ENG 53/3 after 17 overs: Well, that’s the end to what was an absorbing day of Test match cricket at The Oval. England have Malan (26 off 46) and Overton (1 off 8) at the crease now. Kohli, Thakur, Bumrah and Umesh were the key contributors for India today. Which team will be happier heading into day two?

ENG 52/3 after 15.3 overs: WICKET! WHAT. A. BALL! Umesh Yadav comes up with an absolute peach to knock back Joe Root’s off stump. It came back in and went through the gap between bat and pad. Huge blow for England as Root walks back for 21 off 25.

ENG 45/2 after 12 overs: Poor start from Siraj, he drifts onto the leg stump and gets clipped by Root for four to the fine-leg fence. Siraj then bowls a gift on Malan’s pads and the left-hander flicks it comfortably for four. Eleven runs come from that over.

ENG 34/2 after 11 overs: The runs are starting to flow for England. Malan and Root have both hit three boundaries each. This time Malan guides one from Thakur to the third-man fence.

ENG 29/2 after 10 overs: A loud appeal for LBW but the umpire says not out. Bumrah struck Malan on the front pad from round the wicket and the replay showed the ball would have gone over. Malan then ends the over with a glorious cover-drive for four.

ENG 25/2 after 9 overs: Two more fours for Root! Umesh bowls it on the pads and the right-hander flicks it through mid-wicket. He follows that up with a late cut past backward point.

ENG 17/2 after 8 overs: Bumrah drifts onto the pads and Malan clips it four two. The left-hander then gets a thick outside edge past gully for four. Much-needed runs for England.

ENG 10/2 after 6 overs: Root gets off the mark with a smart dab through the slip cordon for four. Bumrah keeping it outside off in that over to the England captain.

ENG 6/2 after 4 overs: WICKET! Bumrah has removed both openers in one over! What a start for India with the ball. This time Hameed edges it and Pant takes a good catch. The game is well and truly on!

ENG 5/1 after 3.2 overs: WICKET! Bumrah strikes early as Burns chops one on. Just the start India needed! Bumrah with a cold stare after that strike.

ENG 5/0 after 3 overs: A drive past extra-cover by Burns to pick up three. Not much swing on offer so far for the pacers.

ENG 2/0 after 2 overs: Bumrah hits the mark immediately and starts with a maiden over. This will be a testing period for Burns and Hameed.

ENG 2/0 after 1 over: Good start from Umesh, gets some shape and keeps it tight to start off. It will be interesting to see how he goes about in his comeback game. Bumrah to start proceedings from the other end.

9.41 pm: Right, the England openers are out in the middle. Umesh will bowl the first over. India, thanks to half-centuries from Kohli and Thakur, have something to play with. But they’ll need wickets with the new ball. Here we go!


Shardul Thakur’s knock was great while it lasted but it hasn’t taken long for the rest of the tail to crumble. Umesh the last man dismissed as Bairstow takes a superb catch. Woakes finishes with a four-for, Robinson with a three-for. But India will be pleased with how far they got thanks to Thakur’s brilliance.

IND 190/8 after 61.1 overs: WICKET! Unfortunate dismissal for Bumrah as he is run-out without facing a ball. Overton dropped Umesh at first slip but Burns quickly got the direct hit and Bumrah was well short trying to steal a single.

IND 190/7 after 61 overs: WICKET! Chris Woakes stops the Shardul Thakur juggernaut. The umpire said not out for LBW but the review showed three reds. Thakur walks back for a sensational 57 off 36.

IND 185/6 after overs: 50 for Shardul Thakur! What a stunning counterattack this has been from the right-hander. He gets to 53 off just 31 with his third six. These are priceless runs for India.

IND 172/6 after 59 overs: SIX & FOUR! This is a brilliant counterattack from Thakur. He’s keeping a solid base and singing cleanly. This partnership has added 45 off 36. Thakur is batting in 43 off 27.

