As it happened - England vs India, 2nd Test, Lord's, 4th day

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Varun Shetty
Varun Shetty
A feisty contest between England and India continues at Lord's, with plenty of twists and turns in store. So make sure to follow our live updates and stay ahead of the curve (Please refresh for the latest). Also follow our ball-by-ball commentary here and our Hindi live coverage here.

Chaos time?

This is starting to look like a wicket where 200 could be a challenging target. Balls are kicking up frequently, there's massive turn for the spinners, and it's a slow-ish track too. India are 55 shy of that mark as I write this, with their last recognised batters at the crease. One of them is Rishabh Pant, so it is going to be firecracker stuff from one end for as long as he lasts.
But it is yet another opportunity for England, who had to toil a few hours to get the game down to one wicket away from the tail. The second new ball is around the corner though, and this is their chance to swiftly end this innings. One way or another, we might be in for a rollicking end to the day.
UPDATE: It has gotten too dark to bowl the quicks, the new ball will have to wait.

90 minutes to go


Broad: I won't be the last of England's injuries during this India series

One man who really looking forward to playing this Test was Stuart Broad, and if the FOMO was getting to him earlier in the day, he must be absolutely restless as he sees this attack push India against the wall.
Last evening, he wrote a column for the Daily Mail about how he injured himself in training, and about how it might not be the last injury to an English bowler during this series. Here are excerpts:
"The most frustrating aspect was that the injury was incurred so innocuously. I have jumped a thousand knee-high hurdles in my time as part of a regular warm-up drill. I felt really good in Tuesday's warm-up, looking forward to what should have been a really special week of winning my 150th Test cap at Lord's.
"I jumped the hurdle double-footed and as I landed on the edge of my right foot, my ankle gave way and I felt the weirdest sensation. Imagine being whipped across the back of your leg as hard as is possible.
"I turned to Jimmy Anderson and said: 'Did you just whip me?' He told me later that I did so with a face of thunder. With a look that said: 'I want to kill you.' But I immediately knew from his expression and response of, 'I was nowhere near you, mate,' that something was badly wrong. Moeen Ali said that it looked like I slipped; Sam Curran said he heard a pop. Unable to put any weight through my foot -- I still can't -- as I hobbled off, I realised I had done something pretty significant. It felt like the worst possible cramp. [...] As soon as I left the field on Tuesday, I knew my series against India was over. Even a grade one tear would have sidelined me for 10 days to two weeks and with the matches coming so thick and fast, there would have been no time to get game ready again.
"[...] Sadly, I won't be the last England injury of this series -- not with the GPS 'red zones' as they are for players right now. The difficulty with the 2021 schedule being so white-ball dominant is that bowlers have just not built up overs in the bank. Say Saqib Mahmood had been drafted in for this Test. He hasn't played a red-ball game for 10 weeks and it's very difficult to play a four or five-day match without some kind of workload behind you. It's why bowlers do not come back from injury and play straight away. At that point, your body is in what we call the red zone. A point at which you are susceptible to breaking down. It needs to be conditioned to bowling a greater volume of overs over time. Unfortunately, the way the fixtures are there is no way of doing that."

Pujara weathers the storm

Gosh, this is exhilarating cricket right now. England are calling all the shots and any thoughts of India pushing for a win are firmly out of the picture. This has been a good surface, both teams scored at healthy rates during their first innings; At the moment, England are barely allowing India to get more than two an over. It's been a commendable comeback from them, starting from Day 2, to the point where the result is now being entirely driven by them.
On the flipside, Pujara and Rahane, who are both struggling for runs, seem more assured now that runs aren't what India expect of them. That short-ball barrage from Mark Wood is a good parallel to what Pujara faced earlier in the year against Australia - just a relentless attack on his body. England had a silly point, a forward and a backward short leg, as well as men on the boundary to take away any swishes that could result in cheap runs. And he's done well to weather it. These two are coming close to 30 overs of batting together now for a fifty-run stand, and it's what India needed. They're all smiles as they leave the field for tea. They've needed time out in the middle and, dare I say, this is the kind of batting they both enjoy doing.

