8th over: England 43-0 (Lees 22, Crawley 20) Crawley has been leaving the ball better in this innings, learning his lesson at last, and he reaps the rewards as Shami goes too middle-stump-ish. Crawley’s so strong there that he picks up two whipped twos and an on-driven four, stroked past the umpire with the greatest of ease. Greg Chappell would have been happy with that.
7th over: England 35-0 (Lees 22, Crawley 12) Jasprit Bumrah, superstar that he is, seems a bit unnerved right now. When he tries a yorker at both openers, each one comes out as a full toss. He’s rattled, and England are rattling along
6th over: England 30-0 (Lees 19, Crawley 10) Thanks Jim, sparky stuff as ever, and afternoon everyone. For you, dear reader, this may be rather like seeing Pant get out and Pujara come in. But then England could do with a little sobriety right now, and Zak Crawley is trying hard to provide it, against all his instincts. Facing Shami, makes a late leave, and picks up three off the middle of the bat.
That’s me done for the day. Thanks for your company, over to the masterful Tim de Lisle to take you through what promises to be a riveting afternoon. Bye!
5th over: England 26-0 (Lees 18, Crawley 7) Crawley works a leg-side ball from Bumrah off his pads for four with swiss-clock timing. Mark Butcher on comms says that it could be a “life changing boundary”. I guess it could. If he loses his wicket any time soon it could be life changing in a different way.
4th over: England 19-0 (Lees 17, Crawley 2) Crawley digs out a Shami yorker, it squiddles into the leg side and they pick up a single.
3rd over: England 18-0 (Lees 17, Crawley 1) Crawley drops and runs to get off the mark. Lees then gets four more with a flick to fine leg. The Durham opener is proactive, picking up a brace of brace’s into the covers. A wild swish at the last ball misses by a ghostly whisper.
Brian Withington has set himself up:
“Hi James, if England chase this down I hereby announce that I will change my name by deed poll to Brian B**B*** Withington”
I WILL REMEMBER THIS BRIAN.
2nd over: England 9-0 (Lees 9, Crawley 0) Ay up! Lees trots down the wicket to Shami and hacks him through midwicket for four! Lees is proactive in defence and a push into off gets him two. Shami then beats him, twice.
1st over: England 1-0 (Lees 1, Crawley 0) A nudge from Lees to Bumrah gets England underway.
This made me chuckle, from Adrian Goldman in Helsinki:
“I think it’s fair to say that if they chase 378 successfully, they’ll be able to call it anything they want – BrexitBall, BorisBall, GreasedLittlePigletBall – and we won’t bat an eye.”
Here come Crawley and Lees. Are you sitting comfortably?
378 to win in 148 overs? Only 2.55 an over.
6.51 if they want to win it today.
— George Dobell (@GeorgeDobell1) July 4, 2022 India 245 All Out! England need 378 runs to win!Bumrah launches Stokes for six off the top edge and tries to repeat the shot the next ball but is caught by Crawley in the deep. Stokes has three wickets after lunch to mop up the tail without any real damage. England scamper off to strap the pads on.
There are 57 overs left in the day. Stokes’ boys are going to go for the runs, be in no doubt about that. Strap yourselves in, this could be a bumpy ride.
That’s it for the Indian innings and England have a mountain to climb to win this test. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images81st over: India 239-9 (Bumrah 1, Siraj 1) The new ball is available but Leach continues, India have had slim pickings in the run department since lunch.
WICKET! Jadeja b Stokes 23 (India 236-9)Jadeja chops on! Stoke bangs one in short of a length and Jadeja flashes a bat at it but the ball canons off and into the timbers! Now England need ONE more (I got ahead of myself earlier)
80th over: India 236-9 (Bumrah 0, Siraj 0)
Jadeja is out! Photograph: Steve Bond/Shutterstock79th over: India 236-8 (Jadeja 23, Bumrah 0) …And just one more off Leach’s latest too. It’s all very snoozy… but wait, what’s this… (how many ellipsis’/ellipsI? can one man use…?)
78th over: India 235-8 (Jadeja 22, Bumrah 0) Just one more single off Stokes. On we go.
77th over: India 234-8 (Jadeja 21, Bumrah 0) Leach bowls to Bumrah and goes up for an LBW appeal for one that straightens. The England players seem disinterested and don’t review… only for the replay to show three reds, it was well out!
Love the OBO, long time lurker, first time messenger.
