India 24/1 after 12 overs (Rohit Sharma 8, Cheteshwar Pujara 15)
And that is close of play. After restricting England to 205, India lost Gill early but then Rohit and Pujara consolidated with a steady partnership.
In the session: 31.5 overs, 85 runs, 6 wickets
India 18/1 after 10 overs (Rohit Sharma 7, Cheteshwar Pujara 11)
Very steady, no-risk approach by India.
India 13/1 after 8 overs (Rohit Sharma 5, Cheteshwar Pujara 8)
Some runs in the Leach over for India. Pujara gets going. Slow going but England’s bowlers have been accurate.
India 7/1 after 6 overs (Rohit Sharma 5, Cheteshwar Pujara 2)
India just looking to get their eye in. Rohit is not in a rush. Pujara is never in a rush.
India 4/1 after 4 overs (Rohit Sharma 4, Cheteshwar Pujara 0)
Two maidens on the trot.
India 4/1 after 2 overs (Rohit Sharma 4, Cheteshwar Pujara 0)
Stokes getting some shape away from the right hander. Important for India to get through the first spell from Anderson.
Stokes from the other end.
India 0/1 after 0.3 overs (Rohit Sharma 0)
WICKET! Anderson strikes in his first over to send back Gill. Once again troubled by the ball that came into him. Shubman Gill lbw b Anderson 0(3)
England have failed to make the most of their starts and they might come back to regret this. Batting wasn’t difficult... certainly not as difficult as it has been in the last two Tests but England failed to force India into a corner. One shouldn’t judge a pitch before both sides have batted on it but it sure feels like England should have done much better.
England 205 all out after 75.5 overs (Anderson 10)
WICKET! Leach is the last man dismissed and England once again haven’t managed to truly make the most of the opportunity to bat first. Jack Leach lbw b Ashwin 7(17)
England 203/9 after 74 overs (Leach 6, Anderson 9)
And England have gone past 200. For the first time since the first Test. It has been a hard grind.
England 189/9 after 70.4 overs (Leach 1)
WICKET! Bess is trapped LBW by Axar, who picks up his fourth wicket of the innings. The review did not help. Dom Bess lbw b Axar 3(16)
England 188/8 after 70.1 overs (Bess 3)
WICKET! A moment of madness from Lawrence. He had hit a few good shots in the past few overs but this time he pre-meditated and was down the wicket even though Axar didn’t give the ball any air. Easy stumping for Pant. Daniel Lawrence st Pant b Axar 46(74)
England 188/7 after 70 overs (Lawrence 46, Bess 3)
Lawrence continues to stay positive. Goes down the wicket to Ashwin and smashes one straight down the ground. Ashwin got his hand to it but the ball still sped to the boundary. Impressive innings.
England 174/7 after 67 overs (Lawrence 35, Bess 0)
Lawrence survived. For a moment, it looked like it was another unlucky dismissal. Gill, at short leg, was convinced that the ball bounced directly off his boot but the third umpire thought it bounced just before it hit the boot. It was very, very close.
England 170/7 after 65.4 overs (Lawrence 31)
WICKET! Ashwin’s floater does the trick. Sets up Foakes and gets him caught at first slip. Beautiful bowling this. Foakes c Rahane b Ashwin 1(12)
Ishant Sharma is off the field due to some issues with his ankle. Mayank Agarwal is substituting for him.
England 166/6 after 61.3 overs (Lawrence 28)
WICKET! Pope is gone. He was looking so good. An inside edge went straight onto the back foot and looped up to short leg. Ashwin’s first wicket of the innings has come at just the right time for India. Ollie Pope c Shubman Gill b Ashwin 29(87)
England 166/5 after 61 overs (Pope 29, Lawrence 28)
Maiden over by Axar.
England 166/5 after 60 overs (Pope 29, Lawrence 28)
Pope batting well. Using his feet to get to the pitch of the ball and defending. Then, staying back and cutting one away to the boundary line.
England 160/5 after 59 overs (Pope 24, Lawrence 27)
Lawrence has done well for England. He has played positively and even after the fall of Stokes’ wicket, the pressure hasn’t been allowed to pile on. Most impressive England batsman today. He has 27 off 41 balls.
