England v India, fifth Test, The Oval, day two as it happened

England reach 385-7, a first-innings lead of 237 over India after two days of the final Test at The Oval.

16 August 2014 Last updated at 10:27

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As it happened

  1. 18:55: 
    England and India walk off after day two

    That's about it from us - you can read Sam Sheringham's match report on the BBC Sport website, Jonathan Agnew's column will follow later, and you can listen back to Aggers and Boycs - as well as the lunchtime chat with Basil D'Oliveira biographer Peter Oborne - on the TMS podcast page.

    Are we on for another three-day Test? Find out tomorrow - TMS will be on air from 10:25 BST. We'll see you then - enjoy the rest of your Saturday night.

    England's Gary Ballance

    England batsman Gary Ballance, who made 64: "It's great that we have batted all day and given ourselves a good lead. There's a bit of seam and if you bowl in good areas you can create chances. Hopefully it will still do that tomorrow.

    "Rooty tried to put the bowlers under pressure and he did that very well.

    "I started the season feeling good and I've brought that to the Test matches. I felt like I was going nicely, but then probably played at a ball that I shouldn't have."

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Alan: I think it's time to stop being funny about drunkenness and general loutishness at cricket matches. Personally its the main reason I don't come to the ground and prefer to listen on the radio although by this time in the afternoon one is too well aware of the noise of the well-oiled in the background.

  4. 18:50: 
    India celebrate their win over England in the Women's Test

    We shouldn't forget that this was also a day when India's women beat England in their Test at Wormsley. Captain Mithali Raj, who shepherded her side home with an unbeaten half century, deserves the plaudits - while her opposite number Charlotte Edwards refused to make excuses, admitting that the better team won. Their series continues with the first of three one-dayers at Scarborough on Thursday.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Dai Wynne-Jones: England must declare overnight. Root's 100 is secondary. Go in from the start, turn the screw. Root's stats are unimportant. Disagree with Sir Geoff. Why wait for 250? Another 13 runs will make little or no difference. Get at 'em right form the off.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Sam Robson got bowled by a straight ball. His foot went nowhere. You can't get bowled out in Test cricket like that. He's got out too many times around off stump, either bowled or caught in the cordon. Better bowlers will keep bowling there. There are better bowlers out there and, if you have deficiencies, they will be exploited. For me, I would have someone else opening for England. I could do more with Michael Carberry than they have. He did some good things in Australia."

    India's Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates a wicket

    India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who has figures of 2-55 off 20 overs: "We created some chances but we let go of some chances. We tried to hit good areas and pick up as many wickets as possible in the morning because whatever was in the wicket was going to be there in the morning."

  8. 18:45: 

    And with India's seamers tiring - Bhuvneshwar Kumar showing the effects of having been the main strike bowler of a side asked to play five Tests in six weeks - Root and Jordan have added an unbroken 67 in just over 10 overs, with only an embarrassingly slow over-rate (and a bit of time-wasting gamesmanship by the fielding side) preventing Root from reaching a century. He's eight runs short overnight.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I still think Moeen has work to do to convince he is a class act. He got a hundred, but he only shows glimpses of good stuff. I like the wickets he's got, but you see the ways he's got out and you think 'what are you doing?'. He needs to tighten up. As for the Indian bowling, Aaron was the pick. Ishant bowled some good balls, but the pace of Kumar has gone."

  10. 18:42: 

    But like a quick-slow-quick three-movement classical symphony, the third session almost mirrored the first in terms of England plundering runs while India became increasingly ragged in the field. Joe Root and Jos Buttler enjoyed a fruitful stand before Buttler fell into a trap and was caught at short mid-wicket. Chris Woakes followed for a duck, but that brought Root and Chris Jordan together.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Ballance is bound to have confidence because he's got so many runs. Ian Bell got a good ball, then Joe Root played splendidly. I always said he would be better down the order, his footwork is better. He looked to the manor born, every inch a quality batsman."

    England's Joe Root
  12. 18:40: 

    India haven't "won" many sessions in the past three Tests - but you can't argue with the fact they "won" the middle session. Cook's 15-month wait for a Test century goes on as he nicked to first slip on 79. Ballance and Ian Bell followed soon afterwards as England lost three wickets for 13 runs, while Moeen Ali - who seems to keep finding new ways of getting himself out - was bowled off a bottom edge attempting a "late leave". So England were 246-5 at tea, giving India a faint sniff of hope.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "England have had a good day. Cook played well, looking purposeful. I still don't think he's back to his best. He played some lovely shots and he is playing straighter, but there are still frailties in between. He should have been lbw and was twice dropped - he had three lives. Then, he got out in the way Ryan Harris was getting him out, chasing a wide one. The fault is still there."

  14. 18:37: 

    We began the day with England 62-0, trailing India by 86 - and the only man to fall before lunch was Sam Robson, who raised more questions about his technique by playing down the wrong line and missing a straight ball from Varun Aaron, but Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance helped them to 148-1 by lunch.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't think there's much chance of it going past tomorrow. It depends what resistance is left in the India batsman. England should bat on for a while - Joe Root can get a hundred. A lead of 250 would be ample. I hope India do show some fight, for the crowd as much as anything. I'm not convinced about it."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack Allum: Why are no-balls not being called? Umpires have missed at least a dozen today, some huge ones as well.

    Ben Lenyk: If I were Cookie, I would declare either when Root gets his 100 or gets out, then put India in again.

  17. 18:34: 

    Strap yourselves in, it's time for Aggers and Boycott...

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "Root has taken the game away from India. When he came in, India were in the game. Root and Jos Buttler took it away with their partnership. The session between lunch and tea was India's but in the evening they let England build."

  19. 18:33: 
    Close-of-play scorecard

    England 385-7 (105 overs) - lead India by 237

    Batsmen: Root 92*, Jordan 19*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37), 191-2 (Cook 79), 201-3 (Ballance 64), 208-4 (Bell 7), 229-5 (Moeen 14), 309-6 (Buttler 45), 318-7 (Woakes 0)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 24-3-86-1, Ishant 24-8-58-2, Aaron 25-1-111-2, Binny 12-0-58-0, Ashwin 20-2-55-2

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


    England's Joe Root
  20. 18:32: 
    Close of play- Eng 385-7 (lead by 237)

    Ashwin then doesn't deliver the ball first time - India's gamesmanship is roundly (and rightly) booed by the crowd. Safe to say, this will be the last over. But Root diminishes his own chances of a century tonight by taking a single off the first ball. Jordan manages a single off the fifth ball and Root, on 91, guides the last ball for one to ensure he'll be on strike tomorrow morning. 139 runs in the session.

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    David Glover: Not sure that I would be very happy if I had bought tickets for Monday.

  22. 18:28: 

    Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin comes on which should speed up the over-rate - but the short-leg fielder takes so long to don a helmet and shin pads that play is held up for a good couple of minutes. The crowd give a slow hand-clap - then there's another delay as the substitute who brought out the helmet and shin pads, did not bring out a box. Poor cricket.

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special
    India's Stuart Binny

    "This is club-level bowling. You can't bowl full tosses at that pace. You're saying to the batsman 'hit me'. It looks like India are not interested, just going through the motions. That's not the way to play Test cricket."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  24. 18:26: 
    Eng 382-7 (lead by 234)

    Binny to Root, serving up a please-hit-me pie of a full toss which Root despatches through wide mid-on for four. A firm straight-driven four between the stumps and non-striker takes him to 89, can he get 11 more before the close? A single to deep point off the fifth ball takes him to 90 - he'll be on strike for what could be the last over of the day. More sloppy fielding from India as Jordan edges to the slips, it doesn't carry for a clean catch but Murali Vijay fumbles it long enough for Jordan to run two.

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    Seb, Colombia: My dad always says that an all-rounder should be capable of a century and/or a five-wicket haul, as these are what win you matches. Getting a couple wickets or the odd half century can act as a useful foil for a winning team, but will never make you a match winner. Binny's inclusion is a poor decision by an Indian team needing a win.

  26. 18:21: 
    Appeal - not out- Eng 371-7

    Root hooks at Aaron, there's an appeal for a catch behind - now, did he get a feather of a top edge on that? Possibly - though not enough to convince the umpire. Root adds a single - he has 81, Jordan has 16.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special
    England's Joe Root

    "Root has the bit between his teeth. He's in good form and playing a few shots, even though we're so near to the close."

  28. 18:17: 
    Eng 270-7 (lead by 213)

    The "Roooot" bellow from the crowd is heard again as the young Yorkshireman guides Binny for four through third man before moving to 80 with a single. A fifth Test ton must be on the cards, but he's got less than 15 minutes left if he wants to do it tonight. And India's misery continues as Jordan gets an edge for four - straight between second and fourth slip. Mind you, if he had been caught, I'm sure they would have checked for a no-ball - as it was a massive no-ball, not noticed or signalled by the umpire. (Why?) That's also the fifty stand.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "The Oval crowd is starting to thin out as the lure of a cuppa on the couch proves too great for some. One cheery group of spectators in the OCS Stand have admitted defeat in their attempts to start a Mexican wave. I think the most they managed was about eight rows."

  30. 18:13: 
    Eng 361-7 (Root 75*, Jordan 12*)

    It's easy pickings for Root and Jordan, even against Aaron now, only a paper blowing across the pitch briefly holds up the flow of runs after Jordan manages a well-run three. Root scatters the pigeons huddled at backward point by steering his sixth four, and guides a single behind square leg to keep the bowling. This stand is already worth 43.

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    Russ King: Why do we English supporters complain when the team are losing and then, er, complain about the team when we're winning?

