England v India: fifth Test, day three – live! | England v India 2021


Our main man Ali Martin has a very interesting chat with former England Head Coach Trevor Bayliss. Have a goosey why don’t ya.

What a pulsating morning of cricket. I’m off for a

some sustenance and will be back shortly to sift through some of your emails.

RAIN STOPS PLAY – early lunch taken.

The cricket is so riveting that no one noticed the clouds gathering, the rain comes and the players are ushered off, it looks like more than a shower so an early lunch is being taken, my sources tell me the re-start will be at 12:55 if the rain stops.

There was drama, more drama in the over before the break as Bairstow swiped across a straight ball from Thakur and was given out lbw by Aleem Dar. He reviews quicker than you can say “inside edge pal” and sure enough the hot spot shows a snick. NOT OUT. Bairstow chews his gum insouciantly, never in doubt.

Here comes the rain.
Here comes the rain. Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock

45th over: England 198-6 (Bairstow 88, Billings 6) Just a couple off the over. Bumrah managing to curtail the scoring, however briefly.

And here is Virat and Johnny engaging in a little trash talking earlier in the morning.

44th over: England 196-6 (Bairstow 88, Billings 6) Atherton is seemingly right, this is Jonny’s IPL bat – he smears Thakur over mid-wicket into the Hollies stand for a huge six! A swivel pull also brings four more, splitting the boundary riders perfectly.

Here is the story of the Stokes dismissal which it is fair to say is causing some ripples on the emails.

43rd over: England 185-6 (Bairstow 78, Billings 6) Shades of Trent Bridge as Bairstow pulls Siraj into the stands for six!

OBO guru Tim de Lisle emails in with a JonnyStat:

“Bairstow was on 13 off 63 balls, now 72 off 93, so his last 59 have come off 30”

He’s now 78 from 99 balls. And he’s just called for a change of bat. “This one is for even bigger sixes” notes Mike Atherton on commentary.

42nd over: England 178-6 (Bairstow 72, Billings 6) Bairstow plays an audacious late cut that goes up and over the cordon. It’s a brilliant shot as there are men out on the boundary on the leg side making the pull/hook a much riskier proposition. He then backs away to leg and glides a length ball from Thakur through the covers for another four. This is rare form, the sort that you really have to make the most of and Bairstow is very much doing just that.

41st over: England 169-6 (Bairstow 63, Billings 6) Not for long though as Bairstow plays a Viv Richards esque flick from off stump that flies over wide mid-on! Some shot that. He made it look so simple, Sam Billings at the other end is playing a ‘normal’ (What is normal anymore?) Test knock which only serves to accentuate the blistering form Bairstow is in. Nine runs come off the over.

Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

40th over: England 160-6 (Bairstow 55, Billings 5) A no ball adds a single to the score and everything calms down a little bit as Thakur bowls a tidy over to a watchful Sam Billings.

39th over: England 159-6 (Bairstow 55, Billings 5) Bairstow goes over the top again and picks up four, again! England not taking their foot off the gas, as Stokes walked off he merely shrugged and gave a rueful grin and it was all smiles on the England balcony from McCullum and Collingwood. Worth pointing out that England still trail by 256 runs.

38th over: England 153-6 (Bairstow 50, Billings 4) Sam Billings is the new man and he crisply flicks his first ball away off his pads for four!

WICKET! Stokes ct Bumrah b Thakur 25 (England 149-6)

Gone! In a frenetic passage of play Stokes is caught on the dive by Bumrah at mid-off after the India skipper had shelled a far easier catch just the ball before. Thakur atones for his drop too.

Shardul Thakur celebrates with Virat Kohli as Ben Stokes walks off.
Shardul Thakur celebrates with Virat Kohli as Ben Stokes walks off. Photograph: Rui Vieira/AP

37th over: England 148-5 (Bairstow 50, Stokes 25) England are running well and picking off the runs. Stokes gets three for a hack into the leg side and Bairstow picks up a couple of singles to bring up his FIFTY.

Jonny Bairstow brings up his fifty.
Jonny Bairstow brings up his fifty. Photograph: Ben Whitley/Shutterstock

Sriram emails in:

“I’m writing from Chennai, India, in defense of the new ‘attacking cricket’ strategy (I can’t bring myself to call it Baz… to call it THAT). But I’m concerned that it just took two lost sessions for the journalistic knives to come out against the strategy, even after all it did for English morale and fortunes just a few short weeks ago. I see altogether too many articles pointing out that the new strategy had failed on day 1 and 2.

Give it time, I say. When Virat Kohli’s and Ravi Shastri’s India started playing this brand of cricket a few years ago, it didn’t exactly work out brilliantly from the get-go for them either. In 2018, India played exhilarating cricket but went down – heartbreakingly – 1-4 to England – with a lot of the same players in the team: Kohli, Shami, Bumrah, Jadeja, Pujara, Pant, Rahul, Ashwin.

Looking even further back, remember Lloyd’s West Indians playing free-flowing calypso cricket and going down 1-5 to Australia in 1976. And then taking it out on the world for the next ten years.Give it time. The strategy’s OK.”