Was sent this Wisden article by a friend on the new (sigh) bazball phenomena which seemed something of an insight in what England are aiming for; namely as per Waugh’s Aussies, intimidatory batting. The objective is speed of run accumulation, and one outcome I hadn’t considered, a big total compiled in 3 or 4 sessions that allows the bowlers lots of time and runs to play with, setting ultra attacking fields
Not sure this side will reach the heights of that aus team but its a good strategy to emulate!
Cheers to you Tom and very interesting stuff. Glad you finally plucked up the courage to email in, we’ve been expecting you… we are a very welcoming bunch on the OBO so don’t make it your last!
75th over: India 233-8 (Jadeja 20, Bumrah 0) Stokes continues to pound the pitch, just a couple come off it.
74th over: India 231-8 (Jadeja 19, Bumrah 0) Just a single off Leach.
WICKET! Shami ct Lees b Stokes 13 (India 230-8)Stokes starts up after lunch and gets Shami with a short ball that he lifts to Lees behind square. Two more to get for England, before they have a whole load of runs to get that is.
73rd over: India 230-8 (Jadeja 18, Bumrah 0)
Ben Stokes celebrates taking the wicket of Mohammed Shami. Photograph: James Marsh/ShutterstockLunch over – let’s do the afternoon session. Si?
Lions Squad Announced:
Lots to like about the Lions squad to play South Africa next week: Rehan Ahmed stands out among some exciting inclusions, and great to see Benny Howell get an overdue go
First game is an all-in tour game, second is 11-a-side, List A
Collingwood to coach pic.twitter.com/91r4760saF
— Matt Roller (@mroller98) July 4, 2022 LUNCH – India 229-7 – Lead by 361 runs.72nd over: India 229-7 (Jadeja 12, Shami 8) Leach throws up some tempters but Jadeja and Shami aren’t tempted. Time to raid the fridge!
71st over: India 226-7 (Jadeja 12, Shami 8) Shami gets a glove on a steepler from Potts and it runs away for four. We’ve got one over before lunch and Jack Leach is going to bowl it.
“Still think it is a bobbins tactic” chirps back Tom. Sanket Dhume is inclined to agree with you Rhodesy:
“Am I the only one that finds it hilarious that for all the big talk from Stokes & co. about being positive and aggressive, they revert to bowling bumpers round the wicket to number 8, 9 & 10s again?”
71st over: India 218-7 (Jadeja 12, Shami 8) Shami is the new batter, England know all too well that he can wield the bat effectively after he flogged them in the Lord’s Test last year. Sure enough, he steps back and carves Leach away for four.
70th over: India 212-7 (Jadeja 11, Shami 3) DROP! Anderson shells Jadeja pedalling backwards, he parries the ball up and can’t cling onto the re-bound! That could be costly. Anderson is livid with himself, he would have expected to catch that.
WICKET! Thakur ct Crawley b Potts 4 (India 207-7)Just as my mate Tom flings me a text with some fruity language to bemoan England’s short pitched tactics… Potts pockets Thakur with a bouncer that he pulls straight down Crawley’s throat at deep fine leg.
Shardul Thakur walks back to the pavilion after losing his wicket for four runs. Photograph: Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images69th over: India 207-6 (Jadeja 9, Thakur 4) Leach is keeping the pressure on, Jadeja can’t get him away. There’s a sense of frustration building here…
68th over: India 205-6 (Jadeja 8, Thakur 3) Thakur is ok and he gets into line to Potts and punches him away for a couple.
OUCH! Potts skids a short one onto Thakur that crashes into his lid. That gave off a real clunk. Thakur thankfully seems ok.
Thakur swaps helmets after being struck off the bowling of Matthew Potts. Photograph: David Davies/PA67th over: India 203-6 (Jadeja 8, Thakur 1) Thakur gets off the mark with a push to mid-on. It’s all gone oh so quiet.
66th over: India 201-6 (Jadeja 7, Thakur 0) Just a single off Potts’ latest. England have tightened things up.
Jimmy Anderson’s 100th catch in Tests – he’s the sixth player to achieve the treble of 1000 runs, 100 wickets and 100 catches, after Sobers, Botham, Hooper, Warne and Kallis. t.co/UJ2nHHaGvz
— Andy Zaltzman (@ZaltzCricket) July 4, 2022 65th over: India 200-6 (Jadeja 6, Thakur 0) Leach keeps things tight, just a single to Jadeja. ‘The Nut’ bowled well here so far.