  32. 18:08: 
    Eng 352-7 (lead by 204)

    Stuart Binny, the seam-bowling all-rounder who has bowled only nine of the first 99 overs to be sent down in this innings, is recalled to bowl the 100th. Jordan taps a quick single but Ashwin's throw to the stumps is wide. Binny bowls a no-ball - we've had plenty of them today, some worse than others - which Root bunts for a single, while two more singles mean the lead is well past the magic 200 figure.

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "Aaron is tiring. He's bowled brilliantly today, fast and accurately. He's swung the ball, sometimes too much. But he's tiring and Dhoni should think about giving him a rest."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  34. 18:02: 
    Eng 347-7 (Root 68*, Jordan 7*)

    Varun Aaron replaces Bhuvneshwar Kumar as India rotate their three seamers who are rather toiling now... Stuart Broad, next man in, looks on wondering if he'll get a bat - no sign of a protective mask or a replacement helmet for him yet, after his broken nose at Old Trafford. Jordan ducks a bumper from Aaron before rotating the strike with a leg bye. Aaron pings a bouncer down the leg side and is momentarily interested in a catch behind as Root hooks and misses, but there was daylight between ball and bat there. Root gets on the back foot and whips another four through the covers to stretch the lead to 199.

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    Paul: India's previous batting line-up played for almost a whole generation. No team could cope with losing long-established players of the class of Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Sehwag in short order and not struggle. Look at what happened to the Aussies for a while after Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Langer, Hayden etc bowed out. India will be back, but for now this is a shadow of the previous team.

  36. 17:57: 
    Appeal - not out- Eng 342-7 (lead by 194)

    There's 12 overs left tonight - we won't get those in, so it'll be an 18:30 BST finish - but Root is enjoying himself now, edging and then driving Sharma for back-to-back boundaries at the start of the over, and helping himself to two more courtesy of a ricochet off the stumps which allows him an overthrow. And India appeal for a catch behind off the last ball... umpire Dharmasena isn't convinced and shakes his head. Rightly so, the ball nipped back but didn't go anywhere near Root's bat, just brushing his thigh.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "It's beach-ball o'clock at The Oval, with various spherical objects being patted around in the stands as a boozy day draws to a close. One punter's exuberance gets the better of him though as he jumps the advertising hoardings to try to retrieve his ball and is promptly escorted out of the ground by stewards."

  38. 17:51: 
    Eng 332-7 (Root 54*, Jordan 7*)

    Root pushes Kumar for a quick single, it's as though England have moved up a gear since Jordan has come in, as Kumar tries a bouncer which Jordan dismissively pulls for four. The lead is 184.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Joe Root is only the third England batsman to score a half century in every Test of a five-match series, after Wally Hammond against South Africa in 1938-39 and Peter May against South Africa in 1955. John Edrich achieved the feat in a six-match series against Australia in 1970-71."

    England's Joe Root
  40. 17:49: 
    Scorecard update

    England 327-7 (96 overs) - lead India by 179

    Batsmen: Root 53*, Jordan 3*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37), 191-2 (Cook 79), 201-3 (Ballance 64), 208-4 (Bell 7), 229-5 (Moeen 14), 309-6 (Buttler 45), 318-7 (Woakes 0)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 23-3-81-1, Ishant 23-8-48-1, Aaron 22-1-98-2, Binny 9-0-33-0, Ashwin 19-2-52-2

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


  41. 17:48: 
    Root 50- Eng 327-7 (lead by 179)

    Root guides Sharma - via the shins of short leg - for the three he needs to bring up his eighth Test fifty from 93 balls. Then Jordan has to wear one in the, erm, umentionables from Sharma - he winces but tries not to show how much that must have hurt. The Sussex man is off the mark with a three off his legs - and Root scores the third three of the over to nick the strike.

    England's Joe Root
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "This match is rushing along - it could be a three-dayer. India's batting will be tested again."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  43. 17:42: 
    Eng 318-7 (lead by 170)

    Chris Woakes is replaced by Chris Jordan, who sees off the rest of the over. I wonder whether, with 14 overs still to bowl tonight, an adventurous captain might declare before the close (given that there's a lead of 170) and stick India in again... Thoughts?

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "That was a genuine shot, it wasn't a ball that climbed to be glanced. Woakes got a good bat on it, almost the middle. It's unlucky."

  45. 17:40: 
    WICKET- Woakes c Dhoni b Kumar 0 (Eng 318-7)

    But Woakes departs for a third-ball duck as he nudges at one down the leg side and is well caught by Dhoni. Kumar has his first wicket.


  46. 17:39: 
    Eng 318-6 (Root 47*, Woakes 0*)

    "I never missed a match through injury," boasts Phil Tufnell on TMS. Ed Smith asks him if he ever ran fast enough to risk pulling a hamstring... While one bearded reveller is ejected by the Oval stewards, Root faces up to Kumar and hooks him for six towards the dressing-rooms at long leg! Root then shows the other side of his skills, drilling a three through the covers to move within three runs of his half century.

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    I Dykes: This is a great chance for Woakes, first time he's had the platform to build a patient innings this summer.

  48. 17:34: 
    Eng 309-6 (lead by 161)

    Chris Woakes is the new batsman, he plays out the rest of a wicket maiden.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was clipped hard from a length ball on leg stump. He timed it well, but right in the bread basket of Ashwin."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  50. 17:31: 
    WICKET- Buttler c Ashwin b Sharma 45 (Eng 309-6)

    Sharma has a short leg and a short mid-wicket catching - and it works as Buttler clips the ball straight to short mid-wicket where Ashwin takes the catch. A stand of 80 is broken.


    England's Jos Buttler
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    Pete in Norwich: Root/Buttler has potential to become the engine room of England's batting. Akin to Flintoff and Geraint Jones in 2005.

  52. 17:28: 
    Eng 309-5 (lead by 161)

    Nothing's going India's way as Buttler edges Kumar between third slip and gully for four. A mix-up sees Root sent back, he has to dive for his crease at the bowler's end, a direct hit would have run him out. A leg bye keeps the scoreboard ticking over as England continue to put the screws on India.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "There's a long way to go before England become a great team in non-English conditions, but there are few pieces in the jigsaw, certainly."

    England's Jos Buttler and Joe Root
  54. 17:24: 
    Eng 304-5 (Root 38*, Buttler 41*)

    India's fielding continues to be a little sloppy - a misfield allows Buttler a quick single, although the throw hits the stumps as he makes his ground at the bowler's end. Root, who's not scored for a couple of overs, tries to go on the attack against Sharma but can only chop the ball onto the ground.

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    Martin Raynes: Arithmetic not my strong point but calculate 132 byes this series. Wouldn't have happened in Alan Knott's (boyhood hero) time.

  56. 17:17: 
    Scorecard update

    England 303-5 (91 overs) - lead India by 155

    Batsmen: Root 38*, Buttler 40*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37), 191-2 (Cook 79), 201-3 (Ballance 64), 208-4 (Bell 7), 229-5 (Moeen 14)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 21-3-68-0, Ishant 20-7-38-1, Aaron 22-1-98-2, Binny 9-0-33-0, Ashwin 19-2-52-2

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


    India's Mahendra Dhoni
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Buttler is only in his third Test but he looks so at home. The combination of Root and Buttler already looks like it can produce some success. Their running has been excellent; a nod of the head and they just go."

    Listen overseas to Test Match Special commentary (not available in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh)

  58. 17:15: 
    Drinks break- Eng 303-5 (lead by 155)

    Some England supporters start a conga around The Oval as Buttler smashes Kumar for four through extra cover. That pushes the score to 300 and England's lead past the magic 150 mark. Cynics might suggest England could declare now... Buttler helps himself to three more off the last ball - he has 40 and has overtaken Root who has 38. It's also time for drinks.

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    Joe from Japan: Just a thought, but if Broad comes out to bat would the Indian bowlers target his face with bouncers knowing it will be a sensitive area. And if they do will they be an uproar? Or will it be the ECB that come under fire for putting in an injured player out to bat?

  60. 17:10: 
    Eng 296-5 (Root 38, Buttler 33)

    Buttler drives Sharma low and hard through the covers for four, while a single allows him to move to within five runs of his partner.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "The luxury of being the captain is that you can hide yourself, or have a bowl if you're getting a bit bored. In one game, when India chased over 300 to win an ODI at Lord's, I wasn't captain, but I was fielding in front of the Mound Stand. I didn't field the ball, but it did travel over my head."

  62. 17:05: 
    Eng 291-5 (lead by 141)

    The runs appear to have dried up for a little while as Root shows Kumar a straight bat again, while there's a half-hearted lbw appeal when he's struck on the pad. The three-over drought ends when Root guides a two through the covers.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "There's still those four catchers - a 7-2 field. Third slip has been a good spot to stand today, he may as well have had his deckchair and Sudoku. It's been a good position if you enjoy doing nothing."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  64. 17:01: 
    Eng 289-5 (Root 36*, Buttler 28*)

    Instead of asking him to field, a much better use of Ishant Sharma is to ask him to bowl - and he replaces Aaron at the Pavilion End, briefly deceiving Buttler with some wobble-seam. Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan, the two next men in, look on from the dressing-room, but it's another maiden.

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    John Nakamuru-Pinder: Methinks this must be one of the poorest Indian batting sides I have seen for almost a generation. What's gone wrong?

  66. 16:56: 
    Eng 289-5 (lead by 141)

    Root chops the ball to backward point, hang on, what on earth is Ishant Sharma doing fielding there? The lumbering pace bowler gets down to stop the ball, in fairness it didn't quite carry to him but you can imagine a leaping Paul Collingwood or AB de Villiers pulling off a stunning catch there. Maiden over.

    Text 81111

    A hassled pigeon at square leg: Dear Simon (16:40), never mind the Wimbledon hawk, we're having enough problems avoiding the small angry red creature that keeps hurtling in our direction.

