Welcome to Betting.Betfair’s live blog with Ed Hawkins for all the tips, trends and stats for day four in the First Test in Chennai. England have got to get their skates on – taking wickets and scoring fast runs – to force a win. Can they do it?…
WICKET India 336
Stokes takes a brilliant catch to remove Bumrah. Anderson gets another one. England have done pretty well. England lead by 241. They have not enforced the follow on. We can guarantee that Root, given his track record, will want a minimum of a lead of 400. Nick Knight says England will try to get India in before tea. That would be ideal. Bet they don’t do it? Draw is 1.705/7, England are 2.588/5.
Remarkably bad captaincy by Root there. Takes off Leach, brings himself on. Bowls like a drain 4-2-6, concedes 13 and doesn’t keep Bumrah on strike for Anderson to have pop.
WICKET India 323-9
Sundar on to 71. Pant backers for top bat will be getting nervous. Particularly as he will surely cut loose after Anderson removes Ishant. Draw price out to 1.705/7 very briefly but back in to 1.594/7. England in that 2.9015/8 region. Bumrah comes in. But it’s all about England’s intent with the bat. They almost certainly won’t enforce the follow-on.
WICKET India 312-8
Leach bowling for his Test career here one would have thought. Without vast improvement it is hard to see England not moving on to Moeen ALi for game two. But he’s nipped out Shahbaz for a duck. He’s another spinner who has been poor. Not much movement on the prices – draw 1.501/2. Wonder if market thinks England would enforce follow-on? They won’t.
WICKET India 305-7
Just when England were starting to worry, Ashwin goes for 31. Leach gets him and boy did he need that. Now then, can England move through the tail rapidly here. This could well be the game. Draw is 1.538/15 and England are 3.1085/40
Twice Ravi Ashwin has driven James Anderson through the covers on the up for four with the new ball. Anderson looks resigned. A couple of tick on the draw price alone for that facial expression. WOnder what motivates Anderson at times like this? He’s done it all and here he is doing hard graft in the Chennai heat? He could be at home watching videos on Facebook of animals being rescued from bogs. Or playing with his kids in the snow. Or preparing the day’s lessons at home school. The latter is probably very similar to potential frustration levels. Draw has collapsed as we suggested – 1.341/3.
Flurry of runs from India first up as Washington Sundar goes to his half-century. We were a bit harsh on the Wash yesterday. He has looked accomplished in the extreme and have noted just one false shot. These runs probably save him from the axe for game two because his bowling was innocuous. On that point, poor Jack Leach has continued to get tap. England take the new ball. Leach will be relieved to get his cap and glasses and go and have a ponder for half an hour. Big plunge on the draw at 1.574/7. England 2.962/1. Traders will be hoping they can pinch some points on that latter price with this new ball.
Key stat: India need 106 runs to avoid the follow-on. Well, not tat key actually because I’d be amazed if England enforced. They wouldn’t dare run the dual risk of tiring out their bowlers and batting last. The gameplan should be simple: mop up the tail. And then score fast runs to get India in again. Simple. But it’s never that simple, particularly when it comes to declarations. We said this yesterday but it is almost a guarantee that England will bat on too long. Which is why the draw price is likely to collapse today to prohibitive levels.
What ho. We’re back again. It’s dark and early in the UK. But bright and, well, not very early by the coast in Chennai. England have a golden opportunity to take a 1-0 win in India, that rarest of finds. Can they grasp the initiative? Can they be bold? Can they be proactive? Or are they going to play safe and dull? The market reckons the latter. Price check: 1.8910/11 the draw, 2.245/4 England, 36.035/1 India.