64th over: India 199-6 (Jadeja 5, Thakur 0) Just a single off Potts’ latest. England still licking their lips at the prospect of this chase?
WICKET! Pant ct Root b Leach 57 (India 198-6)Leach gets his man! Pant tries to reverse-sweep him out of the rough stuff but only serves to pat it to Root at slip. India lead by 330. The dangerous Shardul Thakur is the new batter. Leach sends down a wicket-maiden.
63rd over: India 198-6 (Jadeja 4, Thakur 0)
Jack Leach dismisses the dangerman Rishabh Pant for 57. Photograph: David Davies/PA62nd over: India 198-5 (Pant 57, Jadeja 4) Potts sends down a lesser spotted maiden.
Gary Naylor has been getting his Moses on as setting out the commandments/characteristics of BazBall:
“‘Bazball’ which is something new, although it has borrowed elements from Clive Lloyd’s and Steve Waugh’s approach (though not, alas, their players). India, especially in those extraordinary wins with a second string in Aus, might be the closest template.
1. Players are backed in terms of continuity of selection and in public. Many of us think this has gone too far with Crawley and some are having doubts about Lees and might resurrect such about Leach if he is manhandled again.
2. At any point in the match, the preferred destination is the win. That means posting three or four slips when there would be one under Root and batting to build winning positions or chase challenging targets.
3. Momentum is real, so seek to seize it whenever it seems to be sliding away. So too is confidence, so never knock it, or even show its diminution.
4. Treat your opponent with respect. Some way to go on this, but the sledging does seem to have been replaced, to an extent, by smiles and/or rueful grins.
It is still early days, but these changes (more evident at the grounds than on TV) are substantive. Whether they are effective will not turn on winning or losing against an outstanding side that only Root, Anderson and possibly Stokes (and Bairstow on 2022 form) would get in, even without both first choice openers. It does face a provisional judgment after the SA series though.”
61st over: India 198-5 (Pant 57, Jadeja 4) Jack Leach, him of the ten wickets in the previous game is into the attack. His first ball is met by an audacious stroke from Pant, stretching far outside off stump and sweeping for four to the leg boundary. Leach responds well with five dots, and there is quite pronounced turn.
60th over: India 194-5 (Pant 53, Jadeja 4) Jadeja is the new batter and an outside edge that trickles down to third for four sees him off the mark straight away.
WICKET! Iyer ct Anderson b Potts 19 (India 190-5)Another soft dismissal, Potts gets Iyer to plop one into the hands of Jimmy Anderson at short-mid wicket.
Shreyas Iyer is out for a breezy 19. Photograph: Ben Whitley/Shutterstock59th over: India 186-4 (Pant 53, Iyer 19) Pant brings up FIFTY with a glance off Broad to the fine leg boundary. Broad is ‘ticking’ in the words of Nasser. Broad has one of those faces that when displeased would be called ‘mardy’ from where I hail from…
58th over: India 178-4 (Pant 46, Iyer 18) Shreyas Iyer bangs Matthew Potts for a couple of fours, one through point and another through the covers. Nasser Hussain on comms says that these two batters can take the game away from England in the next half an hour. I think it might be gone already, I just can’t see England obliterating this India bowling line-up in the way they did New Zealand’s. The lead is already 300 and some.
57th over: India 170-4 (Pant 46, Iyer 10) DROP! Crawley can’t hold onto a flying chance at gully, the ball hitting his wrist and then hitting the turf. Pant then *improves Broad’s mood hugely* by trying to ramp him off the last ball. He misses and Stuart gives him a volley, Umpire Dar having to step in. Maybe that will give England the bit between their teeth. Have I mentioned they’ve been flat this morning?
56th over: India 168-4 (Pant 45, Iyer 9) The impressive Potts is impressive again – looking slightly more threatening with his Peaky Blinders barnet he immediately looks England’s most, well, threatening bowler.
David Barnet is no fan of the term B**B** either:
“Not only does the word sound horrible, but the very term is vacuous and reductive. As Theresa May may still say: ‘BazBall means BazBall’. And I liked the way you called it an ‘idealogy’… the current England performance may contract your neologism.”
55th over: India 167-4 (Pant 44, Iyer 9) Eight runs come from Broad’s over – Iyer lays into a wayward ball from Broad and splices it over gully. England have been poor in the first 45 minutes this morning, Pujara’s gifted wicket a undeserved bonus. Here comes Matthew Potts to improve my grump.