    India's Ishant Sharma
  68. 16:52: 
    Eng 289-5 (Root 36*, Buttler 28*)

    We all know about Jos Buttler's power, invention and experimentation in limited-overs cricket - but as in the Old Trafford Test, he's having to play a different kind of innings here, and has not been found wanting. And when Aaron, who's touching 90mph, serves up a looser delivery outside off stump, Buttler lashes it to the boundary with a thunderclap-like-crack as the ball comes off his bat.

    And the Peter Oborne interview from lunchtime can be heard again on the TMS podcast page.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Bhaz: India need to take the last five wickets quickly. Need to keep Eng lead to 250. If less than 200 & India have a small chance.

  70. 16:48: 
    Eng 285-5 (lead by 136)

    A loose delivery from Kumar is flogged for four by Buttler with a powerful square cut, while a single takes him to 24.

    Meanwhile, TMS are discussing great sporting comebacks. So far, they've gone as far back as the Norman fightback under William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. At the very least, that was one in the eye for England's King Harold...

    England's Jos Buttler
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    Harry Cunningham: Mandip is spot on (16:25). But for Indian distrust of DRS, Cook would have been out for nine. If this is form the Aussies must be laughing.

  72. 16:44: 
    Eng 280-5 (Root 36*, Buttler 19*)

    Buttler helps himself to a quick single, that rush of wickets between lunch and tea seems to have dried up and India's hopes of squaring the series are fading.

  73. 16:41: 
    Scorecard update

    England 279-5 (83 overs) - lead India by 131

    Batsmen: Root 36*, Buttler 18*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37), 191-2 (Cook 79), 201-3 (Ballance 64), 208-4 (Bell 7), 229-5 (Moeen 14)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 17-2-54-0, Ishant 18-6-33-1, Aaron 20-1-93-2, Binny 9-0-33-0, Ashwin 19-2-52-2

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


    England's Jos Buttler
  74. 16:40: 
    Eng 279-5 (lead by 131)

    Kumar has been down on pace since the start of the series, according to Geoffrey on TMS, and he's out of luck again as Root guides an inswinger wide of mid-on for two to bring up the fifty partnership. It's still a good crowd in at The Oval, but I wonder if anyone with tickets for Tuesday (or even Monday) will be making alternative plans.

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    Simon McEnaney: Surely the solution to the pigeon problem lies a few miles down the road, the Wimbledon hawk probably has little to do right now.

  76. 16:36: 
    Eng 277-5 (Root 34*, Buttler 18*)

    Varun Aaron, who bowled well after lunch to pick up a couple of wickets, is guided off his legs by Root for four, a single brings Buttler on strike and the Somerset-turned-Lancashire wicketkeeper does well to keep out a yorker which he diverts along the ground past the slips for four.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Buttler has played very sensibly, just as he did in Manchester. There's no point him going gung-ho at the old ball and opening an end to the new ball for the tail-enders to face."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  78. 16:30: 
    New ball taken- Eng 268-5

    Fourth umpire Neil Mallender gets the signal that the new ball is required - he hands it, in a plastic cover, to England 12th man Tom Jewell, who takes it out to on-field umpire Paul Reiffel. He, in turn, throws it to opening bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has three slips and a gully. Root on-drives the new conker, first ball, through a group of pigeons for a comfortable three.

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    Chris Harvey: Here's a radical suggestion - how about we give our openers more than a couple of series before we bin them off...?

  80. 16:25: 
    Eng 265-5 (lead by 117)

    Root guides Binny for a cover-driven four - and some breaking news, the pigeons have returned - there's a group of them on the edge of the square. And with 80 overs bowled, the second new ball is available.

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    Mandip in Surrey: Only a fool would declare that Alastair Cook is in form. None of his runs in any match this series have come fluently, and this innings was littered with chances. The Aussies however, will be delighted.

  82. 16:22: 
    Eng 260-5 (Root 21*, Buttler 14*)

    Root clips a two past short leg before pushing a single into the covers. Ashwin does improve India's over-rate, but there are still 30 to be bowled today, so it's likely we'll be going until 18:30 BST.

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    fdhsj: I really don't think there is a future for Jonathan Trott in the England side with Ballance playing the way he is. Same.

    Simon Parker: Trott to open instead of Robson?

  84. 16:20: 
    Ouch!- Eng 257-5 (lead by 109)

    Root pushes Binny for a quick single and is struck on the back of the ankle as the throw comes in to the stumps, leaving him limping for a minute or two. But one senses that both sides are treading water a little before the new cherry arrives in two overs' time.

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    Glory Glory: Ballance has been magnificent, however there are concerns over Robson at the top of the order. Hales perhaps for the WI tour?

  86. 16:15: 
    Eng 256-5 (Root 17*, Buttler 14*)

    Ashwin, arms whirling, compared to a cocktail-preparing barman by Sunil Gavaskar on TMS just before tea, bowls over the wicket to the right-handed Root who drives firmly but is denied by a great diving stop by Cheteshwar Pujara at short over. A flick past the square leg umpire brings him a single, and two more singles stretch the lead to 108.

    Text 81111

    Peter, Sheffield: The reason that left-handed batsmen look elegant is that we are often right-handed and so the top hand is the dominant hand in driving.

    Adam: KP also had a habit of scoring huge scores when it mattered, something Bell has done very very sparingly in his career.

  88. 16:12: 
    Eng 253-5 (lead by 105)

    Binny still has three slips in - they've been in place for the seamers all day, it seems - as Root helps himself to another single. Buttler defends conscientiously, new ball in four overs.

    Text 81111

    Ben in Windsor: Ballance seems to be Trott with extra gears. Nailed on number three for years to come.

  90. 16:08: 
    Eng 252-5 (Root 14*, Buttler 13*)

    Ravichandran Ashwin is still (off-)spinning away at the Vauxhall End, and after a single from Jos Buttler, Ashwin sends down one that beats Root and wicketkeeper Mahendra Dhoni, and as they scamper a two, it is is signalled as byes. Root guides a single through mid-wicket.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's all still looking good for England, they don't need a 400 lead. Even 150, the way some of the Indians have batted, you wouldn't be putting your house on them."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  92. 16:05: 
    Eng 248-5 (lead by 100)

    Seamer Stuart Binny, wicketless today and guilty of some ropey fielding earlier, will send down the 74th over - with the second new ball available after 80. Joe Root stretches the England lead to 100 with a two off his legs.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ben Thapa: Dear James Twomey (15:57) - Root has proved his best work is done at five. I'd rather see him stranded on 90 than exposed to the new ball. England still have LOTS of batting left. Broad at 10 represents a ridiculously deep batting line-up.

    Eleanor Higgs: My mum thinks I should marry Joe Root, reckons he seems a nice chap. Put in a word for me.

  94. 16:01: 
    Lucy Verasamy

    And as teatime guest Lucy Verasamy, the ITV weather presenter, presents TMS with some fairy cakes, the players are ready to resume.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Carl Eatson: This Indian team are making us look good. I don't think SA have anything to fear, just yet.

    Daniel Whitehead: Bell's record bears comparison with anyone. Horribly under-appreciated because he's got so much class it looks easy.

  96. 15:58: 

    Thanks, Stephan - it was all going so well at lunch... Two-and-a-half hours later, England have lost four wickets and it seems from the e-mails, texts and tweets that "The Bell Debate" is up and running again...

  97. 15:57: 

    Tea whizzes by in a flash, barely time for the batsmen to remove their pads, the bowlers their boots and the umpires their hats. Here's Mark Mitchener.

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Simon: Should I start to hope for an England win ahead of next year's Ashes series in the UK based on this summer's performance or see it as another false dawn with a few unproven batsmen and a non-frontline spinner?

    James Twomey: Predicting Root to be left high and dry just short of three figures... should be batting higher.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "India are desperate for an all-rounder like Kapil Dev. If you're going to pick someone like Binny as an all-rounder, you need to give him an opportunity."

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Stephen Gulliver: Moeen Ali might have taken wickets but how many were gifted? At six he is predominantly a batsman who can bowl a little.

    Martin Davis, Nottingham: Unbelievable nonsense being talked about Ian Bell. Have folks forgotten that this time last year he stood between an already failing England batting line-up and collapse against Australia many times?

  101. 15:44: 

    So India's session, but still surely England's match? We're bumping along, too. If you have a ticket for day five, I'd perhaps start thinking about making other plans.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Boom: 150 lead enough for England to win by an innings - these Indians are shot with a bat in their mitts.

    Richard Wilkinson: Said it before - this England team aren't all that at all. India's awful form flatters them.

    fdhsj: Ian Bell never looks in particular bad form but recently has been finding too many ways to get out.

  103. 15:43: 
    Tea scorecard

    England 246-5 (73 overs) - lead India by 98

    Batsmen: Root 11*, Buttler 12*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37), 191-2 (Cook 79), 201-3 (Ballance 64), 208-4 (Bell 7), 229-5 (Moeen 14)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 15-2-49-0, Ishant 18-6-33-1, Aaron 19-1-84-2, Binny 5-0-24-0, Ashwin 16-2-44-2

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


    The Oval
    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "India have done really well, their approach in this session was a lot more positive and they've been rewarded with those wickets. They've got to try to get England out before the end of the day."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  105. 15:41: 
    Tea- Eng 246-5

    Ashwin to twirl down the final set - he'll have some work to do before the new ball is due seven overs into the final session. Root staying busy, pushing to mid off and pinching a single. The final ball before the break, Buttler coming forward to tickle fine for four. The end of the afternoon, perhaps the first that India have won since Lord's. England lost four wickets, but are still 246-5, a lead of 98.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jonathan Gawtrey: This is a good situation for Buttler to prove his worth. England need to put on 400 to secure this Test and the series.

