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The first day of the fourth Test match between India and England was updated live.
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The first day of the fourth Test match between India and England was updated live.

Ali Martin’s report from Ranchi is now available. I will return on Monday if the game continues until then.

Joe Root is probably tired and unable to do an interview. Instead, Zak Crawley is the one who is sent to speak. To Graeme Swann, he mentions “I told them that 300 would be a decent score, and I still stand by that statement.”

A day that was shaping up as the last nail in England’s coffin has ended with the game nicely poised. And it’s nearly all down to the class and composure of one man. Well played, Joe Root. The Indians played their part with a spicy morning and a superb over rate, but they didn’t attack much and paid the price.

Thank you for your presence and communication. Apologies for not being able to respond to all of it. Whenever Ashwin and Jadeja are bowling, I don’t have a chance to check my mail. I will be up at 3am to see if England can score some additional runs and possibly dismiss Yashasvi Jaiswal.

This was a successful series for beginners, with Akash Deep making a strong debut with the new ball. He quickly dismissed the top three players, causing England to struggle and reach a score of 112-5 by lunch. The Ranchi field was unpredictable, initially suggesting a possible total of 200 runs. However, the pitch later calmed down and Ben Foakes, a natural support player, joined Root to play traditional cricket. The pace of the game slowed down in the afternoon, going from 4.63 runs per over to 2.33, and the number of wickets dropped from five to none. In the final session, Foakes stepped up but ultimately fell, leaving Root to continue batting smoothly and benefiting from the absence of his rival, Jasprit Bumrah.

Root achieved two significant milestones today with his understated approach. He surpassed Alastair Cook as the highest-scoring Englishman in Tests with 50 or more runs (Cook has 90, while Root now has 91). Additionally, Root also surpassed Steve Smith as the leading scorer of Test centuries against India. This was his tenth century and is considered one of his finest performances, as it came at a crucial moment for the team and when Root himself was struggling for form.

In the 90th over of the match, England’s score was at 302-7, with Root scoring 107 and Robinson scoring 30. Rohit, who is not known for his unconventional captaincy style, makes a surprising move by putting Yashasvi Jaiswal, a part-time leg-spinner, into the game. Robinson hits a four off of Jaiswal’s delivery and the day ends right on schedule. Root is greeted by his teammates as he leaves the field with his bat held humbly above his head.

In the 89th over, England’s score is 296-7 with Root at 105 and Robinson at 26. Robinson follows the convention of a nightwatchman by scoring no runs off Kuldeep’s over. The new ball is yet to be used, raising the question of whether Rohit should have taken advantage of having two opportunities with it.

England is at 296 runs for 7 wickets in the 88th over. Root has scored 105 runs and Robinson has scored 26 runs. Akash switches things up by throwing a bouncer at Robinson, who successfully avoids it. He then waits for a full ball and hits it for four runs. Root allows Robinson to take a single on the last ball, bringing their partnership to 51 runs in 77 balls. Interestingly, Robinson has scored more runs (26) compared to Root (23) and has also faced more deliveries (51 balls compared to Root’s 26). Some may even question if Robinson is actually a nightwatchman in disguise.

Andy Flintoff agrees, stating that 1.2 degrees may not seem significant, but it actually equals a difference of approximately 16 inches over a distance of 22 yards. This is nearly twice the width of the stumps.

The 87th over of the match sees England’s score at 289-7 with Root scoring 104 runs and Robinson adding 21. As Kuldeep bowls, Root scores a single and Robinson hits a six with a powerful slog from the off-side. This is the fifth six of the day for England, all from different players, and none of them being Root.

In the 86th over, England’s score is now 282-7 with Root at 103 runs and Robinson at 15. Robinson successfully hits a couple of runs off Akash’s delivery. Together with Hartley, they have contributed to Root’s 67 runs so far. A replay captures Ben Stokes’ reaction to Root’s century, applauding and then raising a bent finger as a tribute to his late father, Ged. Root notices and responds with a bent finger of his own. Their friendship and support for each other has been evident throughout the game.