36th over: England 141-5 (Bairstow 48, Stokes 20) DROP! HUGE DROP! Stokes skies Shami and Shardul Thakur spills it! Shami turns away in disgust, he’s bowled 18 overs on the bounce and has grafted for that chance. It was an easy catch, the ball going so high that the crowd got involved with some “Woooaaa-ing” as the ball came down and Thakur snatched at it with fingers raised. Bairstow then plays a couple of beautiful shots for four, a clip off leg stump and a checked drive down the ground. Some of his shots have been a little bit agricultural this morning but those two were all timing and class.

Shardul Thakur drops Ben Stokes. He could have caught that in his pocket.
Shardul Thakur drops Ben Stokes. He could have caught that in his pocket. Photograph: Steve Bond/Shutterstock

35th over: England 130-5 (Bairstow 39, Stokes 18) Siraj comes into the attack to replace Bumrah and Bairstow takes him for a couple of fours, a wristy pull into the leg side and another aerial cover drive.

34th over: England 121-5 (Bairstow 31, Stokes 17) 11 runs come from the Shami over – Stokes plays a violent cut shot for four that whistles to the fence and Bairstow goes up and over again to get four down the ground. The two batters then scamper a rapid two, Bairstow in particular is lightning between the wickets. Shami bowls a beauty last up that moves away late and Bairstow follows it. Every ball feels like an event.

33rd over: England 110-5 (Bairstow 25, Stokes 12) Bumrah jags one back into Stokes and an inside edge saves him. Bairstow comes onto strike and short arm jabs Bumrah aerially down the ground for four. The Yorkshireman then leans on one into the covers to pick up two. Absorbing first half an hour this.

Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow.
Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow take a quick single. Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock

32nd over: England 100-5 (Bairstow 16, Stokes 11) It all gets a little spicy out there as Virat and Bairstow seem to have terse words and the umpires step in. Not sure what about, probably Kohli trying to get into Johnny’s noodle. Bairstow’s beans are well and truly up as a result and he has a wild few swipes before connecting with a flay over point for three. Bairstow is ticking.

31st over: England 97-5 (Bairstow 13, Stokes 11) OUCH. Bumrah decks one into Stoke’s “midriff” and floors the England skipper. Deep breaths and eventually a wry smile. An inside edge is nearly chopped on to the stumps but gets Stokes off strike. Bairstow is then beaten by consecutive deliveries outside off before flicking a single off the final ball.

John Little has the first email of the day:

“Morning James, fine choice of music to start the day. Kristofferson often used a key change to take things up a notch after the first chorus. Take note, Johnny Bairstow and Ben Stokes”

There are notches and there are notches John. Will we have a rousing chorus or fading feedback squall in this England innings?

Ben Stokes
It’s lucky that Ben Stokes was wearing a cup to protect his ‘midriff’. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA

30th over: England 95-5 (Bairstow 12, Stokes 10) Bosh! Stokes skips down and bunts Shami back over his balding pate for four. Shades of Rishabh Pant about that shot. He then nurdles a single to get off strike. Ayayayay – Shami then nips one back to Bairstow that misses his stumps by a gnat’s eyelash. It is not dull.

29th over: England 90-5 (Bairstow 12, Stokes 5) Stokes skips down to Bumrah but the fast bowler holds back his length and beats Stokes on the outside edge. It looks like both men are relishing this battle and neither will take a backward step. Sure enough Stokes clips Bumrah away through mid-wicket for four! He’s up and running.

28th over: England 84-5 (Bairstow 12, Stokes 0) Shami is finding a bit of movement and there’s some wobble as the ball passes through to Pant behind the timbers, he spills one and does well to cling onto another. Shami starts with a maiden. Stokes v Bumrah up next!

The players are out on the field in the hazy Birmingham sunshine, Bairstow is scratching his guard, Shami has the ball. PLAY!

Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes
Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes of England take to the field. England need these two to hang around to have any chance. Photograph: James Marsh/Shutterstock

And this by Jonathan Liew, provides quite a sobering reality check:


Here is Andy Bull with those bullish Anderson quotes:


Sunday Morning Coming Down.

Welcome to the day three OBO of England v India, Jim here with the Sunday morning call before the mighty Rob Smyth takes over this afternoon. And what position might the match be in by then?

England we’re chastened yesterday by the Indian juggernaut and if they are to come back from this far behind in this Test then it will take something even more crackers than anything we’ve seen in ‘BazBall’ thus far.

The day started with Stuart Broad being flogged for the most expensive over in Test history, winding up on his belly in the dirt of the popping crease from whence he had been slayn by Jasprit Bumrah.

Bumrah, the smiling assassin with the bullwhip action then got to work on England’s top order with the ball, whipping away Lees, Crawley and Pope and England find themselves 84-5 trailing India by 332 runs.

Stokes and Bairstow are at the crease and it would be wise to tune in from the get-go as Jimmy Anderson’s rallying call that “attack will be the best form of defence” suggests that they aren’t going to change their aggressive approach and will try to hit themselves out of strife once more.

Play gets underway at 10:30AM BST – a little over ten minutes time (the earlier start has caught me out already…)

Time for a quick splosh of coffee and we’ll be ready to go. Gulp.

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