54th over: India 159-4 (Pant 43, Iyer 2) Sure enough Pant rocks back to a short-ish ball from Anderson and laces it through mid-wicket for four.
Martin Wright is on the line:
“Morning James, tempting to conclude that India are showing England how to play Bazball with that magic additional ingredient of, er, intelligence. In other words, have a seasoned top order to see off the new ball, and lay a platform for a middle order to explode and batter a tiring attack around the park.As opposed to coming out all guns blazing from the start, aim wild drives at decent swinging deliveries and leave too much for even Johnny to rescue.And yes, can we retire ‘Bazball’ about, er now, please?”
Brian Withington feels the same: “B**B*** – I can’t even bring myself to spell it out!”
Another fifty for Rishabh Pant of Bazball India. Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock53rd over: India 154-4 (Pant 38, Iyer 1) The bowling change does the trick for Ben Stokes, Shreyas Iyer the new man. Pant has been rather becalmed so far this morning, I wonder if he’ll start to up the anti now Pujara has departed?
WICKET! Pujara ct Lees b Broad 66 (India 153-4)Just as I was about to say that England have been a bit flat and uninspired this morning… they are gifted a wicket they don’t really deserve. Inexplicably Pujara steers a short and wide ball by Broad straight to Lees at backward point. Tame end to an important knock.
Stuart Broad gets a lucky breakthrough with the wicket of Pujara. Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock52nd over: India 152-3 (Pujara 66, Pant 38) Pujara plays with ‘Fairy soft’ hands to glide Anderson away for four wide of the slips. Here comes Broad.
51st over: India 148-3 (Pujara 62, Pant 38) A couple off Root, Stuart Broad is warming up so this could be his last.
Robert Speed has the first email of the day, he’s clearly trying to jinx Rishabh…
“I have rarely if ever seen Pant troubled in the slightest when playing a defensive shot, or no shot. Only gets out playing an attacking shot. A sign of how good he is with bat in hand.”
Admirable effort Robert, let’s see if it does the biz. England need wickets, quick wickets.
50th over: India 146-3 (Pujara 61, Pant 37) A threatening over from Anderson as he finds some bounce on consecutive back of a length deliveries, the ball spitting onto Pujara’s gloves and bat handle. Just a single from the over.
49th over: India 145-3 (Pujara 61, Pant 36) Pant rocks back and crunches Root away for four. 20 runs have come already this morning, the lead is 277.
48th over: India 140-3 (Pujara 61, Pant 31) Pujara is ticking along in a Pant-esque fashion this morning. He plays a delightful square drive off Anderson for four and follows it up with a wristy flick off his toes that skims away to the fence.
How do we see this game going? Are India already out of sight on 272 ahead with their gun bowling attack? Let me know your thoughts and theories!
47th over: India 131-3 (Pujara 53, Pant 31) Root is bowling well, and he’ll have to – Pujara is a fine player of spin and Pant is a destructive player of the twirly stuff. Four byes go through Billings’ legs. Pujara’s foot movement is crisp as ever.
Joe Root in bowling action. Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock46th over: India 126-3 (Pujara 51, Pant 29) Anderson creaks into action, his first delivery looked particularly laboured and a bit stiff. Nevertheless, he’s on the button from the get go and it’s just a Pujara single off the over. Joe Root is going to twirl away from the other end.
The players take the field, Jimmy Anderson has the new ball – PLAY!
PreambleHello everyone and welcome to the day four OBO of England v India at Edgbaston.
Don’t like Mondays? Tell me why! Is it because England are a long way behind in this Test match and the ramifications of the ‘BazBall’ idealogy are coming home to roost? How long, by the way, before the term ‘BazBall’ becomes teeth gnawingly annoying? Are we there already? Let me know!
The contrasting methods of Pujara and Pant served to thwart England yesterday afternoon and into the evening, stretching India’s lead to 257 runs with seven more wickets in which to bat this game out of sight.
Now, England will surely go for whatever target they are set by Bumrah and co and who knows, maybe we will see something mind-boggling again in Birmingham? BUT, at what point does this score become definitively out of reach for even the most delusionally optimistic exponents and believers of ‘The New Way’? 400? 500? Is a fourth innings target ever truly out of sight anymore?
I guess we might have some answers soon enough, play is set to get underway at 10:30AM BRITISH SUMMERTIME.
Join us, and do get in touch, it will not be dull. Promise.