5 things we learnt from the 4th day of play between England and India

The England cricket team put up a stupendous performance on Day 3 of the final Test against India being held at the Oval in London. Beginning the day at 114-2, Alastair Cook and Joe Root continued from where they left off and took on the Indian bowlers with aplomb.

Cook, who was playing his final innings, could not have asked for a better send off as he scored a fantastic century. Along with Root who also scored a century, he put on a 259 run partnership for the third wicket.

At one point, it looked like the two batsmen would not be dismissed at all. However, Hanuma Vihari provided the vital breakthroughs. In the end, England managed a lead of 463. To add salt to the wound, England ripped apart India’s top-order and left them reeling at 2-3. KL Rahul and Ajinkya Rahane revived the innings and ended the day at 58-3.

Here are five things we learnt from the day

#5 Chef serves up a special

Alastair Cook, who was playing in his final Test before retirement, came up with one of the best knocks of his life. He had an extremely poor Test series and did not cross the 30 run mark even once. However, it looked like he saved the best for last.

We were reminded of the Cook of a few years ago as he scored 218 runs in the Test, including a 147 run knock in the second innings. It was indeed a chef special which was served up in the end.

He now has the most runs by a left-hander in Test cricket, going past Kumar Sangakkara with his final knock. Added to that, he sores his first cenutry in the second innnings of his debut against India and did the exact same thing in his last ever Test.

Life, truly, is like a river… and the river is a circle.

#4 Joe Root back in form

Along with Cook, it was captain Joe Root who found his feet once again. After a below par series and a duck in the first innings, Root came out with the right intent from the first delivery he faced.

He attacked the Indian bowlers and kept the runs coming at a brisk rate. At one point, he was batting like it was a limited-overs game, taking on the Indian bowlers and smashing them all around the park.

He scored his first century of the series and is set to lead England to a 4-1 series victory tomorrow.

#3 India bowling with no intent

India’s bowling, which has been their strength throughout the series, failed miserably in the second innings. After getting the wicket of Keaton Jennings and Moeen Ali, the Indian bowlers were taken apart by Cook and Root.

While Shami continued to bowl well and constantly make the batsmen play and miss, the other bowlers were quite disappointing. Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja were not able to do much and with Ishant Sharma out injured, Kohli did not have many options.

In the end, they found an unlikely hero in Hanuma Vihari who took Root and Cook’s wicket in succession.

#2 Kohli’s tour ends on a low

As a batsman, the Indian captain Virat Kohli did everything right from the  very first Test. He scored runs aplenty, did not allow James Anderson to trouble him, and came up with the goods whenever it mattered.

However, in his very last innings of the tour, he was found poking at a delivery outside the off-stump and was dismissed, much the same way he kept getting dismissed in 2014.

To make things worse, he was unable to lead India to a series victory and with this Test coming to an end tomorrow, he might be staring at yet another defeat.

#1 Anderson a wicket away from history

Despite not being able to get the wicket of his nemesis Kohli throughout the Test series, James Anderson has had quite a fruitful outing in the five Tests.

He has picked up plenty of wickets and has constantly troubled the Indian batsmen with his swing. And now, with the two wickets he picked up today, he equalled Glenn McGrath’s record of the most number of Test wickets by a fast bowler.

 Cheteshwar Pujara was Anderson’s 563rd victim and if the Englishman is able to bag one more wicket tomorrow, he will become the all-time leading wicket-taker amongst all the fast bowlers in cricketing history.


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