IND 160/6 after 58 overs: Now Umesh gets in on the act! He first gets two past gully and then smashes one past mid-wicket for four. Six runs from that Overton over.

IND 154/6 after 57 overs: Two more fours for Thakur, both through the mid-wicket region. These are priceless runs for India and will be frustrating for Root. Thakur is batting on 31 off 21 now.

SIX! Shardul Thakur is putting on a show here. He hit Woakes for back-to-back fours in the previous over, and this time Overton is smacked over the long-off fence for six. The right-hander has raced to 22 off 14.

IND 139/6 after 55 overs: Back-to-back fours for Thakur! The first one was an unorthodox pull and the next a classy on drive. He follows that up with another straight drive for three. Expensive over from Woakes. Just what India needed.

IND 127/7 after 53 overs: DROPPED! Rishabh Pant gets a life as Craig Overton doesn’t hold on at third slip. It was a tough chance for Overton and he should’ve perhaps left it for Rory Burns at second slip. Chris Woakes the unlucky bowler again.
WICKET! He had JUST got a life but that doesn’t stop Rishabh Pant from stepping out again and playing a nothing shot. The ball looped up and Moeen Ali took a comfortable catch at mid-off. Pant walks back for 9 off 33 as Umesh joins Thakur at the crease.

IND 127/6 after 52 overs: Second ball of the post-tea session: Rishabh Pant steps out to Craig Overton and slams it past cover for four. The left-hander is going to play his way, will it pay off?

8.32 pm: Time for the final session. Can India’s tail do the job with the bat again?


Another solid session for England as India get to 122/6 in 51 overs. Virat Kohli got an impressive half-century but that hasn’t stopped the hosts from taking control of the match. India have Pant and Thakur at the crease now.

IND 117/6 after 49.5 overs: WICKET! Excellent diving catch from Moeen Ali in the slips and Ajinkya Rahane is gone for 14 off 47. Craig Overton gets his first. India in all sorts of trouble. Shardul Thakur is the new batsman.

IND 108/5 after 48 overs: A bit of a mix-up between Rahane and Pant while going for a single, but no harm done. The importance of this partnership cannot be overstated. India have Thakur, Umesh, Bumrah and Siraj to follow.

IND 105/5 after 45 overs: A huge swing-and-miss from Pant! He came down the track, took a massive swing, had no balance whatsoever, and missed the ball completely. A wry smile from Robinson. India don’t need such recklessness at the moment. Having intent is another thing, of course. Not this.

IND 105/5 after 42.5 overs: WICKET! Robinson gets Kohli! A wonderful delivery from the right-arm pacer – it was slightly short of length – and it gets the outside edge. India have lost half their side as the skipper walks back for 50 off 96.

IND 105/4 after 42 overs: Maiden over from Anderson. He has cut his knee open after diving to stop the ball. There is a big red patch on his trouser because of the bleeding but the 39-year-old is motoring on.

IND 105/4 after 40 overs: FIFTY for Virat Kohli! His 27th half-century in Test cricket. The India captain has looked impressive so far and his team needs him to keep going.

100 comes up for India in the 39th over. They have Rahane and a set Kohli at the crease. The duo has added 31 runs for the fifth wicket so far.

IND 96/4 after 38 overs: Kohli is putting on a bit of an exhibition here. Another cover drive for four! This time off Anderson. He didn’t quite get as close to the pitch of the ball this time but that didn’t stop him from finding the middle of the bat.

IND 92/4 after 37 overs: Another cover-drive from Kohli and another four for him. This time it’s Robinson at the receiving end. Kohli moves on to 41.

IND 83/4 after 36 overs: Anderson returns to the attack and Kohli gets one past point for three. Rahane is just about hanging in there at the moment.

IND 79/4 after 34 overs: Shot! That was majestic from Kohli. A big stride out, a full extension of the bat, a glorious cover-drive, and four runs for the India captain.

IND 74/4 after 33 overs: Kohli picks a single in that Overton over. This is a crucial, crucial Test for Rahane. He looked good in the second innings at Lord’s but has struggled otherwise. India need their vice-captain to stand up.