    Jimbo: The England batting collapse, a summer institution as inbedded as Wimbledon or Glastonbury.

  107. 15:39: 
    Eng 241-5 (Root 10, Buttler 8)

    The lesser-spotted Stuart Binny is asked to whip down the penultimate over before the break, bowling a decent length to Root, who has to be crow-barred on to the front foot. A tentative push brings Root a single, leaving Buttler one ball to negotiate. One over before we can have a brew.

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "When you see Ashwin moving his arms around in his delivery stride, he's like a barman mixing a cocktail. But he doesn't do it in Twenty20."

  109. 15:35: 
    Eng 239-5 (lead by 91)

    That lbw appeal pinned Jos Buttler in the spot between pad and thigh pad - if you've ever felt cricket ball on unprotected leg, then you know it can be very painful. He calls for some treatment, but is made to feel better by a Ravichandran Ashwin long hop, which is cut for four. The England lead approaches 100. You feel that 200 would be match-winning and, on current form, India may even struggle to make England bat again. Perhaps only two overs until tea.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jon Dunn: I'm confused. I thought Moeen was a batsman who bowled a bit?

    Giles Joiner: As good as Ali's bowling has been he looks looks out of sort with the bat at the moment.

    Toby Arkless: Pietersen was v guilty of low scores but seemed to be treated like a god. Bell has as good an average as him.

  111. 15:29: 
    Appeal - not out- Eng 234-5

    The replay makes you wonder why Moeen was even thinking about leaving that delivery. Angled in with the arm, even if it had missed the stumps, it would have been very, very close. In the end, Moeen prodded forward and didn't do anything. Jos Buttler the new man, joining Joe Root to reprise the good stand they put on at Old Trafford. In the England dressing room, Alastair Cook has his chin on his hand, looking very gloomy. Ishant asks the question against Buttler, but that's too leggy.

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "A little bit of luck now going India's way - that was a good delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin but it was left very late by Moeen Ali so he didn't have time to draw his bat out of the way. Certainly India's session."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  113. 15:22: 
    WICKET- Moeen b Ashwin 14 (Eng 229-5)

    Once again, Moeen Ali finds a curious way to get himself out. So often this summer he has been befuddled by the short ball, but this is just as ugly. Not sure whether to leave Ravinchandran Ashwin or not, Moeen withdraws the bat too late and plays on to his stumps. Wickets or no wickets, Moeen must justify his spot at number six in the batting order. That hundred against Sri Lanka looks a long time ago.


    England's Moeen Ali
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mike M: Ian Bell. One or two fancy knocks doesn't excuse all these poor dismissals.

    Richard Johnson: Looking at the positives, Bell scored more than seven of India's batsmen...

  115. 15:20: 
    Eng 226-4 (Root 6, Moeen 12)

    England have been forced back, forced to consolidate after the triple blow landed by India in this afternoon session. Ishant is on a full length to Root, swinging the ball in to the right-hander. Root, absorbing the pressure, taking the blows, takes one on the leg side. The Oval hums with Saturday chatter - there was even the sound of a trumpet earlier on. A good contest to be watched.

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "Good comeback by India with those wickets after lunch, but they've got to bowl tighter to the new batsmen. Aaron has bowled a long spell from the Pavilion End but now he's looking a little tired."

    Varun Aaron and Mahendra Dhoni
  117. 15:15: 
    Eng 225-4 (lead by 77)

    Joe Root, starved of the strike since his bat-throwing entrance, is away with a drive for two and follows that up by forcing Aaron through the covers for three. Moeen not fully bombarded yet, India perhaps engaging a phoney war of length and just short. Those beard-hunters will come soon enough, though.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ian Russell: Re: Matthew (14:48) - or am I the highest reader at 41,000ft on wifi-enabled airplane en route from India to Singapore?

  119. 15:10: 
    Eng 220-4 (Root 0, Moeen 12)

    That England slide, by the way, was three wickets for 13 runs in six overs. Now, India maybe thinking that two more quick strikes will have them right in this match. Ishant, flapping mullet and flapping shirt, also has the short ball in mind, just as when he bounced England out on the fifth day at Lord's. Short leg for Moeen. Full, full, full...then the short ball. Not played too well, Moeen squared up.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Merlyn: Ian Bell. This is why England fans don't trust you.

  121. 15:05: 
    Eng 220-4 (lead by 72)

    Now, Moeen Ali can probably expect to be peppered here. He's had a little trouble with the short ball this summer and India are likely to test his ticker. Varun Aaron, their quickest bowler, is summoned and has a short leg and leg gully in place. Three times Aaron goes full and clipped through the leg side, with Moeen dropping the hands when the ball is banged in.

  122. 15:02: 
    Scorecard update

    England 209-4 (64 overs) - lead India by 61

    Batsmen: Root 0*, Moeen 1*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37), 191-2 (Cook 79), 201-3 (Ballance 64), 208-4 (Bell 7)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 15-2-49-0, Ishant 15-5-27-1, Aaron 17-1-68-2, Binny 4-0-22-0, Ashwin 13-2-31-1

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Joe Root's walk to the wicket really is quite a sight. Like a boxer approaching the ring before a big fight, he makes a real song and dance about it, playing a few practice shots, skipping from side to side and circling his arms in the air. This time, the routine encounters a hitch as his swinging bat hits the ground and flies out of his hands, much to the amusement of a packed Oval crowd."

  124. 14:59: 
    Eng 209-4 (Ishant 15-5-27-1)

    Yep, looking again, it was a good nut from Ishant. Angled in, then nipping away to take the edge. All of a sudden, England are four down with a lead of only 56 and have two men at the crease on on zip - Joe Root and Moeen Ali. In all the kerffufle, there wasn't time to tell you about Root's entrance...

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a really good delivery, good bounce and he's bowled it consistently on off stump. The lead is 56 but it could be India's session."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  126. 14:54: 
    WICKET- Bell c Dhoni b Ishant 5 (Eng 204-4)

    Erm, what's going on? England batsmen are dropping like flies. Two in two overs, this time with Ian Bell on his way back to the pavilion. Ishant Sharma on for a new spell, nipping one away and persuading Bell to follow it, nicking through to Mahendra Dhoni. Three wickets in the afternoon, plus two drops. Where might India have been had they held their catches?


    England's Ian Bell
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Good catch by Pujara - he was quite straight for a silly point, almost on the drive, but a real disappointment for Gary Ballance. Like with Alastair Cook, you felt three wickets were there for the taking. India have given themselves half a sniff."

  128. 14:49: 
    WICKET- Ballance c Pujara b Ashwin 64 (Eng 201-3)

    This is as soft as you like. Gary Ballance, who looked resistant to dynamite, has fallen in baffling manner. R Ashwin round the wicket, a prod forward, the simplest of catches to Che Pujara at silly point. You hardly ever see close catches like that, it was as if Ballance was giving Pujara catching practice. India were momentarily stunned, The Oval silent and Ballance baffled by what he had done.


    India's Ravichandran Ashwin
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Too many straightforward chances have gone down. India have not had a cohesive spirit - I don't know if it was the sun at Southampton, but they've been poor in the last three games. Aaron's bowling has been excellent, though."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  130. 14:48: 
    Eng 201-2 (lead by 53)

    Varun Aaron after the break, keeping Bell honest, with the right-hander then taking a couple through third man. At first slip, Murali Vijay, he of one dropped catch and one caught catch (it that right, caught catch?), has one set of shades on his nose and another atop his sunhat. Perhaps he was wearing the wrong set for the drop. When Bell drives for a single, Ishant Sharma, wearing a huge sweater does the fielding. Is that necessary? He looks like a man wearing a bad disguise.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "There's nothing flashy or glamorous about Ballance's game. I know he was a bit worried about how the team would react after that picture of him in the nightclub, but perhaps he shouldn't have been too worried about it."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matthew Johnson: On a bus in the Andes reading TMS text commentary. Praying for the signal to stay. Am I the highest reader in the world at 3,115m?

  133. 14:40: 
    Drinks break- Eng 197-2

    Darker at The Oval, the sun hiding. Bell has a slip and short leg for company as Ashwin's double-jointed elbows shuffle in. A single, leaving Ballance with a slip and silly point. Ballance, eyes squinted and mouth open like a man who has forgotten his reading glasses, waves to something distracting him behind the bowler, then goes back to whip for four. Time for a drink.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Feeling peckish? Life is sweet for the lucky ones in the posh seats on the roof terrace at the top of the Oval media centre."

    Oval food
  135. 14:36: 
    Eng 192-2 (Ballance 60, Bell 0)

    Joe Root, the next man, is padded up with a pair of binoculars in hand. Trying to keep an eye on what the ball is doing, or something more mischievous? He looks incredibly relaxed, leaning back and tapping his feet. Speaking of relaxed, Gary Ballance is in danger of slipping into unconsciousness. Aaron over the wicket, trap set for the full ball - three slips and a gully. Ballance relaxed - leave, leave, defend, leave. In for bed and breakfast.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jon Dunn: Cook averaged 20 in that innings of 79.

  137. 14:33: 
    Eng 192-2 (lead by 44)

    Ashwin gets his elbows high be to be tucked on the leg side by Ballance for a single. Bell's first look at the offie, immediately having dance and almost falling over his own feet. India have dropped two catches and had one plumb lbw turned down for the two wickets they have on the board. That's five chance for every two wickets. At that rate, they'll have to bowl enough good balls for 25 wickets.