In the 85th over, England’s score is 280 for 7 with Root scoring 103 and Robinson 13. Rohit brings Kuldeep on after taking Jadeja out. Kuldeep proves to be economical, only allowing one run.

At the end of the 84th over, England’s score is 279-7, with Root at 103 and Robinson at 12. Root successfully hit a two off Akash’s delivery, survived an LBW appeal, and scored another two runs before driving for a four. His celebration was subdued, much like his overall innings. His century was achieved off 219 balls, including nine fours. This is his 10th Test hundred against India, surpassing the previous record held by Steve Smith with nine. This is a particularly noteworthy accomplishment given Root’s struggles in the first three Tests of the series.

Akash powers through the covers to reach his 31st Test century, which is one of his finest achievements.

In the 83rd over, England’s score is 271-7 with Root at 95 and Robinson at 12. Robinson finally gets his first opportunity to attack and hits a powerful four off Jadeja’s delivery. HawkEye analysis reveals that if India had a review left, Robinson would have been out in the previous over by Jadeja.

As the 82nd over begins, England’s score is 267-7 with Root at 95 and Robinson at 8. Siraj takes a break after an impressive spell of 7-2-13-2, passing the ball to fellow seamer Akash Deep. With three wickets already under his belt, Deep is now aiming to take out England’s fourth batsman. Root executes a leg glance, which he initially thinks has gone to the off side, causing the commentators to question if they have ever seen a batter mistakenly believe they have played a leading edge. Root then adds two more runs with a clip, bringing him within one shot of a century. Will he attempt the reverse ramp to reach his hundred?

In the 81st over, England’s score is 261-7 with Root at 89 and Robinson at 8. Rohit, who had a brief break, decides not to use the new ball just yet. Jadeja manages to get more spin than he has in a while and believes he has Robinson out by LBW, but Kumar Dharmasena disagrees and with no reviews left, India cannot challenge the decision.

In the 80th over, England’s current score is 260-7 with Joe Root at 88 runs and Ollie Robinson at 8 runs. Siraj continues to bowl, with his average swing measuring 1.2 degrees in this spell. This is an increase from 0.9 degrees with the new ball and significantly higher than 0.4 degrees in his second spell. From my vague memory of O-level math, 1.2 degrees is a small amount, correct? However, Siraj’s swing appears much more pronounced to the untrained eye. Robinson successfully defends his over and ends with a drive to the covers, resulting in two runs thanks to Root’s strategic placement.

In the 79th over of the game, England is at 257-7 with Root scoring 87 runs and Robinson scoring 6. Jadeja continues to bowl without causing any trouble. The majority of the bowling has been done by the spinners, Ashwin and Jadeja, who have bowled a total of 47 overs. The remaining seven overs were bowled by Kuldeep. However, it is the seamers who have taken the most wickets, with five out of seven. It seems like England made the right decision to choose two spinners and two seamers.

78th over: England 256-7 (Root 86, Robinson 6) Rohit gives Siraj a sixth over, presumably his last. Root can’t cash in on a full toss, collecting only a single, but after a single from Robinson Root adds two with a cover drive and a bit of tip-and-run, risky but worth it to keep the strike. Robinson calls for the 12th man, who brings him a drink and a pill. Robinson takes his helmet off, showing us his new peroxide hairdo.

In the 77th over of the match, England’s score is 251-7 with Root at 82 and Robinson at 5. Rohit replaces Ashwin with Jadeja after a lengthy spell. However, the ball slips out of Jadeja’s hand and results in a full toss that Robinson takes advantage of, hitting it for a four. As the players take a break for drinks, India has regained the upper hand thanks to a remarkable five-over spell from Mohammed Siraj, who took 2-9 with his reverse swing. Despite this, Root remains at the crease and has his sights set on a century.