IND 73/4 after 32 overs: Rahane survives! He was given out LBW but the review showed the ball going over. Woakes is in the middle of a top spell.

IND 69/4 after 30 overs: WICKET! This time Root makes no mistake in the slips. Woakes gets the edge again, this time off Jadeja’s bat, and the ball goes straight to the England skipper at first skip. India are 69/4. Jadeja walks back for 10 off 34.

IND 69/3 after 29 overs: Maiden over from Overton. Warne in commentary suggesting England’s fielders are standing too close to each other in the slip cordon, hence the confusion. That drop could prove to be costly.

IND 69/3 after 28 overs: DROPPED! Chris Woakes gets Virat Kohli’s outside edge and Joe Root doesn’t hold on at first slip. It was a bit wide of the England skipper and he seemed to move late. Big reprieve for the India captain. Ravindra Jadeja then rubs salt into England’s wound by clipping one past square-leg for four.

IND 64/3 after 27 overs: Another four for India, this time off Jadeja’s bat. He gets a thick outside edge off Overton and the ball flies past the vacant gully region for four.

IND 60/3 after 26 overs: Shot! Woakes pitches it full and wide and Kohli leans forward nicely to drive it past extra-cover for four. He loves scoring in that region and that shot will give him a lot of confidence.

6.12 pm: The players are out on the field for the second session. India need a strong session with the bat. Kohli and Jadeja are at the crease.

Ind 54/3 after 25 overs: And that is lunch. 25 overs, 54 runs, 3 wickets. Root will go back to the dressing room feeling like he made the right decision at the toss. Kohli on 18 and Jadeja on 2 in the middle for India.

Ind 53/3 after 24 overs: Maiden over from Anderson but it did have some tense moment for Jadeja. He left one delivery that came in quite sharply and then was rapped on the pads too. Good bowling this.

Ind 53/3 after 23 overs: 10 runs off the Overton over and India have gone past fifty. Two fours for Kohli. One lovely shot down the ground and one to third man.

Ind 43/3 after 22 overs: England keeping it steady. Jadeja playing sensibly... for now.

Ravindra Jadeja has come out to bat ahead of Ajinkya Rahane and Rishabh Pant.

Ind 39/3 after 19.4 overs: WICKET! Pujara (4) edges it to the keeper. Anderson strikes. Late movement but the batsman followed the ball too.

Stat alert: Kohli has now made over 23,000 runs in international cricket.

Ind 38/2 after 19 overs: Overton starts off with a maiden over.

Overton into the attack, replacing Woakes.

Ind 38/2 after 18 overs: Lovely on-drive for four. Kohli just waited and lent into the drive.

And Anderson it is.

Ind 34/2 after 17 overs: Steady from Woakes. When does Root go to Anderson?

Ind 32/2 after 16 overs: Another maiden over from Robinson. He hasn’t conceded a run for over an hour and he has one wicket too. Brilliant. His bowling figures read: 8-6-8-1.

Ind 32/2 after 15 overs: Runs for India after a long time. Woakes strayed onto Pujara’s pads and he helped it along for a four.

Ind 28/2 after 13.5 overs: WICKET! Rahul (17) gone too. Robinson strikes. The umpire took a while before giving his decision. India reviewed the decision but it came down to the umpire’s call. The openers are back in the hut and India are already in big trouble.

Ind 28/1 after 13 overs: Six maiden overs in a row and we have a drinks break.

Ind 28/1 after 12 overs: The first six over or so, the ball did nothing but now it is starting to move around a bit. Another maiden over. England took a review against an LBW decision off the last ball but it was a poor one. KL Rahul still there. Review lost.

Ind 28/1 after 11 overs: Woakes with another maiden over. Pujara looked to get off the mark with a quick single but was rightly sent back by Rahul.

Ind 28/1 after 10 overs: Robinson with a maiden over. Keeps the pressure on the batsmen.

