It’s been an interesting Test Match, it’s been a controversial Test Match. And today, barring a twist that sits completely outside the scope of what we know to be probable and logical, it will be a Test Match that concludes with India squaring the series at one-all.
England had their moments on the third morning, threatening to bowl out the hosts cheaply. But then Kohli had Ashwin join him for the stand that defined the day, the latter going on to post his fifth Test ton – an innings with an extraordinary degree of difficulty.
Setting England 482, and leaving them an hour to bat after spending the majority of the three days in the field, there was a sense of inevitability about the three wickets they lost before stumps. Indeed, that should have been four – Joe Root was a very lucky man to avoid being given out leg before just before the close.
But despite the dreadful position they find themselves on morning four, there is still meaning to be found for England in the hours to come. Just as it was for Ashwin last week when taking a big second-innings bag, form can be contagious – in a good way. If Dan Lawrence can bat for a couple of hours or more, resuming on 19 not out, it will do him the world of good after a lean run of late. As for Root, he gets the chance to swell his splendid 2021 runs tally.
However, to do that, both they will need to see of the mighty Ashwin, who really is at the peak of his powers. Alongside Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav, India’s opportunity is to rout England today and leave a mighty scan before the show moves on to Ahmenabad.
While the result in this game is all-but certain, our discussions on the OBO never are. So drop me a line – let’s have some fun.