England 149/5 after 57 overs (Pope 22, Lawrence 19)
An edge from Lawrence’s bat flew wide of the slips for a four. England bat deep but they need to make this first innings count.
Players are back on the field for the final session.
England 144/5 after 56 overs (Pope 21, Lawrence 15)
A pretty decent session for England. They have moved the game along slowly, but India won’t mind this either – they got Stokes and Bairstow in the session.
In the session: 31 overs, 70 runs, 2 wickets
England 139/5 after 55 overs (Pope 21, Lawrence 11)
Three runs off the Ashwin over and that is actually a lot considering how miserly the off-spinner has been. The bowling figures so far: 10-4-17-0.
England 136/5 after 54 overs (Pope 19, Lawrence 10)
Ishant back into the attack. Kohli trying to see if his pacers will get some reverse swing. We didn’t see much in the over though.
England 134/5 after 52 overs (Pope 17, Lawrence 10)
England doing the right thing. Just trying to spend as much time in the middle but also trying to keep the scoreboard ticking along.
England 130/5 after 50 overs (Pope 14, Lawrence 9)
Two fours in the Axar over for Lawrence. He used his feet to hit down the wicket for the first one and then hit one through the covers.
England 121/5 after 46.4 overs (Pope 14)
WICKET! Washington strikes to send back Stokes. The left-hander played for the turn, the ball went on straight and hit on the back leg. Stokes did not review. In the last over, a couple of balls had turned big but this time, nothing. India have the big wicket. Stokes lbw b Washington Sundar 55(121)
England 119/4 after 46 overs (Stokes 54, Pope 13)
And England roll on. Stokes and Pope have put on 41 runs. Another decent partnership for Root’s side.
England 110/4 after 44 overs (Stokes 51, Pope 11)
A reverse-swept four off the last ball of the Axar over gets Stokes to his 24th Test fifty. This has been a fabulous knock. He has been patient. It has not been all-out aggression. But when he has got the bad ball, he has taken full toll.
England 110/4 after 43 overs (Stokes 47, Pope 11)
A better rhythm to England’s batting. They keep getting the odd single. No one getting stuck. India have to stay patient.
England 108/4 after 42 overs (Stokes 46, Pope 10)
A quick single for Pope in the Axar over. India got the direct hit in but the batsman was home safe.
England 107/4 after 41 overs (Stokes 46, Pope 9)
A six to finish the over. Stokes tried playing the big shot a few times earlier in the over. It didn’t come off but it worked off the last ball. England wouldn’t want Washington to also get stuck in.
England 101/4 after 40 overs (Stokes 40, Pope 9)
Pope played one late and cut it away for four. That shot took England past 100. The tourists are at least trying to fight it out in the middle. The odd ball is turning big. Time for a drinks break.
England 97/4 after 39 overs (Stokes 40, Pope 5)
Washington gets one to turn and two to go past the edge. A good start for him. This sure will help his confidence.
Washington Sundar into the attack.
England 95/4 after 38 overs (Stokes 38, Pope 5)
Two runs from the Axar over. Keeping it steady.
England 93/4 after 37 overs (Stokes 37, Pope 4)
A glorious straight drive by Stokes off the first ball off the Siraj over showed that he is in much more control now. No more runs in the over but this has been a long spell (6 overs) for Siraj already.
England 89/4 after 36 overs (Stokes 33, Pope 4)
Axar has shifted to the Reliance end now. This is the end he got all the wickets from in the third Test and almost immediately, he starts getting some big turn.
England 88/4 after 35 overs (Stokes 33, Pope 4)
Maiden over by Siraj. Pope just trying to find some rhythm in the middle.
England 88/4 after 34 overs (Stokes 33, Pope 4)
Ashwin continues from one end. Axar is getting a rest and the off-spinner has had success against both Stokes and Pope in this series.
England 87/4 after 33 overs (Stokes 33, Pope 3)
A single for Pope but England have been unable to seize the initiative after winning the toss. This is clearly going to be the best day to bat on.
