Month: December 2016

India v England 4th test: Day 4 Highlights at Mumbai

With a lead of 51 runs and 3 wickets in hand, India held the edge at the start of day 4 in Mumbai. By lunch, that edge had translated into a definitive advantage.

To cut a long story short, England was beyond rubbish and India outclassed them again. With Kohli moving on to a double hundred and Jayant Yadav at number 9 scoring a 100 (India’s first ever), India turned the screws on England. With a lead of 231, the last two sessions saw a familiar scenario unfold when England batted. Six down at the close of play, England still need 49 to make India bat again.

The best part for Indian fans is that England and their fans really have had nothing to whine about on this tour.

  1. England have won 3 tosses out of 4 and batted first. They have had the best of the batting conditions 75% of the time so the English conspiracy theory that winning the toss decides the result goes straight down the drain.
  2. The pitches haven’t been rank turners. No day 3 results. All the games have gone deep into the fourth and fifth days. So India have conclusively played the better cricket.
  3. All of DRS is in play. So no more whining about bad decisions. India have simply used the system better.
  4. India have had more injuries than England to key players. The Indian openers (Rahul), the wicket-keeper (Saha) and the opening bowlers (Shami) have all been injured but India’s bench strength has compensated. England’s only injury of the tour has been to the rookie opener Haseeb Hameed and the out-of-form Stuart Broad.
  5. Having gone 2-0 down, England had a nice break to re-group and make a fist of the series. India have not had such a luxury while touring the UK.

So no excuses from England, right? Wrong.

Having already hit rock bottom, someone handed England a spade and it was our old friend, Jimmy. Anderson labelled Kohli’s magnificent 235 a function of the “helpful” pitches he plays on.

Makes you wonder whether Anderson was watching the ball turn in this test? Also, it’s a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black – Anderson should be the last person to talk about using home advantage. Remember, Jimmy Anderson is someone with one five wicket haul in Asia in 19 test matches (as opposed to 1 every 4 tests in England). Pretty poor from England. Anderson should shut his mouth and stick to bowling (at home).


To add to the stats fun, let’s take a look at 5 awesome statistics from day 4 at Mumbai.

  • What more can you say about King Kohli? He was sublime on Day 4 of the Mumbai test, racing to his 3rd double century in 2016, becoming the first Indian batsman to accomplish this feat, and the 3rd captain to do so (after McCullum and Clarke). Here is one person who wishes 2016 never ends!
  • Jayant Yadav smashed several records including the first Indian #9 to score a century. In the process, Jayant and Kohli also put together the highest 8th-wicket partnership ever for India.
  • Captain Kohli now averages 50.53 in Test Cricket; along with 52.93 in ODIs and 57.13 in T20s, Virat is the first player to ever average more than 50 at the same time in all 3 formats
  • Joe Root hit a brilliant 77 in the second innings; he has now picked up at least a half-century in each of his 10 tests against India, converting 3 to centuries.
  • Keaton Jennings hit an outstanding first innings century, but followed up with a first ball duck in his second innings. He is the 4th batsman in history to have a century and duck on debut, the last 3 times being in 1969, 1992 and 1996, all more than 20 years ago.

Watch video – India v England, 4th test, day 4 highlights

In our view, the only question that remains for tomorrow is whether India will need to bat again to win the match and the series.

Let’s wrap it up nice and early tomorrow, boys!

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India V England, 4th Test: Day 2 Highlights At Mumbai

Surprising. Unsurprising. Balanced. Another superb day of test cricket at Mumbai. While India will feel they took honours on Day 2, the test match is delicately poised and could swing in either direction in the next 3 days.


Jos Buttler, who has made his name as a limited overs batsman, was brought in after the 2nd test and managed an impressive 43 in Mohali. He continued his form in Mumbai with an excellent 76 to take England to a solid 400, before becoming the last man dismissed. Could Jos be on track to join our list of cricketers whose records may surprise you?

The other surprise today was DRS – early in the day Stokes felt hard done by the third umpire’s decision. Given not out by the on-field umpire, Kohli reviewed for the edge, and the 3rd umpire overturned the decision to send Stokes back to the pavilion. Many thought the sound was Stokes’ bat hitting the ground, but India won’t be complaining.

Watch video – England’s first innings fall of wickets


Ashwin picked up another 5-wicket haul, his 23rd in just 43 test matches. He equalled the record for most 5-wicket hauls by an Indian, with Kapil Dev who had 23 in 131 tests. An excellent feat, but given his recent form, par for the course as he continues to raise the bar.

Watch video – Ashwin’s 6/112

Pujara too, came in at 39-1 after Rahul was dismissed thanks to some pretty ordinary shot selection against Moeen. He stabilized the innings, adding 47* with Vijay, to give India confidence at the end of Day 2. He has now scored at least a half-century in his last 7 test matches, converting 3 of those to centuries. Another excellent feat, but we’ve come to expect this of Chetu at #3.

Watch video – Monk Vijay and Steady Pujara lead India’s fightback


At the end of Day 2, Kohli’s India will be feeling optimistic, with momentum starting to swing to them. They will do well to remember that England were comfortably at 230-2, before losing Ali (50) and Jennings (112) within 2 balls.

