India v England: third Test, day three – live


Key events

WICKET! Root c Jaiswal b Bumrah 18 (England 224-3)

Unreal! What a remarkable wicket! Root, as he does, unfurls a reverse sweep to Bumrah’s seamer but he can’t get the lift needed to take it beyond the cordon. Instead, Jaiswal at second slip, clings on to a screamer. That was moving at a rate of knots. Root’s poor form continues and he has to go, admonishing himself as he leaves the scene.

Updated at 

39th over: England 223-2 (Duckett 140, Root 18) Duckett gets out the broom and nails his first sweep of the day. Lofted, in control, and sweetly timed; that’s been swatted in front of square for four. He then almost runs himself out. In fact, a direct hit from the scampering Jurel – who did well to whip his ‘keeper glove off before shying at the bowler’s end – would have ended Duckett’s stay despite the desperate dive. Three singles from the remaining four balls makes that a productive over for Engkand.

“Morning Daniel,” Good morning Brian Withington. Thanks for joining me nice and early.

”Brother just texted to say that Finn is a ‘surprisingly’ insightful pundit. At the risk of generalisation I opined that bowlers often are. One for the OBO community to consider? As random exhibit A I would offer KP vs Shane Warne; exhibit B, Ponting vs Broad (closer to call).”

An interesting hypothesis. I’d say Punter is one of the best in the business. But you might be right. My favourite Saffa player-turned-commentator is Shaun Pollock. Your brother might be on to something.

38th over: England 216-2 (Duckett 134, Root 17) Bumrah hasn’t quite located his range yet. He’s too wide outside Root’s off-stump. One back of a length delivery ios expertly steered behind square for four. Root’s playing that away from his body but he’s in full control. He then picks up an easy two off his pads. If Bumrah can’t get on top of Root this could get out of control for India real fast.

37th over: England 210-2 (Duckett 134, Root 11) Kuldeep’s left arm wrist spin gets things going from the other end. Remember, there’s no Aswhin today or the rest of the Test. Kuldeep is aiming for some rough outside Root’s off-stump. He can’t quite find it. He’s a little too straight and Root tucks a single out to the leg-side sweeper off the back foot.

36th over: England 209-2 (Duckett 134, Root 10) Bumrah starts from round the wicket into the left-handed Duckett who steers a comfortable single into the covers off the second ball. That brings Root on strike. The former England skipper has had his troubles against Bumrah – who shifts to over the wicket for the righty. Root’s trigger brings him out of his crease. Perhaps he’s looking to smother any lateral movement? An inside edge gets him a single down to fine leg. Duckett is solid in defence for the rest of the set.

Right then. Bumrah has the ball. Duckett and Root have bats. The Test, indeed the series, is delicately poised. Away we go!

Where do we rank Aswhin in the great pantheon? The numbers don’t lie, but he hasn’t always had the love (I think) he deserves.

Glad his record will now stack up against the elites. Another, more sobering, question: Will he be the last member to join the 500 Club?

For another day. For now, enjoy Tanya Aldred’s lovely piece on the man:

Now Sir Alastair Cook – on TNT – is waxing lyrical about “Ducky”. The former England skipper and left handed opener is commending Duckett’s bravery against the Indian spinners but also his accuracy on the sweep. When defending he looked like, well, a sitting duck. But on the sweep he was in control. “A brilliant hundred”, says Sir Alastair. Too right!

“A phenomenal ­talent”

That’s Ravichandran Ashwin – the latest member of the exclusive 500-club – speaking about Ben Duckett after the England’ opener’s spell-binding hundred.

The last time the lefty batted in India, he averaged in the single figures across a tour that, for him personally, never made it past the third Test. Now he’s leading the Bazballers into uncharted territory. Can he kick on today?


Daniel Gallan

Daniel Gallan

Oooooh, we’re halfway theee-ere! At least, at some point in the second session today, we’ll be halfway through this five-Test series and, whisper it quietly, it’s shaping up to be an epic.

England arrived in India with a question hanging over them. Could they Bazball in the meanest backyard in cricket? Ben Duckett’s staggering Test ton, the fastest by an Englishman in India, has firmly answered that query.

It was unreal batting. The sheer chutzpah of the approach was worthy of praise. That it counted for 133 unbeaten runs off a mere 118 balls places it firmly in contention for the best knock by a tourist in India (and we’ve already had one of those in the series).

Duckett will have Joe Root – nine off 13 – for company but won’t have to face Ravichandran Aswhin. India’s premier spinner became the ninth player to reach 500 Test wickets but has had to pull out of the match after a family medical emergency.

It’s a cruel blow for India and possibly places England in the driver’s seat despite the 238-run deficit. If Duckett and Root can build a partnership, and if the aggressive middle order can crank into gear, and if the tail can contribute with some handy runs, then England might have a sizeable lead.

That’s a lot of ifs and a maybe. But this is a team that has challenged what we thought we knew about this sport. Love or hate England cricket, there is no denying the bravery of this latest iteration that is setting a new standard with the bat.

Play resumes at 4am UK time/9:30am in Rajkot.


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