England 86/4 after 32 overs (Stokes 33, Pope 2)
That ‘conversation’ with Kohli and Siraj just seems have helped Stokes get even more focussed. Lovely four. He seems settled now.
England 82/4 after 31 overs (Stokes 29, Pope 2)
Navdeep Saini was supposed to be the quick one. But this is really impressive from Saini. Good pace and spirit.
England 78/4 after 30 overs (Stokes 28, Pope 0)
Ashwin keeping things very tight from end. Just 8 runs from 6 overs.
England 78/4 after 28.1 overs (Stokes 28)
WICKET! Siraj strikes, traps Bairstow LBW. The review does not help England, it comes down to umpire’s call. Bairstow and Stokes put on 48 runs. Just the start India wanted to the session. Bairstow lbw b Siraj 28(67)
England 78/3 after 28 overs (Bairstow 28, Stokes 28)
Maiden over by Ashwin but a review wasted on the last ball. Ashwin convincing Kohli to review a decision India had no business reviewing. Happens far too often.
England 78/3 after 27 overs (Bairstow 28, Stokes 28)
Swann: “The pitch seems more prepared than the last one.” But then he quickly goes on to add that the difference may also be the colour of the ball. The pink ball did skid onto the batsmen a lot more.
England 75/3 after 26 overs (Bairstow 28, Stokes 25)
A single off the first over after lunch. The first hour is important for both teams. If Bairstow and Stokes get their eye in, it could inspire a lot of confidence in the England dressing room.
Almost time for the post lunch session to resume. Can England keep the fourth wicket partnership going or will India strike back?
England 74/3 after 25 overs (Bairstow 28, Stokes 24)
England get a couple of runs in the last over before lunch. The pitch has played pretty well. Something for the bowlers but not as extreme as we have seen in the previous two Tests. The partnership between Bairstow and Stokes is already worth 44 off 78 balls. Good recovery by England after being reduced to 30/3 in the early going.
In the session: 25 overs, 74 runs, 3 wickets
England 72/3 after 24 overs (Bairstow 27, Stokes 23)
Maiden over by Ashwin. Again. The web is being spun. The last ball of the over was given air and Stokes was drawn into the false shot.
England 72/3 after 23 overs (Bairstow 27, Stokes 23)
Another maiden over. Axar settling into a tighter line.
England 72/3 after 22 overs (Bairstow 27, Stokes 23)
Maiden over by Ashwin. Stokes defends calmly.
England 72/3 after 21 overs (Bairstow 27, Stokes 23)
A bit too wide from Ishant and Bairstow helped himself to another four. He now has 6 fours in his 27. The Indian bowlers have been giving him the release shot.
England 68/3 after 20 overs (Bairstow 23, Stokes 23)
The Stokes vs Ashwin battle has begun. Ashwin has taken Stokes’ wicket 11 times in Test cricket and he will fancy his chances. Stokes knows he has to attack if he wants to have an impact on the match. A six off the fifth ball of the over shows what he is going to do.
R Ashwin into the attack after 19 overs in the England innings.
England 61/3 after 19 overs (Bairstow 22, Stokes 17)
Something for the fast bowlers from one end. Ishant replaces Siraj at the Reliance end. But Kohli should have given Ashwin a bowl by now given that Stokes is in the middle.
England 55/3 after 18 overs (Bairstow 18, Stokes 16)
A few more loose balls from Axar but also Bairstow looking to be more proactive. The partnership is already worth 25. This is what England needed.
England 50/3 after 17 overs (Bairstow 14, Stokes 15)
Commentators talking about 50 feels like a landmark given how England’s batsmen have done in recent times. Hah!
England 49/3 after 16 overs (Bairstow 14, Stokes 14)
A four for Bairstow. If Bairstow and Stokes get going, runs could come quickly for England. This could work for the visitors.
England 45/3 after 15 overs (Bairstow 10, Stokes 14)
A no-ball to start the over and then three fours. Good over for England. Siraj continuing to say stuff to Stokes. England won’t mind this. Siraj has been bowling so well but now he wants to make a point.
England 32/3 after 14 overs (Bairstow 10, Stokes 2)
Maiden over by Axar.