Tomorrow will be key.  India trail by 254 with 9 wickets in hand.On a Wankhede pitch that tends to deteriorate exponentially on Days 4 and 5, this means that the match is very much even at the end of Day 2. India will hope to amass a huge first innings lead and only bat once. England will be hoping to bowl India out cheaply and get a first innings lead.

You have to love test match cricket!

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India v England, 4th Test: Day 1 Highlights at Mumbai

Sensational. See-saw. Gripping. What a day of test cricket that was at Mumbai! While India may have already taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series, England let them know today that they will not be going down without a fight.


With a doubt, Keaton Jennings was sensational. Dropped by Nair on 0 at gully (a difficult chance), the 24 year old made the Indians pay with a hundred. While he was the 19th England batsman to score a hundred on debut, we are pretty sure he is the first to get there with a reverse sweep! Along with Haseeb Hameed, Jennings may well the future of English batting. Alistair Cook might soon be under pressure from the young openers.

Watch video – Debut ton for Keaton Jennings 

The other bit of sensational cricket came from India’s skipper Kohli. Kohli is not India’s regular first slip fielder but with Rahane out with injury, someone had to fill in. Watch the video to see how Virat first goes in the wrong direction before recovering quickly to safely pouch England’s dangerman, Joe Root.

Watch video – Kohli’s great catch to dismiss Joe Root.


England were in a really strong position at 230-2 and India were looking down the barrell. Jennings and Moeen Ali has just begun to step on the accelerator. As is so often the case in the sub-continent, things changed in a flash. Moeen was out to a top-edged slop sweep and within 2 balls, Jennings was caught in Ashwin’s web at gully. When the leading run-scorer of 2016, Johnny Bairstow was caught in the deep off another top-edged sweep, India had clawed their way back into the game to leave England at a precarious 249-5 with around 10 overs still left in the day’s play.


With the fall of Bairstow’s wicket, Buttler joined Stokes at the crease. Ashwin and Jayant were fizzing the ball past both inside and outside edge regularly. Both Stokes and Buttler were being beaten in the flight and off the pitch. Add disconcerting bounce off a good length and India would have hoped to have picked up another couple of wickets before the close of play. Somehow, the two young England batsman lived to fight another day. England ended the day on 288 for 5. Tense stuff.

Watch video –  full highlights for Day 1 of the 4th India v England test from the official BCCI website 

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India v England 4th Test Preview: Captains in the Limelight

Nine days after India won in Mohali to guarantee they can’t lose the 5 match test series against England, here we are on the brink of the 4th Test Match – 9 days felt like forever. The Wankhede has historically been mixed for India in tests; India lost their two previous tests here against England. However, momentum is undoubtedly on India’s side after comprehensive wins in Vizag and Mohali.

 Much of the pre-match talk revolves around the two captains yet again – Cook is likely to open the innings with Keaton Jennings, his 11th opening partner since Andrew Strauss retired in 2012! Lack of consistency has hurt the English top order, and just when they thought they’d found a potential long term option in the young but gritty Hameed, he has had to fly home with an injury. Jennings has had an outstanding domestic season, and will be excited at the prospect of making his debut in Mumbai. Perhaps his dad Ray Jennings (former SA coach) will have given him some tips on how to deal with the Indian spinners.

Inevitably, there is talk of the end of Cook’s career as captain. 55 tests as captain over the last 4 years is more than anyone else and Cook has previously hinted at potentially stepping down to focus on his batting. He’s had a forgettable time against both Bangladesh and India as captain and his batting has been a notch below expectations. Root is seen by many as the next English test leader and we do think he will bring a youth and energy to his side (just the way Virat has to India).

Kohli, meanwhile, seems like he wants to be the Grinch who stole England’s Christmas – he publicly criticized both their recent holiday in Dubai as well as the 25-day gap between the Tests and ODIs (his bigger objection is with the latter). Kohli highlighted the scheduling, asserting that if England gets a break between away tests and ODI series, India deserves the same while touring. With India looking to drive the momentum home and break the English spirit, Kohli might have a point – a nice break allows England to re-group after a tough test series but his comments on the eve of the 4th test are most likely to be mind games than anything else. 

Finally, we must talk about team selection. For England, the one obvious change is that Jennings will come in for the injured Haseeb. Woakes impressed in the last game, and Buttler is likely to maintain his spot too, so the only other change may come in form of Broad, if his foot injury forces England to bring in Finn. For India, Rahane’s injury eases some selection woes – KL Rahul is back (from injury and a weak outing in the first test) and has generally been in stellar form this year, well deserving of a spot in the 11. Parthiv’s strong showing in his only test so far as well suggests he will maintain his spot, and Karun didn’t really get an opportunity, being run out by the skipper in his only innings. Rahul in for Rahane should be India’s only change.

 Some strong English batting in Rajkot ruined our 5-0 prediction, but on the eve of the 4th test, 1 Tip 1 Hand is still confidently calling this series as 4-0 to India!

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