On Curran

And here, again, is Andrew Miller trying to figure out just what Sam Curran is:
"I defy anybody to give a precise answer to the question of what makes Sam Curran such an extraordinary competitor. He has skills in abundance, plus the bonus of being a left-armer - a subtlety that messes with all batters' angles, however experienced they may be. But he's short by the standards of international cricket, and significantly slower than your average international seamer. Frankly, his career defies logic, which probably goes a long way to explaining why he gets inside so many players' heads.
His performance in this morning's session, however, was proof of the size of his ticker. Lesser players would be cowed by their contribution to this series so far - 37 wicketless and expensive overs across the first two full innings of the series, plus an untimely golden duck on Saturday afternoon, just when Joe Root most needed his middle-order to dig for his cause. Curran, however, took his under-achievement as a personal challenge, and with the first ball of his fourth over, he snagged the single biggest scalp of an extraordinary morning session.
It helped his cause no end that India were on the back foot. In the first innings, he'd entered the attack with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul poised to strike. This time, Mark Wood had scalped them both before India's deficit had been written off, leaving only tension in the air for Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, whose verbal stoush with James Anderson seemed to signal that he was bang up for the fight, but whose technique is not quite ticking to the same extent.
His initial angle had been entirely round the wicket, hooping in on a full length to target the lbw. But Kohli's biggest weakness this summer has been more on a fifth-stump line, where his eagerness to feel bat on ball had been his undoing in both his previous dismissals in the series, his first-baller to Anderson at Trent Bridge, and his first-innings stab to slip off Ollie Robinson. So Curran reverted to over the wicket, and struck with his very first effort - pushing the outswinger across Kohli's bows, and haring off to fine leg in solipsistic rapture as Jos Buttler snaffled the edge. He had made it happen again. As he will doubtless do again and again.
'I have only ever been impressed with everything he has done, and everything he has achieved in his career,' James Anderson had said at end of the second day's play. 'Everything he turns his hand to, he seems to be fairly natural at - whether it's T20s or the England white-ball set up, and he's been brilliant for us in the Test team.
'I wouldn't try and offer anything other than encouragement,' added England's greatest seamer. 'He knows what he's doing.'"

On Kohli

Here's Shiva Jayaraman from our stats team, looking at what the number say about Kohli's luck:
"Why can't he replicate his form from his last tour to England? Is Virat Kohli out of form? Is he shuffling too far across to the off stump with his back foot? Is he playing with hard hands? Or is it just bad luck?
In the first Test of the 2018 tour, at Edgbaston, James Anderson tested Kohli outside off and had him nick one to the second slip, where Dawid Malan dropped the catch. Kohli went on to score a hundred. Anderson would end up bowling 270 balls at Kohli on that tour without managing to dismiss the India captain. Kohli made 593 runs in that series with two hundreds and three fifties. On this tour, he has managed all of 62 runs in three innings.
ESPNcricinfo's control data reveals that Kohli has actually been in control of a higher percentage of the shots that he has played in the first-50 balls of his innings on this tour than he was in 2018. In the first two Tests of the 2018 tour, Kohli was in control of 74.8% of the shots he played in the first fifty balls he faced. On this tour, he has played with a higher control at 81%. Forty-five false shot brought about one dismissal. On this tour, 18 have brought two. Kohli was dropped thrice in the first two Tests of the last tour. He hasn't been let off this time around. Luck's contribution is often forgotten when a player does well, their technique is blamed when they don't. Or it could be that batters make their luck with tighter techniques. Maybe, Kohli's shuffle across to the offstump is bad luck for him."

Things have happened

It was getting heated out there - words exchanged, lbw appeals, booming cover drives. From England, it's been relentless pressure. And that been in large part because their fourth bowler has shown up in some style. Sam Curran didn't find too much success in the first Test, or in the first innings of this match, but he's shown up when it mattered. And he's done it with some good old-fashioned setting up.
Was around the wicket to Kohli for the most part, angling it in. Then troubled his inside edge with the inswinger, and then dangled the wide one. Kohli had been driving freely through the covers, but he's been done by the angle while playing for an inswinger. Wonder if the exchange with Anderson unsettled him? He's chucked something at the window in the dressing room, looks like a glove.
This has been a sensational session of bowling from England. India are in trouble and the men in charge of trying to dig them out of it will feel like they are also playing for their own spots.

Rohit falling at fine leg and square leg in Tests


0 for 2

It is on! India's openers are out cheaply with the scores level. England now, by some distance, the team that is ahead in the Test. Mark Wood has been immense. There is variable bounce in this pitch - if you'll remember Anderson getting one to rise on Rahul, then one to keep low - and at Wood's pace, it has pushed India out of comfort.
Not to say that it's variable bounce that got Wood those wickets - those are both super execution of plans. Both openers were solid on the front foot and England had the man to tackle that. In the first innings, he came on very late, in about the 20th over. Today, he's in there early and he's unsettled India right away. And there will be another inquest into Rohit's shot selection - second time this series, and at least the third time this year, that he's been dismissed playing the hook. This one will need serious explaining - three men back, one of whom had literally just gone there. England are all over India.

The FOMO is real


Moving dayTM

Good morning and welcome back to the Live Report. This match situation should thrill those who like symmetry - exactly two days remain for the remaining two innings. From all the evidence so far of the weather, that should mean two full days too. That's 180 overs left of a contest in which neither side has been able to make big strides without being stopped in its tracks; it could get very delicate these next two days as they step into top gear to try and go 1-0 ahead. India's openers have a job to do first - see off the new ball and get deep enough into the innings that the middle-order can bat with some freedom. They've both been in good form so far. There will be many English counting the law of averages to catch up with them today. I'm convinced it's the only way this match turns real spicy, real fast.

Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo