81st over: India 215-2 (Pujara 91, Kohli 45) Anderson looks fit, which is a big plus for England, and he’s finding swing with the new ball as you’d expect. But the swing is all outwards and he’s starting wide of off, so Kohli can easily let the ball go until the last delivery, which pitches on middle-and-off. and demands a defensive prod. That’s a maiden, which will warm Jimmy’s stony old heart, still reeling from that spell yesterday of 2-0-20-0.
It’s going to be Jimmy, so here comes another instalment of The Anderson-Kohli Show, season six.
Preamble: proper creekit
Morning everyone and welcome to the fourth day of an absorbing contest. The first two days of this match were action-packed. India collapsed in a heap – when in England, do as the English do – and England, just to be perverse, didn’t, or not until they had piled up a massive lead. Yesterday, though, the age-old rhythms of Test cricket reasserted themselves. Slow, slow, slow-slow, slow.
Finding themselves in a tight corner, where many teams would have flopped again, India lost only two wickets. Cheteshwar Pujara, their most stolid batter, set out his stall and even returned to fluency. Virat Kohli calmed down and carried on. India’s chances of a win, which had been rated at precisely 0 per cent by WinViz, shot up to 5.
England’s chances are still far higher, at 81, but they need to use the new ball well this morning. They were not flattered by their figures yesterday, but then the flattery had been laid on thick on Wednesday. That’s why they call it Test creekit: it’s a stern examination. Today will ask plenty of questions of this largely makeshift attack. Is Jimmy Anderson fit? Is Sam Curran now more of a white-ball cricketer? Can Moeen grab the game by the scruff? Are Robinson and Overton, admirable as they are, a little too alike? We will find out from 11am, UK time.