Jos Buttler once again proved to be a thorn in India's flesh as his gutsy knock of 69 enabled the hosts to put up a fighting 260 for 8 in their second innings on the third day of an even poised fourth Test at The Rose Bowl in Southampton. Overall, England now have a competitive lead of 233 runs and it could be a tricky chase for the Indian line-up especially with the track being two-paced where handling Stuart Broad could prove to be a difficult proposition. Buttler received good support from the stodgy Ben Stokes (30, 110 balls) adding 56 runs for the sixth wicket and 55 runs for the seventh wicket with the ever-improving Sam Curan (37 batting, 67 balls). How quickly India get Curran out tomorrow will decide the quantum of runs that India would need to chase. This was Buttler's ninth Test fifty and he showed a lot of application even though he was troubled by the initial spell from Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami. He survived a good spell of reverse swing from Shami and was ready to cut down on the shots square of the wicket.He only played the deliveries on the drivable length as his 122-ball innings had seven boundaries.In fact, England were in trouble at 122 for 5 when Joe Root was run out for 48. The lead was not even 100 runs but it was Buttler, who took the attack back to the opposition camp as Ravichandran Ashwin (35-7-78-1) despite being economical was not half as effective as Moeen Ali. The Tamil Nadu off-spinner couldn't use the footmarks created by the trio of Mohammed Shami (3/53), Ishant Sharma (2/36) and Jasprit Bumrah (1/51 in 19 overs). His only success was Stokes, who has been showing his defensive traits in this series with some dogged resistance. He was finally out caught in the slips to Ajinkya Rahane after a stand that lasted for 22 overs. Buttler, however, continued to defy the Indian bowlers in company of Curran as they also consumed nearly 17 overs. Finally, it was the second new b, however, did the trick as Ishant angled one into Buttler to trap him leg before. Curran however batted in a positive fashion hitting Bumrah for a couple of boundaries.
India vs England 4th Test Day 3 scorecard
In Pics: India vs England 4th Test Day 3 highlights
Day 3: Second session report
- This was after a well-set Root was back in the pavilion for 48 after Mohammed Shami's direct throw found him short of crease.
- Having removed Keaton Jennings (36) at the stroke of lunch, Mohammed Shami (2/40) was on a hat-trick when he removed Jonny Bairstow (0) off the very first ball post break.
- However Stokes and Root negotiated the Indian bowling well for the next 14 overs before the skipper didn't ground his bat properly while sprinting towards the striker's end.
- Shami bowled a sharp and precise spell, giving nothing away to the batsmen.
- It could be seen in how England only added 60 runs in the session, never getting ahead of the scoring rate, particularly as they were forced to rebuild the innings again.
- The pivotal moment came in the 46th over, when Shami ran out Root with a direct throw from mid-on.
- Thereafter, Buttler and Stokes batted with calmness in a bid to bring England back in the game. By tea time, they had added 30 runs for the sixth wicket, with the scoring coming only in spurts.
- Ravichandran Ashwin (0-46) bowled a long spell in this second session and albeit wicket-less, he kept it tight, conceding at only 2.2 per over.
- This was after England were placed at 92-3 at lunch with Shami trapping Keaton Jennings (36) last ball before the break, with DRS overruling the batsman's referral. It ended the 59-run partnership between Jennings and Root.
In Pics: First and second session highlights
Day 3: First Session report
- Starting from overnight 6-0, England made a slow start with openers Jennings and Alastair Cook (12) made a slow start, putting on 24 for the first wicket. They were more intent on staying at the wicket, even as Indian pacers didn't get as much purchase they did in the first innings.
- Despite slow proceedings, Jasprit Bumrah (1/31) got the breakthrough in the 13th over as Cook edged to KL Rahul at second slip, who held a juggling catch on third attempt.
- Surprisingly, Moeen Ali (9) was given a promotion and batted at number three, albeit managing only nine runs for the second-wicket partnership.
- Ishant Sharma (1-11) nicked him off in the 16th over, with Rahul holding another low catch at second slip. Replays suggested that he managed to get fingers under the ball, and Ali had to walk back.
- It was his 11th catch in the series, the most for an Indian fielder in England, going past Rahul Dravid's 10 catches in the 2002 four-Test series here.
- Root then came out to bat at number four, and along with Jennings, pulled his side out of trouble. While the latter dug in deep and fought hard to preserve his wicket, the former was easier on the eyes and punished any loose balls. Root hit four fours during his 50-ball stay thus far.