  138. 14:31: 
    Scorecard update

    England 191-2 (58 overs) - lead India by 43

    Batsmen: Ballance 40*, Bell 0*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37), 191-2 (Cook 79)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 15-2-49-0, Ishant 14-5-23-0, Aaron 15-0-64-2, Binny 4-0-22-0, Ashwin 10-1-25-0

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)

    England captain Alastair Cook
  139. 14:29: 
    Eng 191-2 (Aaron 15-0-64-2)

    Looking again, that ball was wide from Aaron, angling across Cook. The skipper probably didn't need to play. You could also argue that he's quite unlucky to be out caught at slip, considering the drops that have gone before. Ian Bell the new man.

  140. 14:25: 
    WICKET- Cook c Vijay b Aaron 79 (Eng 191-2)

    Wonder of wonders, India have finally caught one. Logic tells you that it's been coming, as Alastair Cook has looked like a man actively trying to get out since lunch. One, two drops, a third chance one step too far. Again it's towards first slip, where Murali Vijay comes forward to take a good catch off Varun Aaron, harder than the one he dropped. Cook is back in the runs, but this is a familiar dismissal. As for India, if at first you don't succeed...


    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statisticianHow's stat?!

    "In reaching 70, Alastair Cook went past Graham Gooch (1,725) as England's leading Test run-scorer against India."

    England's Alastair Cook
  142. 14:23: 
    Eng 187-1 (Cook 75, Ballance 59)

    Alastair Cook may have needed three chances (four, if you count the one he's on now), but Gary Ballance has looked like the Don. In fact, the two times he was out in Southampton, he shouldn't have been. Anyway, this is a beauty, reaching out to wristily drive Ashwin through the covers for four. Shot, lad.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's funny how things turn around. How have India, from that side that beat England at Lord's, fallen away so quickly. England are piling on the agony now. Just bat and bat and bat."

    Listen overseas to Test Match Special commentary (not available in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh)

  144. 14:20: 
    Eng 182-1 (lead by 34)

    We've said that England's progress has been reasonably untroubled, but India have dropped two catches. That's two chances created. England should be three down now. The bowlers will think they are doing their job and MS Dhoni probably thinks his tactics have been sound enough. The problem is that the fielders dipped their hands in butter during the lunch break. In the dressing room, Duncan Fletcher has the face of a bulldog chewing a wasp.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "He tried to play a forcing shot off the back foot. It bounced a bit and he got a thickish edge. That has gone quite quick to slip's right hand but catchable. I think they're going to have to bowl Cookie today."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  146. 14:17: 
    Cook dropped on 70- Eng 179-1

    You couldn't make this up. India have dropped another. Yet again it's Alastair Cook who benefits and yet again it's about as straightforward a chance you could get at slip from a spin bowler. Thick edge, Ajinkya Rahane moving to his right, both hands, shelled. R Ashwin, the bowler, throws his hands to his head. Alastair Cook, the man with the luck of Frank Spencer three Tests ago, is now 71-3.

    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Dhoni is persevering with four slips here even though England have got a first-innings lead with nine wickets in hand."

  148. 14:13: 
    Eng 176-1 (Cook 70, Ballance 53)

    Aaron is bowling with decent pace, swinging the ball in to Cook, who is twice troubled on the inside edge. Given the fact the Aaron is shaping it in, is posting four slips the best tactic? Maybe a catcher on the leg side? In fact, you'd think this was the best time for Dhoni's beloved leg slip. No sign.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    George Asprey: Sitting by the pool in France listening to the cricket. Got to love smartphones and the internet.

  150. 14:10: 
    Eng 175-1 (lead by 27)

    Did you ever see that video of Mario Balotelli trying to put a training vest on? That's what R Ashwin's bowling action is like. Or, if you prefer, like a man trying to free himself from a set of handcuffs. Also round the wicket, no sign of turn, just the one from it.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Edmund Allen: I wonder if India regret reporting Anderson since it has distracted them and appeared to galvanise England.

  152. 14:07: 
    Eng 174-1 (partnership 108)

    From the excitement of the dropped catch, which really came out of nowhere, back to the sedate ritual of England accumulation. Ian Bell still has his feet up, nobility in the posh seats quaff something fizzy, fans in the stands sun themselves. Aaron, the victim of the drop (is victim a good word for a bowler who has a catch put down?), comes in round the wicket again. One from it.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The Yorkshire members will tell you Ballance is a man for the tough situation because he's mentally strong. Ever since he's come to the club, under pressure, he's been good."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    England's Gary Ballance
  154. 14:03: 
    Eng 173-1 (lead by 25)

    Indian chins are on chests, heads down. Alastair Cook, a shirt that always looks a size too small, leans on his bat as Gary Ballance defends the round-the-wicket off-spin of Ashwin. Replays show the loud "aaawww" around the The Oval as that Vijay catch was dropped. It really was that bad.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "He doesn't have to move very far - you can't get any better than that. They're hopeless, aren't they? If you can't catch cuckoos like that, you've no chance."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  156. 14:01: 
    Cook dropped on 65- Eng 172-1

    Yet another sign that India are already in the departure lounge. This is a howler of a dropped catch at first slip, Murali Vijay giving Alastair Cook a life at first slip. Varun Aaron the new bowler, round the wicket, thick edge to the right of the fielder at waist height. Two hands to it, but grassed. Aaron howls in frustration, Vijay covers his mouth with his hand, as if that will hide his shame. Cook, who should have been lbw last night, gets more luck. He probably thinks he deserves it.

    India's Varun Aaron
    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Gary Ballance has scored at least a half-century in six of the seven Tests this summer."

  158. 13:56: 
    Eng 167-1 (lead by 19)

    It's almost as if we're playing a different sport from 24 hours ago. Whereas yesterday cricket was a bowlers' game, with batting merely about futile resistance and, ultimately, meek surrender, today it is the bowlers that are the second-class citizens. England are untroubled, cantering ahead in the sunshine.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The brain gets scrambled. They just can't think straight. There's Kumar, bowling 78mph, bowling bouncers."

  160. 13:53: 
    50 for Gary Ballance- Eng 166-1

    Well, have some of that. Gary Ballance moves to a third Test half century with an audacious guide over the slips. Too short from Kumar, the left-hander leans back to ramp it for four. A limited-overs shot. Quite quick for Ballance - 77 balls. He's got three tons in his first eight Tests too. The bloke is a run-machine.

    England's Gary Ballance
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The India players themselves know the game is lost. That's the hardest; it's soul-destroying because there's so much time. It's hard to motivate yourself and convince yourself you have a chance of winning."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  162. 13:48: 
    Eng 157-1 (Cook 60, Ballance 45)

    Michael, my good man, I believe the groundsman nips out before the match ends to swap the stump-cam for a regular stump. R Ashwin round the wicket to left-hander Gary Ballance, who pulls away when a pigeon swoops past his helmet. Ah, that's too short from Aswhin, dealt with by Ballance with a cut for four.

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Michael Bates: The stumps have cameras in them. What happens when the players take a stump as a souvenir at the end of a game? Do they have to give them back?

  164. 13:44: 
    Eng 152-1 (lead by 4)

    A sign of things to come? The first ball of the session is too leggy, Cook clipping fine to move England into the lead. I wonder if they will be behind again in this match? In the England dressing room, Ian Bell, pads on, sits with his feet up. He doesn't look like a man expecting to be batting in the near future.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ian Bradley: Ballance might not empty the bars but when they do stumble out he'll probably still be batting, all you want from a three.

    Jimbo: Two of the greats together at the crease for the last time. Mahela & Kumar. One to savour.

  166. 13:40: 
    Eng 148-1

    India meander out like a group of men not entirely sure what cricket is. A group cuddle as the umpires wait, with the bat-wielding England pair trotting down the stairs behind them. Slight gloom, then bright sunshine as Bhuvneshwar Kumar marks his run. Alastair Cook on strike with 64 overs left in the day.

  167. 13:39:  
    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    The Daily Telegraph's Peter Oborne on TMS: "It's essential we keep Pakistan in world cricket. So we need to work out how we can go there safely - sooner rather than later. I go to Pakistan a lot, their passion for cricket is heartwarming - after all, they invented reverse swing and the doosra, and reinvented wrist-spin in the 80s."

  168. 13:38: 

    Scores level, England have nine first-innings wickets in hand, the best part of four days left in this Test match. Did you back 3-1 at the start of the series? Dig out that betting slip. The drinks will surely be on you.

  169. 13:36: 

    It's been an interesting morning - and an interesting lunchtime chat on TMS - but it's time to knuckle down for the afternoon. Your genial guide for the middle session will be Stephan Shemilt.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jim: I'm hoping for two things: Cook achieves a well deserved ton; England bat until lunch tomorrow then blow away India.

    Gordon Thursfield: Doesn't Gary Ballance make batting look easy?

  171. 13:31: 
    BBC coverage

    If you're off on your travels this afternoon - apparently it's the first day of the Premier League season - remember you can take TMS with you on your smartphone via the BBC Sport app and BBC iPlayer Radio app.

    TMS is also available on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and via the BBC Sport website. Overseas, it's available via this link (but not available in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh).

  172. 13:28: 
    Jayawardene's final Test innings

    Mahela Jayawardene is playing his last Test innings before retirement. The Sri Lanka legend is 49 not out, helping the hosts to 177 - a lead of 165 over Pakistan at the end of the third day of the second Test in Colombo. His close friend Kumar Sangakkara, with whom he has spent so much time at the crease during their distinguished careers, is unbeaten on 54.

    Sri Lanka's Mahela Jayawardene
    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    The Daily Telegraph's Peter Oborne on TMS: "The Basil D'Oliveira affair brought about the end of South Africa's role in world sport, which was the one thing that linked apartheid South Africa to the rest of the outside world. But Basil simply regarded himself as a cricketer - he wanted to be chosen for that tour on merit, and show the non-white community in South Africa that they could be equal to, or better than the whites. By just being a cricketer and not getting involved with the politics, he behaved with extraordinary discretion and it was a wake-up call for the middle-of-the-road, ordinary British people - now they were against apartheid too."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rollo Kirkman: Re: Robson, question is whether he's good enough to strike fear into Aussie bowlers in winter; on current form, unfortunately not.

