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?…
CLOSE India 39-1/strong> England can go back to their hotel now. Where it may well dawn on them that their negativity and fear could cost them. England didn’t even get the final 16 overs because they’ve moved round the field with the speed of a three-legged hippo. See you tomorrow.
India 37-1/strong> Almost admire England’s pig-headedness here. That or they’re so intense and professional that they used some bizarre equation, worked out by a team of analysts who are all very clever, to reckon their plan was foolproof and cunning. Cricket is a pretty simple game. On a fourth-innings pitch the batting team want to bat for as little time as possible. Particularly in a final session. England seem to have forgotten that. The period they batted post tea was shambolic and there’s probably a part of a lot of folks watching on, regardless of the bet they’ve had, who will hope they suffer the consequences. Or the reason behind their negativity is m ore simple: fear. They know they can’t control both ends because of the way Rishabh Pant destroyed Jack Leach so their first job was to ensure they don’t lose. But how many chances do you get like this in India? Price check - draw 1.834/5, England 2.427/5 and India 23.022/1.
WICKET India 25-1/strong> Leach strikes. And England are now favourites. In to 2.0811/10, the draw out to 2.1411/10. Rohit has had a very poor game.
India 0-0/strong> England average a wicket every eight overs under Joe Root away from home in the fourth innings. What are you all getting so het up about eh? England have 16 overs tonight and 90 tomorrow.
England 178/strong> Hilarious from England. Even better from Alastair Cook. He’s trying to argue that England have worked out the best way to bowl out India is to have less time to do it. We’ll soon see. Thank God India put us out of their misery. Six for Ashwin. The draw is now 1.834/5. Some achievement that from England to get it favourite at this stage but that is the mark of their stupidity. England 2.466/4.
WICKET England 167-78/strong> Doing home schooling maths when this day is done. First qurstion: what the **** mathematical equation are England using in Chennai? Bess is out now. As if that has any bearing on anything. England have wasted all of this session so far.
WICKET England 165-7Buttler out. England lead by 406. And it is all very pintless now. A total waste of time by England. What is particularly frustrating is that their intent from the start of this innings was excellent. And they made those if us who said they would be negative look like mugs. But they have reverted toi type in depressing fashion.
England 136-6Have no clue as to what England are doing here. They are now on an official go-slow. Perhaps they’re playing for the draw? That’s a joke (I think). But there is clearly a fear of losing. There are 35 overs left today and 90 tomorrow. With England changing to a negative strategy post-lunch, it looks as though those overs are going to be whittled down. Draw is slight favourite at 2.0621/20.
England 1336-5Bit of recency bias impacting Root’s thinking one would have though. West Indies chased 395 yesterday to beat Bangladesh. India’s chase at The Gabba might also play on his mind. And Rishabh Pant’s hitting. In reality, the first two are outliers. And if you’re worried about Pant you may asl well bat all day because you don’t deserve to win. The highest chase in India is 387 by India against England on this ground. But it was 13 years ago.
WICKET England 1336-5Pope is out. Beginning to get warmed up to be able to say: ‘the only time you’re wasting is your own England’. Come on, quick Buttler blast and get India in.
England 119-5 Buttler in as Root goes. Draw is 2.111/10. England are 2.1 There are 39 overs left today but in real terms that’s 37 because of an innings break. England beginning to cut it fine. Remember, the average number of overs per wicket in the mach is 13. England will hav to take wickets at a faster rate by the looks of it.
England 101-5 Buttler in as Root goes. Draw is 2.206/5. So England’s positive approach has impressed the money flow. We want faster, faster, faster. Runs not as important as time. 42 overs left today but two will go for the change over.
England 84-4 Alastair Cook, another safety-first skipper, gave an insight into the mind of the Test captain earlier. He said 400 was the “magic number”. Of course, 400 is just an arbitrary number. The real magic number might be something like 382. 400 is a psychological comfort rug. More than 400 has been breached only four times in history to win a game in fourth innings, so the notion that such a figure is required is nonsense. It’s a statistical freak for a team to chase more than 400 so a captain doesn’t need that figure. More than 350 has been chased only 12 times. Wouldn’t it be refreshing if England went absolutely buts for ten overs and called it a day? Mathematically the risk would be minimal. But it would be called ‘bold’.
WICKET England 71-4 Stokes out. That’s not great news for their chances of acceerating. And they have not promoted Buttler. Duh.
England 58-3 Another stat. In this match, the average number of overs required for a wicket is 13. You would expect that to come down in the fourth. But with 49 left today and 90 tomorrow it doesn’t leave England much wiggle room. They really need to keep the pedal down.
WICKET England 58-3 Lawrence gone but it’s all about run rate and that should continue to rattle along with Ben Stokes at the crease. The draw is out to 1.9420/21 with England 2.305/4.
England 58-2 Decent intent from England so far. The run rate is 4.7 in the last ten overs. They lead by 299. There are 50 overs left today. And there are 90 tomorrow. England will surely require at lest 40 overs with a second new ball, too. They need to keep the accelerator down.
England 17-1 Interesting stuff from Nick Knight. Says England, because of where they are as a team, need time. They need overs. They don’t have an Ashwin. Totally, utterly, completely agree. Suspect Root agrees with him, but only in part. Root will say ‘we don’t have an Ashwin…we need runs’. Safety-first England.
England 5-1 England need to out time back in the game. They need to be aggressive. That’s because the bad news is that, on average over the last five Tests, you need to bowl 19 overs per wicket in the fourth innings in Chennai. We suspect this is not a typical Chennai surface, however. It is breaking up and batting is tricky indeed. What it highlights is that need for England to get India in before tea.
LUNCH England 1-1Ha! Root is a safety-first captain. Before he even considers the notion of quick runs he will want a platform. The last thing anyone needs are quick India wickets. England will retreat. They will panic. Nick Knight has said England are under pressure. They’re not. They are 241 ahead for Christ’s sake. Sunil Gavaskar has said India are pumped and attacking. Well, what else are they going to do? Here is the price check: 1.715/7 the draw, 2.546/4 England and 32.031/1 India.
WICKET England 0-1Ha! Burns is out to the first ball of the third innings to Ashwin. he’s had a poor game. That’s the last thing that draw layers wanted. They want a confident England. Not a nervous one.
WICKET India 336Stokes 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.
India 336-9Remarkably 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 323-9Sundar 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 312-8Leach 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 305-7Just 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
India 305-6Twice 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.
India 284-6Flurry 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.
India 273-6Key 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.
India 257-6What 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.