A bit of a needle in the middle. Kohli and Stokes having a long ‘conversation’. Looks like Stokes said something Siraj and the Indian skipper stepped in.
England 30/3 after 12.1 overs (Bairstow 10)
WICKET! First ball after the break and Siraj send back Root. The England skipper was trapped LBW by a ball that came in. Wow. Root lbw b Siraj 5(9)
England 30/2 after 12 overs (Bairstow 10, Root 5)
Time for a drinks break. India have done well in the first hour of play. Axar is back among the wickets and England have their task cut out.
England 26/2 after 11 overs (Bairstow 6, Root 5)
Four runs off the last ball from Siraj’s over for Root. It was a short ball and Root’s shot was not the most convincing.
England 22/2 after 10 overs (Bairstow 6, Root 1)
Axar continues to do his thing. Even when he doesn’t get wickets, he keeps things so tight. Two runs from the over.
England 20/2 after 9 overs (Bairstow 5, Root 0)
Bairstow finally gets off the mark. England will want to attack Axar and throw him off his line and length but that it easier said than done.
England 15/2 after 7.5 overs (Bairstow 0)
WICKET! Another wicket for Axar. Crawley tried to be aggressive but got a top-edge and was caught at mid-off. Wow. Another two-day Test coming up? Zak Crawley c Siraj b Axar 9(30)
England 11/1 after 7 overs (Crawley 4, Bairstow 0)
One run from the Ishant over. He continues to keep things right. He has bowling figures of 4-2-4-0.
England 10/1 after 5.2 overs (Crawley 4)
WICKET! Axar into the attack and Axar strikes. Sibley inside-edges a straight ball back onto the stumps. It didn’t take long. England can’t play spin.... well, they certainly can’t play Axar. Sibley b Axar 2(8)
And here we go. Axar into the attack.
England 10/0 after 5 overs (Crawley 4, Sibley 2)
Maiden over by Ishant.
England 9/0 after 3 overs (Crawley 3, Sibley 2)
A bit too full from Ishant and Crawley helped himself to two runs down the ground. How much longer before India turn to spin? According to the pitch reviews, one end is drier than the other.
England 6/0 after 2 overs (Crawley 0, Sibley 2)
Four leg byes make it 6 runs in the over but good start by Siraj.
England 0/0 after 1 over (Crawley 0, Sibley 0)
India called for a review off the second ball of the day after Ishant hit Crawley on the pads. But the umpire got it right, the tracker showed that it would have missed the stumps. Review lost but Ishant getting the big in-dipper going early.
England’s openers are out to begin the Test. They have three proper bowlers along with Ben Stokes and Joe Root. If they get runs on board, it won’t be easy for India on a pitch that should take turn early.
Six sixes!!! Meanwhile, there was some madness in the West Indies vs Sri Lanka T20I just a few hours back...
Playing XIs: One change for India, two for England.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant(w), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj
England: Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root(c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Ben Foakes(w), Daniel Lawrence, Dominic Bess, Jack Leach, James Anderson
Virat Kohli: We would’ve batted first too. It looks good to bat on, on Day 1... we have to be at our best, and England are a quality side, who have and can put us under pressure. We have to be at the top of our game.
Joe Root: We’re batting first. We need to make use of the first innings, because it’ll spin again very soon so we need to get runs on the board soon.
TOSS: England win toss and elect to bat first.
The pitch will be in focus on Day 1 of the fourth Test between India and England. Will we get another extreme turner or just a regular turner?
Joe Root has urged his England team to be “braver” and to free themselves from fear but India will try and ensure that things aren’t that easy for the tourists..
The tourists have sustained heavy defeats in the past two matches – by 317 runs in Chennai and 10 wickets in a chastening two-day finish in Ahmedabad – but can still draw the series 2-2.
Ever since Root’s double century in the series opener paved the way for a score of 578 and a landmark win, England have struggled against spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel.
Root’s side have been bowled out for 134, 164, 112 and 81 but he wants his team to stop being paralysed by worry and try to land a few more blows of their own.
Kohli, on the other hand, knows that his bowlers are in a different class and if the batsmen produce the runs, it is difficult to stop Ashwin and Co.