    Elliott Gamble: Imagine the psychological boost Robson would get if Boycott and Vaughan supported him rather than rubbishing his technique.

    Iain S Wilson: Average opening partnerships since Strauss: Compton 57.93, Root 26.6, Carberry 25, Robson 32.27, and no hundred partnership since 6/3/13.

    BBC Radio Test Match Special
    Peter Oborne

    The Daily Telegraph's Peter Oborne on TMS: "It must have been very difficult for Alastair Cook. For him not to get bitter and triumphalist now - I think there's a bit of that Rudyard Kipling poem, 'If', in Mr Cook - meeting triumph and disaster just the same."

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "If India were not out of this Test match by the close of play yesterday, they surely are now after a chastening morning session. The wicket of Sam Robson offered early hope, but since then Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance have looked about as troubled as two men fishing on a riverbank with an ice pack full of beers. With the pitch drying out in the late summer sun and India's morale plummeting by the minute, England could easily be 200 ahead by the end of the day."

  177. 13:14: 

    A cheerful end to the county scores, which I know will bring a smile to many of your faces: Monty Panesar has taken 4-26 from 20 overs for Essex today, with 10 maidens. My impression is that Monty has always been more popular with the fans (particularly those who follow England on tour) than the media; maybe the door is not quite closed for him yet.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Vikram Mishra: This team also played pathetically in the previous tour of England; high time for a complete revamp.


    England women's captain Charlotte Edwards on TMS: "I don't think we should underestimate India, we knew it would be a tough contest. Both teams are more used to playing ODIs and T20 cricket, we're looking forward to going up to Scarborough and then having a big match at Lord's - and it's part of the new ICC Women's Championship."

  180. 13:08:  
    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    After the county scores from Kevin Howells, TMS will be speaking to Daily Telegraph political correspondent Peter Oborne, who's written a new book on Pakistan cricket.

    Peter Oborne

    England women's captain Charlotte Edwards on TMS: "India were the better team over the four days - it doesn't matter how much money you're paid, you've got to turn up. Hopefully we'll come back better in the one-day internationals, we'd like to play more Tests and we've got to work on the longer form of the game to improve our Test cricket over the next few years."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Sam Barden: Robson should be given a chance. He's had some great Test performances, and compared to the Indian scores, 37 is a decent effort.

    Oliver Metcalfe: People need to stop jumping on the Hales bandwagon. Very erratic first-class form for Notts, and not often trusted to open.


    England women's captain Charlotte Edwards on TMS: "We're disappointed, it didn't start well with me losing the toss but that's no excuse as we didn't bat well - 92 wasn't enough. We bowled well to get them out for 114 but a lead of 180 wasn't going to be good enough. We didn't play straight enough - we had hope this morning as we've bowled teams like Australia out, but credit to India, Mithali's a class player and they've played brilliantly."

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "It's a disappointing session for India, that last-ball boundary showed the sort of morning they had. They have tried to kerb, rather than dismiss England. Aaron got Robson with a fast, straight delivery, and that's what India should have been doing instead of bowling wide of off stump."

  185. 13:01: 
    Lunch scorecard

    England 148-1 (45 overs) - scores level

    Batsmen: Cook 56*, Ballance 40*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 13-2-37-0, Sharma 14-5-23-0, Aaron 10-0-49-1, Binny 4-0-22-0, Ashwin 4-1-9-0

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


    India's Ravichandran Ashwin
  186. 13:00: 
    Lunch interval- Eng 148-1

    With lunch on the way, Ashwin - still bowling in his sunglasses - continues going round the wicket to Ballance, with a slip and a helmeted silly point in close attendance. And if there were any doubt over whether India could get another over in, Ballance unleashes a pugnacious cover drive to draw the scores level - and earn himself some tucker.

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Steve: Re: Dave (11:48) More useful, surely, would be "Commentating for Dummies - English Language Version". I've played/watched/listened to cricket all for most of my life but struggle to understand the euphemisms used.

  188. 12:57: 
    Eng 144-1 (trail by 4)

    Cook guides the recalled Bhuvneshwar Kumar through mid-wicket, where there's a very poor attempt at a stop by Stuart Binny, rather diving over the ball as it disappears, he gives chase and the batsmen manage an all-run four. Frankly, that was rubbish, Binny - I wonder if he'll get left out after this game... The India lead is down to four runs.

    Charles Dagnall, BBC Test Match Special at Wormsley

    "India thoroughly deserved it, led by an inspired performance from captain Mithali Raj. They are celebrating and it could have huge ramifications for Indian women's cricket. As for England, with all the finances and support, they must go back to the drawing board."

  190. 12:53: 
    Eng 140-1 (trail by 8)

    As news trickles through of that result at Wormsley - "send them here to The Oval!" calls a delighted Sunil Gavaskar on TMS - Ashwin rattles through his third over, and Cook pushes a single.

  191. 12:52: 
    Women's Test: India beat England by six wickets

    England women have lost by six wickets against India in the only Test at Wormsley. Mitahli Raj's unbeaten 50 helped the tourists complete the second highest fourth-innings chase in women's Test history as they overhauled a target of 181 on the fourth morning. With some ease too - they didn't lose a wicket today.

    Listen to live reaction to India women's victory over England via the BBC Sport website, or via BBC Live Event 8 on your smartphone

    India's Mithali Raj
  192. 12:50: 
    Eng 139-1 (Cook 51*, Ballance 36*)

    Gary Ballance - who ranks alongside Jos Buttler in the category of "England Test cricketer most likely to annoy anyone whose computer auto-corrects spelling" - plays and misses at Sharma, before the England second-wicket pair exchange singles to reduce the deficit to single figures. This stand is now worth 73.

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "It's been a very good innings, well compiled. His strength is playing the horizontal-bat shots - cuts and pulls. India have to draw him forward."

  194. 12:45: 
    Cook 50- Eng 137-1

    Cook cuts Ashwin firmly for four to bring up his 38th Test fifty from 125 balls - now his sights must surely be set on a first century since May 2013. England trail by 11.

    England captain Alastair Cook
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rob Howarth: Listening to TMS and building Lego cricket ground with my boy. Bit of a green top! Bat or bowl, Michael Vaughan?

  196. 12:42: 
    Eng 133-1 (trail by 15)

    Sharma, having conceded only 18 runs from his 12 previous overs, continues to probe Cook's defences but the England captain pulls a no-ball for a single - will they achieve parity by lunch? The next delivery is an even bigger no-ball - yawning daylight between Sharma's heel and the popping crease. The ball after that is legitimate, but it's not Sharma's day as umpire Dharmasena has a quiet word with him about running on the wicket... "The game is treading water", notes Simon Mann on TMS. But India may be doing so without a life jacket.

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "It's been a mixed session for India. They have bowled well but they've not attacked the stumps as much as they should have. If you look at how many deliveries Cook has been able to leave, it's a waste of effort."

    Listen overseas to Test Match Special commentary (not available in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh)

  198. 12:36: 
    Eng 130-1 (Cook 45*, Ballance 35*)

    Time for some spin for the first time today - Stuart Binny is hauled off after two unthreatening overs and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is on at the Vauxhall End. He whistles through his over pretty sharpish as Ballance is on the defensive, for once.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Simon Parker: Can Trescothick be persuaded to return to Test cricket?

    Dan Stuchbury: In my view if Robson wasn't an Aussie and a natural born Englishman his place wouldn't be questioned so soon.

  200. 12:33: 
    Eng 130-1 (trail by 18)

    With just under half-an-hour until lunch - when TMS will be speaking to Daily Telegraph political correspondent Peter Oborne about his new book on the history of Pakistan cricket - Cook plays out a maiden from the tired-looking Sharma.

  201. 12:32: 
    Women's Test: England v India

    India are within 20 runs of beating England in the only Test at Wormsley. The tourists are 161-4 in pursuit of 181, having not lost a wicket in the hour-and-a-half's play this morning. Captain Mithali Raj, who is 40 not out, looks increasingly like steering her side home.

    Listen to live commentary on the Women's Test via the BBC Sport website, or via BBC Live Event 8 on your smartphone

  202. 12:29: 
    Scorecard update

    England 130-1 (37 overs) - trail by 18

    Batsmen: Cook 45*, Ballance 35*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 12-2-33-0, Sharma 11-4-18-0, Aaron 10-0-49-1, Binny 4-0-22-0

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


    India's Ishant Sharma
  203. 12:28: 
    Eng 130-1 (trail by 18)

    Ballance edges Binny past the slips for four, while a three through the leg side takes his score to 35 - he'll be catching the skipper up soon. Cook helps himself to a single, they're finding easy pickings against Binny.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Kids in the OCS Stand are showing their support for Cricket United with blue T-shirts and are cheerily waving their blue four and six banners every time the ball reaches the rope."

  205. 12:23: 
    Eng 122-1 (Cook 44*, Ballance 28*)

    While Aggers on TMS laments the fact that no-one talks to each other on the Tube (though he coincidentally shared a carriage with scorer Andrew Samson this morning), skipper Dhoni drops a clanger behind the stumps as Cook shoulders arms outside off stump but Dhoni lets it through his legs for four byes. Rather like Tube passengers, the slip cordon avoid eye contact with their wicketkeeper, staring straight ahead. Cook is solid in defence, those byes the only lapse in the over.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Robert Allen: Robson has had all summer and faced attacks which aren't the best in world cricket and hasn't looked convincing.

    Ben Gillam: England need to build a team for 5-6 years not 5-6 Tests. If they feel Robson is up to it they should back him for the next 12 months.