In the 76th over, England is at 246-7 with Root scoring 82 and Robinson 1. It’s Ollie Robinson’s first cricket game since July and facing reverse swing is challenging for him. However, he manages to block a full toss and then hits a single off a length ball from Siraj.

A delivery from Siraj which was angled in, curved away, and clipped the off bail.

In the 75th over, England’s score is 241-6 with Root at 82 and Hartley at 9. Hartley takes another shot at Ashwin after three consecutive dots, hitting a straight drive to mid-off. A single is gained as Akash Deep misfields, possibly distracted by thoughts of receiving a new ball.

In the 74th over, England’s score is 240-6 with Root at 82 and Hartley at 8. The new ball will be available in six overs and it has already caused some action this morning. However, Siraj’s current success with the old ball may make Rohit question whether to take it or not. Siraj is making the ball move unpredictably, often angling it into Root and away from Hartley. In fact, he almost got an LBW for Root with an inside edge, a situation that would have resulted in an out for any right-handed batsman.

The 73rd over sees England at 240-6 with Root scoring 82 and Hartley scoring 8. Hartley takes a risky move, approaching Ashwin and hitting a six over mid-on. However, he is soon caught off guard by an arm ball and is initially declared out on the field. But upon review, there is evidence of an inside edge, leading to the decision being overturned. It is unclear if it would have hit the leg stump.

The 72nd over sees England at 233-6 with Root scoring 81 runs and Hartley scoring 2 runs. The recent wicket has motivated Rohit to become more aggressive in his approach. While Siraj is bowling to Hartley, there are two slips, a short mid-off, and no fine leg. Despite this, Hartley is able to defend against a yorker and remains in play for the time being.

71st over of the match: England has a score of 230-6 (Root with 79 runs, Hartley with 1 run). Root takes advantage of the reverse swing and executes a reverse sweep against Ashwin. The shot is played calmly and results in a gain of two runs. Root then takes a fast single and trusts Hartley to handle the remaining three balls.

“In the 70th over, the score for England is 227-6 with Root scoring 76 and Hartley scoring 1. Siraj has taken on a larger role and is now the focus. He has a strong reverse swing, but unfortunately it proves to be too much for Hartley who attempts a shot outside off and misses, failing to make contact with the ball.”

In the 69th over, England’s score is 227-6 with Root at 76 and Hartley at 1. With the tail now at bat, it’s clear that Hartley has been performing admirably in his early Test matches. This is also the first time Root and Hartley have batted together, which is evident as they almost cause a run-out.

At the 68th over mark, England’s score is 225-6 with Root at 75 and Hartley at 0. Foakes has completed a strong innings, scoring 31 runs off the first 117 balls and 16 runs off the last nine. Rohit’s decision to bring back Mohammed Siraj and switch to reverse swing played a role in this outcome.

He dies now! He doesn’t take a powerful shot, but instead clips the ball loosely to midwicket, where Jadeja makes a quick and low catch. This is a crucial moment.

In the 67th over, England has scored 224 for the loss of 5 wickets (with Root scoring 74 and Foakes scoring 47). Surprisingly, there is a change in the game. Ben Foakes has suddenly become aggressive and takes on Ashwin, hitting a slog-sweep for 6, a regular sweep for 4, another slog-sweep for 4, and a dab for 2. This partnership of 100 runs was their second one in the series, and the first one with Crawley also involved Foakes. Foakes has proved himself to be great at playing a supporting role, but in this over he has shown that he can also take on the lead role.

In the 66th over, England’s score is 208-5 with Root at 74 and Foakes at 31. Jadeja delivers a maiden over, preventing Root from scoring any runs.

“I hope your day is off to a good start, Tim,” greets Kim Thonnger. “The weather is delightful here in flooded Northamptonshire, and I’m waking up to the soothing voice of Dr John Cooper Clarke on the Radio 4 Today show. It’s a shame he didn’t pursue a career as a cricket commentator – his voice is just as lovely as John Arlott’s and his descriptions would be unmatched, not to mention he’s hilarious.” I’m sure we can make space for him on the OBO.

