hooking or pulling what ever it was england batsmen are going to suffer, because solid foundation from the top order is needed in these tricky & tough batting conditions. If england bowlers are really better than indian bowlers then they should have restricted indian batsmen to within 100 or so in this pitch, so it is like lords test where the real value of england bowlers performance got decoded only when the roles got reversed (indians started bowling). England you need to put much much much much... better effort than this, otherwise the momentum will easily swing towards india again, God lucks England!

  • Rajesh_india_1990 on August 8, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    varun Aaron aka malcolm marshall is firing thunderbolts......as i told yesterday just bowl anywhere in 22 yards this pitch will give u heap of wickets

  • black_bird on August 8, 2014, 12:32 GMT

    India is doing well. if they can take 300 or 400 runs lead at 3rd innings. Then the match is over for england. go india, go world champions.

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:36 GMT

    Please SOS Yadav. Next match they should play 2 spinners as it turns at the Oval, but Ashwin should bat at 6, Jadeja at 8. The three pacers should be Bhuvi, Aaron & Yadav. Ishant is unlikely to be fit, and in any event, he got lucky once with bouncing them out; the future is BK, VA, and UY.

  • on August 8, 2014, 12:38 GMT

    @pratit, totally agree with your comments. Inclusion of Umesh Yadad would have made a huge difference in the Indian attack. Pankaj do not have the pace to beat the batsmen on english conditions. It is the weak bowling that put india on the back foot through out this series rather than the batting skills of england. This English team will certainly fall like pack of cards against a decent pace attack. IMO the best bowling combination for india in these conditions will be Umesh, Ishant, Kumar and Varun. Unfortunately, Ishant had to sit on the bench due to injuries and Umesh did not get a call.

  • pratit on August 8, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    Typical of Dhoni- starting a new session with Jadeja and Pankaj, the two least impressive bowlers. The first few overs can set the course for the whole session.