    John Kilshaw: Jason Roy has had a fantastic season for Surrey and deserves a call-up to the England ODI team.

  207. 12:19: 
    Eng 118-1 (trail by 30)

    No sign of the hawk, there's a helicopter flying overhead as Aaron finally takes a rest and all-rounder Stuart Binny takes over. A right-arm seamer, he's more medium-fast than fast-medium, and Cook clips him for a single off his legs. Ballance forces the ball down to long leg where the lumbering Sharma sees it late - late enough for England to scamper a second run. Ballance earns a ripple of applause with a cover-driven four, and the deficit is down to 30.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Sam Robson is not quite good enough. I watched his footwork; he's crouching - he's getting lower. Everything is tense, a la Nick Compton. When you have faults, they come back to haunt you. The great players, there is something relaxed about their stance. Batting is a fluent movement."

    Text 81111

    Martyn: Totally agree with Michael Vaughan. Hales could be a destructive opener like Hayden or Trescothick. Surely worth a punt.

    Kevin: I seem to remember Bell was a slow starter at Test level. Give Robson a chance.

  210. 12:14: 
    Eng 111-1 (Cook 43*, Ballance 22*)

    Cook plays and misses again - this time as Ishant Sharma comes round the wicket. It's a bright day at The Oval as England continue their remorseless pursuit of India's first-innings total, with Cook pulling Sharma for his fourth four. A single takes him to 43 - while Aggers on TMS is worried by the absence of all the pigeons who were on the square yesterday (and held up play once or twice). Have the Surrey authorities re-engaged the sparrowhawk who used to patrol the ground?

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "The best time to change the team is when you're winning. Look at Real Madrid - they win the Champions League and what do they do? They sign Rodriguez; they sign Kroos."

    Real Madrid's James Rodriguez
  212. 12:09: 
    Eng 106-1 (trail by 42)

    After a rather long drinks break, Varun Aaron, who's bowled all morning from the Vauxhall End, begins the second hour with a lifter and Ballance sways out of the way. A single takes the Yorkshire (via Zimbabwe, Harrow and Derbyshire) left-hander to 22. Cook is beaten by one that flashes past a footwork-less back-foot prod, but then Aaron oversteps for the third time today. Cook guides a single wide of mid-on to move to 38 from 98 balls. Assured.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Adaam: Hales definitely should have a chance in the Test match team. Quality player.

    Jim Clack: If ECB got rid of Compton (average 32), surely Robson should go?

    Geoff Ashton: Robson was out-scoring Cook who got away with a plumb lbw yesterday. Don't give up on a guy whilst he's improving!

    Charles Dagnall, BBC Test Match Special at Wormsley

    "It's been India's hour. They only require 30 to win. Mithali Raj has played beautifully, but the second new ball is only two overs old and England are creating chances. England need a breakthrough - they desperately need to see the back of Mithali Raj."

    Listen to live commentary on the Women's Test via the BBC Sport website, or via BBC Live Event 8 on your smartphone

  215. 12:01: 
    Drinks break- Eng 103-1

    Unlike his opening partner, Cook shows he knows exactly where his off stump is by confidently shouldering arms to the lanky Sharma. As if he's aware there's a drinks break on the way, he plays out a maiden over and umpire Kumar Dharmasena waves on the 12th man with some liquid sustenance.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    On why Alex Hales should be England's Test opener: "Playing against great teams, you can't sit back. You've got to go at great bowlers; they need knocking off their length, out of their rhythm. That's the only way you can beat the great teams."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    England's Alex Hales
  217. 11:56: 
    Eng 103-1 (trail by 45)

    Aaron finds the edge - but fortune favours Ballance as the ball not only fails to carry to third slip, but bounces past him and away for four.

    Art attack

    Here's another of the drawings from the collection that are being auctioned off for charity. Steven Finn and Ian Ward get the treatment from Nasser Hussain's felt tip.

    Steven Finn and Ian Ward by Nasser Hussain
  219. 11:52: 
    Eng 99-1 (Cook 37*, Ballance 17*)

    India make their first bowling change of the day as the tall Ishant Sharma replaces Kumar. He serves up the third no-ball of the morning, but Cook negotiates the rest of the over safely.

    And with the final Test of the summer (and indeed, England's last Test for nine months) under way, thoughts are turning to the make-up of their one-day international squad, with Michael Vaughan on TMS making a strong case for the inclusion of Nottinghamshire's Alex Hales. Who else would you like to see in the upcoming ODIs? And who should make way?

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Dave from Edinburgh: Love listening to TMS but my knowledge of cricket terminology is pretty woeful. Is there a cricket for dummies book out there somewhere?

  221. 11:48: 
    Scorecard update

    England 98-1 (29 overs) - trail by 50

    Batsmen: Cook 37*, Ballance 17*

    Fall of wickets: 66-1 (Robson 37)

    Bowling figures: Kumar 12-2-33-0, Sharma 7-2-12-0, Aaron 8-0-42-1, Binny 2-0-7-0

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


  222. 11:47: 
    Eng 98-1 (trail by 50)

    It's still Aaron charging in, right-arm round the wicket from the Vauxhall End - although he needs to borrow a bail to get rid of a bit of turf which had become attached to the sole of his boot. Cook gets an inside edge trying to force the ball through the on side and it scoots to fine leg as they run one. After sending down another no-ball, Aaron switches to bowling over the wicket for one delivery - then goes back round again, and has to dive well to stop a Ballance off-drive which looked destined for the boundary, and keep India's lead at 50.

  223. 11:46: 
    Women's Test: England v India

    India women are closing in on victory over England in the only Test at Wormsley. The tourists have not lost a wicket this morning, progressing from an overnight 119-4 to 139-4 in pursuit of 181. They need 42 runs with six wickets in hand to complete the second highest fourth-innings chase in women's Test history - and inflict defeat on England in their first game since turning professional.

    Listen to live commentary on the Women's Test via the BBC Sport website, or via BBC Live Event 8 on your smartphone

  224. 11:41: 
    Eng 96-1 (Cook 36*, Ballance 17*)

    A lovely on-drive brings Ballance four - he's raced to 17 off only 16 balls. Kumar has 0-33 from 12 wicketless overs, he's not made much impression so far today.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "The big hitters on Cricket United Day are (from left ot right) Angus Porter, Wasim Khan and Paul Robin, chief executives of the Professional Cricketers' Association, Chance to Shine and the Lord's Taverners respectively, seen here being interviewed by Alison Mitchell on Test Match Special."

    Angus Porter, Wasim Khan and Paul Robin
  226. 11:37: 
    Eng 92-1 (trail by 56)

    Aaron is swinging the ball into the left-handed Cook at pace, but thankfully this is the new, improved Alastair Cook who has been on duty for the last three Tests of this series - rather than the Alastair Cook we all worried about in the first half of the summer. The Chef tucks in with a two through the covers. Aaron, bowling round the wicket to the two left-handers, strays with a no-ball.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Sam Robson has missed out on a massive chance. He's been bowled four times in 11 innings this summer. I just hope England are keeping an eye on Alex Hales. He plays such strong, orthodox strokes. He has to play in the 50-over team, and if he's successful I'd throw him into the Test team."

    Andrew Samson adds: "Sam Robson has 336 Test runs in seven matches at an average of 30.54."

    England's Sam Robson
  228. 11:34: 
    Jayawardene's last Test innings

    The legendary Mahela Jayawardene is currently playing his last Test innings for Sri Lanka - fittingly, he came out to join his great pal and long-time team-mate Kumar Sangakkara, and received a lovely welcome by the Pakistan fielders. Jayawardene is 19 not out as Sri Lanka - trailing by 12 runs on first innings - are 122-2.

    Mahela Jayawardene
  229. 11:31: 
    Eng 89-1 (Cook 34*, Ballance 13*)

    Cook is going along nicely, knocking Kumar for a single. Meanwhile, at Wormsley England's women are still looking for their first wicket of the day, while out in Colombo, the Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene is playing his final Test innings.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ben Thapa: Anyone else think Hales should tour this winter as spare batter in Test squad? Could cover anyone in top six and would learn a lot.

    Daniel Groves: Look down the India scorecard. 37 isn't exactly a failure of an innings. Robson needs more time.

  231. 11:27: 
    Eng 88-1 (trail by 60)

    Aaron is probably India's quickest bowler in this squad, but Cook uses the pace to his advantage as what looks like a semi-defensive forward prod races away towards the long-off boundary, where only a diving stop turns four into three. Ballance joins in the fun by helping a swinging delivery past leg gully to the unguarded fine leg boundary for four, and guiding another one through mid-wicket for four more.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Mark Rees: Surely Hales needs to be given a chance up top. Could be England's version of Sehwag.

    Ian Bradley: Zero excuses for Robson there, have to feel he's come up short technically and selectors will look elsewhere.

    Flemming Jensen: Was that Robson's last Test innings? What a ridiculous question...

  233. 11:23: 
    Eng 77-1 (Cook 30*, Ballance 5*)

    Having despatched his first ball for four, Ballance can now set about playing himself in, as he and Cook plunder a couple of singles from Kumar. Meanwhile, captain Mahendra Dhoni behind the timbers looks like an overworked traffic warden, waving his arms to send fielders from one side of the ground to the other.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a golden opportunity for Robson. Those who succeed at this level take those opportunities. They come once. Those who succeed take it, those that don't succeed don't. I didn't take mine and he might have missed his. There's a 'Vacancies' sign up."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    England's Sam Robson
  235. 11:18: 
    Eng 75-1 (trail by 73)

    "You don't bowl there to Cook," muses Phil Tufnell on TMS as Aaron serves up a short delivery which the England skipper pulls powerfully for four - England are more than halfway towards a first-innings lead. Looking on from the stands is former England fast bowler Simon Jones, no doubt gearing up for a round of interviews next year when you can bet there will be up to 2,005 retrospectives in the media of the 2005 Ashes.