In the 65th over, England’s score is 208-5 with Root at 74 and Foakes at 31. Ashwin concedes two singles.

In the 64th over, England’s score stands at 206-5 with Root at 73 and Foakes at 30. Jadeja delivers a single to each batter, but the final ball surprises them with its low bounce. Root, having overcome the challenges of three difficult Tests, is able to defend it confidently.

At the 63rd over mark, England has a score of 204-5 with Root at 72 and Foakes at 29. One of the commentators, possibly Sanjay Manjrekar, notes that Root is adjusting his footwork to the line of the ball, moving back if it is outside off and forward if it is at the stumps. This proves effective in this over as Ashwin is unable to contain them, allowing for three singles and a two.

In the 62nd over, England’s score is 199-5 with Root scoring 68 and Foakes scoring 28. Jadeja is still bowling, but he’s not using his usual tactic of pitching the ball in the middle and leg, instead he’s using more flight and aiming for the off side. Root manages to score a single with a well-placed shot behind square.

The Indians take the field and go into a huddle. The TV director finds Joe Root and puts up a caption showing that he has faced 154 balls, 113 of them dots.

“I believe England is making a wise strategic decision,” remarks Stephen Nichols. “As stated in Ecclesiastes and popularized by the Byrds, everything has its appropriate timing. There is a time to aggressively sweep, and a time to refrain; a time to bowl precisely, and a time to pitch powerfully. Given the challenging pitch this morning, it was advantageous for Crawley and Bairstow to take the offensive, resulting in a score of 112-5 instead of a potential 50-7 at lunch. However, this afternoon calls for a more conservative approach. And I am looking forward to when we begin bowling, as it will be the perfect time for a change in momentum.”

In the 61st over, England’s score is 198-5 with Root at 67 and Foakes at 28. There was only one run scored off Ashwin’s over. This marks a significant point in the unpredictable series with both batters successfully navigating through an entire session. At lunch, the score was 112-5 but Root and Foakes have impressively added 86 more runs in 36 overs, with Root contributing 51 runs. Root has been playing exceedingly well. The over rate has been 18 and the run rate has been 2.33, a traditional pace.

England’s total reaches 197 for 5, with Root scoring 66 and Foakes at 28, as Jadeja challenges Foakes’ leg before wicket. The Indian team appeals but the umpire does not give it out. Jadeja and Jurel convince Rohit to review, but the replays show that the ball missed the leg stump, unlike the situations that led to the wickets of Pope and Bairstow. India uses up their final review, while England still has three left.

During the 59th over, England’s score is 197-5 with Root at 66 and Foakes at 28. Ashwin’s bowling is causing trouble for the batsmen, with one delivery staying low and nearly getting Foakes out and another jumping up at Root. The pitch could be a factor in the challenging deliveries. It’s possible that England’s current score is considered a good one.

On the 58th over, England’s current score is 196-5 with Root at 66 runs and Foakes at 28 runs. Rohit, who isn’t known for being an aggressive captain, has only placed a slip and backward short leg for Jadeja. Foakes leans forward and almost hands an easy catch to the forward short leg. However, by the end of the over, Root manages to score four runs with a late cut. He has smoothly transitioned from a slower gear to a quicker one.

In the 57th over, England’s score is 191-5 with Root scoring 62 runs and Foakes scoring 27. Root faces Ashwin and executes a quintessential Root move – not the reverse ramp, but the effortless back-foot force, guided by swift footwork and graceful hand movements.

In the 56th over, England scores 186-5 (with Root at 58 and Foakes at 26). Jadeja replaces Kuldeep after his seven overs for 13 runs. Jadeja’s stylish bandana and sunglasses add some excitement, but he doesn’t have any success with the ball. Root plays a scoreless over.

Source: theguardian.com