- The duo put on 50 from 84 balls for the third wicket as England started to recover from their slow start in the morning session. But Shami left them to do it all over again right at the break.
How Cheteshwar Pujara helped India take a lead
Cheteshwer Pujara went to the crease after the dismissal of K L Rahul and started his innings by soaking up deliveries. After Dhawan’s wicket fell, Virat Kohli joined him in the field. Kohli's flamboyance helped Pujara as the latter played some splendid square cuts and cover drives. Pujara, who notched up his 15th overall hundred and second outside Asia, used his feet brilliantly against the spinners and dropped anchor to stitch together a 92-run third wicket stand with skipper Kohli (46). Pujara was then joined by tailenders Ishant Sharma (14) and Jasprit Bumrah (6) for a 32-run and 46-run partnership, respectively, after a middle-order collapse before tea. He ensured he firmly held one end, even as he scored his 132 off 257 balls with the help of 16 boundaries. India were some 50 runs away when they lost the eighth wicket and a handy lead looked likely for England. But Pujara shepherded the tail to help the visitors take a vital lead. The right-hander from Saurashtra brought up his ton by hitting Moeen Ali back over his head for two runs.
How Moeen Ali wreaked havoc on Indian batting line-up
Moeen Ali returned to the English playing 11 in the 4th Test. Before that, Virat Kohli and co had been playing the lone spinner Adil Rashid quite easily. But once again, the ghosts of 2014 came back to haunt India, when Moeen Ali picked up 5 wickets during the first innings of the 4th Southampton Test.
In 2014, when India last toured England, Moeen Ali took 6 wickets at Southampton and he has a brilliant record against India when compared to other nations. In England, Moeen Ali has taken 24 wickets against India in 6 matches. Against the rest of the oppositions (in England), he has picked up 63 wickets in 23 matches. On Day 2, he got the wicket of defensive Rishabh Pant on the stroke of Tea, and after Tea he removed Hardik Pandya, R Ashwin, Shami to reduce India to 195/8. So, with the second innings of this must-win Test still due, the Indian players need to come up with a strategy to counter their nemesis, otherwise the 5th Test might well end up being a dead rubber.
India batting coach hails Pujara
India batting coach Sanjay Bangar hailed a composed display from Cheteshwar Pujara as his first Test century in England helped the tourists claim a narrow lead. While others struggled to cope with the spin of Moeen Ali, Pujara ploughed a lone furrow that saw him finish 132 not out on Friday at the Rose Bowl. His efforts were crucial in getting India ahead of their hosts, albeit only by 27, and Bangar was delighted to see the 30-year-old record his biggest score of the series. "He showed a lot of composure, clarity of thought and great discipline in his judgement outside off stump as well as he executed the shots really well," the coach told a media conference. "You saw a great mix of caution and aggression in that innings, and you also saw another facet of his batting – he showed us glimpses of what he can do batting with the tail. "All in all it would have been a very satisfying effort for him."
Virat Kohli becomes second fastest Indian batsman after Gavaskar to score 6000 runs
India captain Virat Kohli achieved yet another milestone in his career as he reached 6000 Test runs. He achieved this feat in the fourth Test against England in the 22nd over of India's first inning. This was his 70th Test and 119th inning. Virat Kohli was batting on 9 when reached the 6000-run mark. Among other Indian batsmen, only Sunil Gavaskar (117) reached the milestone faster than him. Sachin Tendulkar took 120 innings to breach the 6000-run mark. Virender Sehwag (123) and Rahul Dravid (125) are the next fastest in Indian history.
Here is the playing 11 of both the teams:
India vs England 4th Test details
Match Date: 30 August- 3 September, Thursday
Match Time: 15:30 IST, 10:00 AM GMT, 11:00 AM LOCAL
Match Venue: The Rose Bowl, Southampton, England.
India vs England 4th Test match live streaming details
India vs England 4th Test match will be broadcast on Sony Six, Sony Six HD in English Commentary. India vs England fourth Test match will be available for live streaming on Sony Liv app. Tatasky subscribers can also live stream India vs England 4th Test match on Tatasky mobile app.
India vs England head to head in test matches
Matches played: 120
India won: 25
England won: 45
Matches played: 60
India won: 7
England won: 32
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes, James Vince, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Alastair Cook, Jos Buttler and Adil Rashid.
India squad: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant(wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shardul Thakur, Ishant Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Prithwi Shaw and Hanuma Vihari.