    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The Oval

    "Gary Ballance had a bit of a scare in the nets this morning when he was hit in the ribs by a throw-down. There was no fracture but he took painkillers before play. If India were watching, the Yorkshire batsman could be an early target for bouncers."

  237. 11:14: 
    Eng 71-1 (Cook 24*, Ballance 4*)

    So, an early filip for India, but can they build on it? Cook opens his account with a trademark leg-glance for a single. He now has 244 runs for the series - putting him one ahead of the bowler he's just been facing, Kumar, who has 243.

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Matthew: If England are still batting at close of play, surely Elton John's song 'I guess that's why they call it the Blues' would be apt for India?

  239. 11:10: 
    Eng 70-1 (trail by 78)

    Gary Ballance joins fellow left-hander Alastair Cook at the crease and, attempting a flashing drive, edges his first ball for four.

    Phil Tufnell, Ex-England spinner on BBC Test Match Special

    "Robson has played down the Bakerloo - the wrong line. It's a good start for India, just what they needed. How did he miss that?"

    India's Varun Aaron
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Full and straight - it's gone through him. It's a big disappointment for Robson, it was a big chance today. It didn't swing. It might be a sweaty few months ahead for him."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  242. 11:06: 
    WICKET- Robson b Aaron 37 (Eng 66-1)

    And the questions over Sam Robson will continue as he misses a full, straight ball from Varun Aaron, plays down the wrong line and loses his off stump.

    Two balls earlier, he had dabbed a four through the vacant gully. But the main charge levelled at Robson - that he doesn't know where his off stump is - may stick after this. His harshest critics might even ask... was that his last Test innings?


    England's Sam Robson
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Seba Rua: Mr. Blue Sky by ELO leaps to mind, as it's what we all want (well, except swing bowlers perhaps). Blue Monday although this Test might not reach then!

  244. 11:04: 
    Eng 62-0 (Cook 24*, Robson 33*)

    Right-arm seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar - singled out by Sunil Gavaskar earlier on TMS as India's best hope - opens up from the Pavilion End with three slips and a gully waiting for an edge from the England captain's bat, but Alastair Cook steadfastly plays out a maiden over.

    Email tms@bbc.co.uk

    Kerrith: Speaking of songs and not wanting to tempt fate, but if Robson fails here is there any way back for Nick Compton? The Barmies adaptation of "Downtown" is surely one of their best efforts in recent years and sadly underused...

    Agreed. If you've not heard it, it begins "When Strauss is gone, and you need a new opener, you can always call... Comp-ton."

  246. 10:58: 

    As "Jerusalem" blares out over the PA - I wonder which songs with "Blue" in the title might be most appropriate for Cricket United Day. Blue Is The Colour (which I'm sure would find favour with Surrey director of cricket and notorious Chelsea fan Alec Stewart)? If the game lasts into a fourth day, Blue Monday (hopefully marking a series win by England's New Order)?

    Do get involved on this - or any other topic - by emailing tms@bbc.co.uk (with "for Mark Mitchener" in the subject line), text 81111 if you're in the UK (with "CRICKET" as the first word, as it's the first day of the Premier League season and we share the inbox with football), or tweet us via the hashtag #bbccricket - thanks in advance.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Jos Buttler's innings at Old Trafford was a better Test match knock that the one we saw at Southampton. But I don't think he will get in for a long time. It's a day when India have to win every session. If England win two or three out of three, it will be 3-1 in the series."

  248. 10:55: 

    Elsewhere in the world of cricket, Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath - regularly described as one of the most apparently innocuous-looking spinners on ther international circuit - has recorded the best Test bowling figures for 12 years, taking 9-127 against Pakistan in Colombo. Southpaws among you may rightly point to it as the best Test figures ever by a left-armer.

    Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath
    Ebony Rainford-Brent, Ex-England batter on TMS at Wormsley

    "The way Katie Cross bowled yesterday, England will think if they can get through Mithali Raj they could drive it home. They will want to keep her off strike, but, as soon as the new ball comes, they will have to strike."

    Listen to live commentary on the Women's Test via the BBC Sport website, or via BBC Live Event 8 on your smartphone

    Charles Dagnall, BBC Test Match Special at Wormsley

    "Broken cloud and blue skies at a sun-drenched Wormsley - it'll be a tense first session as the game may be over by lunch. We think England only need five wickets rather than six as Shubhlakshmi Sharma dislocated her shoulder in the field yesterday and may not bat. The new ball is due in 15 overs."

  251. 10:52: 
    Can rain save India?

    "India need gallons and gallons of water from the sky for them to get out of this," was Geoffrey Boycott's view last night - but if the tourists were hoping for rain, the BBC weather forecast for Kennington promises, if not "scorchio", that it shouldn't rain.

    Away from the weather, you can hear Geoffrey's end-of-day review with Aggers on the TMS podcast page - where you can also find yesterday's interesting lunchtime discussion on England's fixture congestion in 2015.

    Sunil Gavaskar, Ex-India captain on Test Match Special

    "Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the key for India today as he gets movement that deceives the batsman. A fuller length delivery will get the batsmen committed as they don't have time to change their strokes. But they don't have many runs on the board so the field placing needs to be smart - for instance, take the third slip out as third man will save runs, while you can spread first and second slip out for that edge."

    Listen to Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  253. 10:49: 
    Women's Test: England v India

    We'll also keep you up to date with the Women's Test, where India need 62 with six wickets in hand to beat England at Wormsley. The tourists will resume on 119-4 at 11:00 BST, chasing 181 - for what would be the second highest successful chase in women's Test history. The wicket of captain Mithali Raj, who is 20 not out, could be crucial.

    Listen to live commentary on the Women's Test via the BBC Sport website, or via BBC Live Event 8 on your smartphone

    England women's Anya Shrubsole
  254. 10:46: 
    Agnew's verdict

    "India's minds looked scrambled and their confidence shot," was BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew's verdict on day one - you can read his full column on the BBC Sport website.

    India's Ravichandran Ashwin
    Sam Sheringham, BBC Sport at The OvalBlue is the colour

    "The Oval has turned blue. The top half of the stumps have been painted blue, sponsors have all changed their advertising boards around the boundary to the colour of the day and many of the early arrivals at the ground are wearing blue shirts or T-shirts.

    "The England team will be wearing special Test shirts with the Cricket United logo on the collar, while portraits of England players by members of the media, and vice versa, and still attracting bids on Ebay."

  256. 10:42:  
    BBC Radio Test Match SpecialBBC coverage

    You can listen to Test Match Special, by the way, on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave, and via the BBC Sport website, BBC Sport app and BBC iPlayer Radio app.

    Overseas listeners can find TMS here (though it's not available in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh).

  257. 10:41: 
    Art attack
    David Lloyd by Joe Root

    As Test Match Special have been explaining since they went on air, today is Cricket United Day at The Oval - with fans encouraged to wear blue in support of three leading cricketing charities - the Lord's Taverners, Chance to Shine and the PCA Benevolent Fund.

    And as you'll know if you were following the live text yesterday, England's players have created some drawings - though most tend towards caricatures - which will be auctioned for the charities. Here is batsman Joe Root's likeness of Sky commentator David "Bumble" Lloyd.

  258. 10:38: 
    Start-of-play scorecard

    England 62-0 (19 overs) - trail by 86

    Batsmen: Cook 24*, Robson 33*

    Bowling figures: Kumar 7-1-25-0, Sharma 7-2-12-0, Aaron 3-0-14-0, Binny 2-0-7-0.

    India first innings: 148 (Dhoni 82)


  259. 10:35: 

    But after that diversion down Tangent Boulevard, we're back in 2014 and it's eyes down for day two of the final Test. England bowled India out for 148 yesterday - it could have been a lot worse for the tourists had Mahendra Dhoni not hauled his side into three figures by the scruff of the neck with a battling 82. England will begin on 62-0 in reply, with the under-pressure Sam Robson unbeaten on 33.

    England's Alastair Cook and Sam Robson
  260. 10:32: 

    If you can stick with me in 2011 for the moment, it's interesting to look at both sides in that final Oval Test. Alastair Cook, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad and James Anderson are the only England survivors, while only Gautam Gambhir, Mahendra Dhoni and Ishant Sharma remain for India.

    The other 15 players on that day? Many faded into glorious retirement or were dropped as their careers declined - or in the case of Sreesanth, are now serving a life ban for spot-fixing.

  261. 10:30: 

    Morning, everyone. It felt a bit August 2011 yesterday - when a dispirited India side arrived at The Oval for what many people expected to be another defeat to crown a disappointing series loss to a re-energised England team.

    Hapless batting in seam-friendly conditions, questions over their team selection and fitness, and with a bowling attack struggling to make an impression on England's top order... what a difference three years make.

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Live Scores - England v India


  • England beat India by an innings and 244 runs
  • England: 486 (116.3 overs)
  • India: 148 & 94 (29.2 overs)
  • Venue: The Oval

India 2nd Innings

All out
View full scorecard
Vijay lbw b Anderson 2
Gambhir run out (Woakes) 3
Pujara c Buttler b Anderson 11
Kohli c Cook b Jordan 20
Rahane c Ballance b Broad 4
Dhoni c Robson b Woakes 0
Binny not out 25
Ashwin c Bell b Jordan 7
B Kumar c Bell b Jordan 4
Aaron run out (Moeen) 1
I Sharma c Moeen b Jordan 2
Extras 1w 8b 6lb 15
Total all out 94

India in England

India celebrate after winning the one-day series

Reports and scorecards from India's 2014 tour of England, which includes five Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 international.

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