Ind 28/1 after 9 overs: A maiden wicket by Woakes. Little Rohit Sharma (11) could have done about that one. It seemed to bounce on him and the pace surprised him too. What a ball! Rohit c Bairstow b Woakes 11(27)

Woakes coming into the attack now.

Ind 28/0 after 8 overs: Two plays and misses by Rahul just outside the off-stump. Drawn into the shot. Robinson has gone even fuller and it seems to be the way to go. Anderson was dragging it back a little but he might learn from this too.

Ind 28/0 after 7 overs: Two lovely check drives down the ground by Rohit. A bit too full from Anderson, who hasn’t got much help from the wicket yet.

Ind 21/0 after 6 overs: Not too much swing for the England bowlers yet. Not much in the air and not much off the wicket either. A four for Rohit in the over, was in the air for a bit though.

“If you are not picking the sixth batsman, playing five bowlers and Ashwin still doesn’t fit in... it is very surprising.”

– Ajit Agarkar being polite on air.

Ind 17/0 after 5 overs: Another four for KL Rahul who has moved to 14 off 18 balls. He has taken full toll of the loose balls.

Ind 13/0 after 4 overs: Some good singles for the batsmen. Gets the blood flowing and keeps the fielders on their toes too.

Ind 9/0 after 3 overs: Half volley from Anderson and KL Rahul puts it away. Then, a couple of balls later, a thick edge goes through the slips cordon for four.

Ind 1/0 after 2 overs: Robinson from the other end. He has been one of England’s finds in the series. Starts off with an outswinger but his inswingers also troubled the batsmen in the last game.

Ind 1/0 after 1 over: Anderson to start things off and he is in the channel right away. The Indian opening pair won’t have it easy.

National anthems done: Here we go. Cloudy skies. Green pitch. Focus on India’s openers.

Focus on openers: India have a weakness at 3-4-5 but the initial focus will be the openers who have shown that they have the ability to bat with discipline. It is cloudy and the wicket has some live grass on it. The first session will be a tough one.

All about balance and match-ups: When asked about Ashwin not getting picked for this Test too, Kohli said, “England has four left-handers, so a good match-up for Jadeja, with our seamers bowling over the wicket.”

He also spoke about the balance since India continue to play four pacers.

Two changes for England too: Pope and Woakes come into the playing XI.

England playing XI: Rory Burns, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root(c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson

No Ashwin: “We would’ve bowled first as well looking at the conditions,” says Virat Kohli.

Ishant missing, Umesh in. Shami out, Thakur in. No Ashwin for India.

India playing XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

Toss: Joe Root has won the toss and England are going to bowl first looking at the overhead conditions. It is cloudy. Pope and Woakes come into the team.

Play Ashwin? Live grass on the wicket but it does help the spinners later in the game. Will Kohli go with two spinners? Will Ashwin get a game?

The pitch: What will the pitch look like? It looks a little green but experts reckon it will be dry underneath. Will that be enough bring R Ashwin into the picture for India?

Preview: England captain Joe Root has urged his team to produce a “ruthless” display in the fourth Test against India at the Oval starting Thursday.

England’s innings and 76-run victory at Headingley last week has left the five-match series all square at 1-1.

But with wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler absent to attend the birth of his second child and concerns about the impact a gruelling schedule of three Tests in three weeks will have on their fast bowlers, England could still make as many as three changes to a winning side.

“Now is when the hard work starts,” England captain Root told reporters on Tuesday.

“We’ve got to look to go even further, dig deeper and really start to go through the gears,” added Root, who scored his third hundred in as many Tests last week – his sixth of 2021 – and is now set to climb to the top of the International Cricket Council Test batting rankings when the points system is updated on Wednesday.

“A world-class side like India, led by Virat Kohli, I expect nothing less than a response. It would be naive to think otherwise. We’ve just got ourselves back to level and, if we find ourselves ahead of the game at any stage, we must get ruthless again.”