Wholeheartedly agree with you.
It’s got to be England to win. But Indian batting should keep us on our toes (I hope). They are the team of miracle workers, as Australia found out.
Vaughan was spot on in the TMS podcast today. I never thought much of his style of captaincy, but he has such a good cricketing brain.
They have to score 128 a session which is approx 4 an over. That is a big ask. But with only one wicket down it’s not too bad a situation. So I think they are still in the game. They have scored quickly in this match but lost wickets at fairly regular intervals. England’s problem is killing a team off. I am not convinced Leach or Bess are match winners. Also no new ball before probably into last session. So, if India can be about 150 for 2 at lunch last sessions will be interesting. Much will also depend on the extent of any uneven bounce. India can play spin but bounce can be a real problem.
I was thinking of India holding out for the draw, I think you are right that the first session is important. I won’t be setting my alarm though.
It was quite baffling watching England finish up the second innings. Hopefully they have plenty of runs, but agree the chase isn’t impossible. Run rate is steep, but if Pant gets going…
I won’t be up to watch the start, but I’ll start work early with it on in the background
Big big ask for India to chase this…however I think that England will struggle to bowl them out. Interesting to see Anderson bowling quicker than Archer…
Pitch has slow turn so English spinners will have to get a bit of pace on it. Thought Leach bowled well and much more in a groove.
Someone came up with an odd stat that Leach does very well in the second innings. Seems unlikely given how poor his control has been so far.
I think we’ll be relying on uneven bounce more than anything, which means bowling straight.
Agree, the uneven bounce in this pitch is what I think could turn this into an England win
Just watched all of first session.
Anderson right on the money getting reverse swing aided by low bounce made him at times unplayable. Archer quick and aggressive.
Sadly, Bess was shocking. Did not deserve a wicket and bowled 7 overs of club level dolly mixtures. Tries very hard but out of his depth completely.
Leach did ok. Gill again looked top class. Kohli digging in.
Had Root given Bess a licence to bowl all morning India would have been around 220 for 3 at lunch.
Bess bowled poorly in Sri Lanka and got quite the worst 5 for I’ve seen for a while there. In the first innings here he bowled a better line, and got Kohli with a good ball but was a bit fortuitous with his other wickets. He is young and the control may come as he has a decent if manufactured action, though he should be bowling better at lefties.
Leach needs confidence, but bowled reasonably well, and got good batsmen with good balls. Gill will be a player, got a cracker from Anderson today though.
I wonder if they will be tempted to bring Moeen back for the next test with Buttler going home and presumably Foakes replacing him? I’d be amazed if Broad doesn’t come in for Anderson though and they may not wish to change the bowling unit so much. And while Moeen for Bess might be an improvement in the batting on paper it’s a long time since Mo batted as well as he did on the last tour of India.
I’d be surprised if they change the spinners. At this stage I don’t think Moeen would represent an upgrade over Bess with the bat, and with Bess being 10 years the younger I think they’ll be far more likely to let him get the additional experience. It’s been strange watching our spinners in this test and against Sri Lanka. At times they’ve looked really tidy, nagging away at good lines and lengths and building pressure. At others, as has been mentioned, they’re all over the place and just bowling floaty nonsense. However, across the 3 tests, Leach has picked up 16 wickets, and Bess 17. It ain’t broke, so don’t fix it, but tweaking it to improve efficiency would not be a bad thing.
As for the quicks, I wouldn’t have a problem with changes being made. Anderson has been outstanding this winter but it’s not as if resting him for Broad will materially weaken the team. Similarly, switching Archer out for Wood is basically a like-for-like change at this point. Isn’t it lovely to have a range of options?
I’m not sure I understand the critique of Root’s captaincy really. He does tend to bowl Archer for longer spells than you’d usually expect for a quick, but Archer seems to hold up through them pretty well. With someone like Wood, who has to put in a lot of energy to bowl at top speed, a 4 or 5 over burst is the absolute maximum, but that doesn’t seem to the case with Jofra. His action is so smooth and economical that he seems able to handle 8 overs without much fuss. I guess it’s a lot easier to defend the captain when he’s just had a huge win against India though!
Particularly when he’s bowling slower than Anderson!
That’s if Virdi doesn’t sneak in at some point. I might be slightly biased (Surrey) but he looks a really good prospect. People speak highly of Dan Moriarty too, also of Surrey, but I haven’t seen him myself.
Sure, that’s not what you want, but maybe other bowlers needed a break? Maybe he felt there was something he was getting from Archer that he liked? Also with Archer his fluctuations in pace seem to be as much about rhythm than fatigue. So perhaps Root was keeping him on in the hope that he’d find his rhythm?
I think Archer has a value beyond that of an out and out quick, shock bowler. He’s pretty skilful too, and handy at the lower speeds.
Not sure any of them needed a break in the 11 overs or so last night…given that Archer only had a 2-3 over spell then, I was surprised to see him jogging in and bowling very well within himself.
A terrific win which will give India pause for thought.
Next test on Saturday, which will have 3 6N’s games and the Prada Cup (America’s Cup) as well.
To be honest, it is great to get some decent sport during a Pandemic and a wintry February!
I agree, it’s unlikely and although I’m a huge fan of Moeen, I’m not convinced he’ll ever recapture his form of a few years ago. I do think that he is a better batsman than Bess though. Bowling wise, I think would get more off the wicket than Bess and from recent evidence not give as many four balls, but they seem to like Bess’s attitude. I wonder if Ashley Giles might see a bit of himself in Bess for that matter (other than being right handed obviously)