India v England, Fourth Test, day four as it happened

Jonathan Trott helps England extend their lead over India to 165 at the close of play on day four of the decisive Test.

16 December 2012 Last updated at 11:55 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 1115: 

    That's it for another day - just one day of a memorable Test series to go, and all four results are still possible in this topsy-turvy game. Take a look at Marc Higginson's match report while Jonathan Agnew's column will be up soon, too.

    Enjoy BBC Sports Personality of the Year tonight across BBC TV, radio, the Red Button and the BBC Sport website - but make sure you set your alarms to join us from 0330 GMT tomorrow for the denouement from Nagpur. You won't want to miss it!

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I would continue with Compton, they decided he was the best option and he's done all right. He's made a number of good starts with Cook, what he has to do is get picked for New Zealand - which he should, as they should stick with him. Joe Root has come in and played lovely, but the kid's had one good knock on a low, slow surface, and the conditions will be totally different in New Zealand and England. So stick with Compton, he's got a reasonably good technique although he plays a little stiffly, he has to learn to relax a little."


    Nathan Forde on Twitter: "Oh how I would love to be a fly on the wall of the Indian dressing room now."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "They'll have to bat into the afternoon because even if they score 60-70 by lunch, they'll still need a few more runs. What Dhoni did at the start of the day was quite puzzling as they got stuck in no-man's-land for an hour and didn't really push the game along. The key for England was that no matter how slowly they batted, they didn't lose too many early wickets. Dhoni set defensive fields, only had two men catching for the spinners, which is all right in theory providing you get wickets, but they only got three throughout the day. Trott has scored delightfully, he's looked at ease and has scored relatively quickly, while Bell has played sensibly for once."


    Neil Frost on Twitter: "Will take that from today's play, just need to avoid any disasters in session 1 tomorrow and we are set for a series victory."

  6. 1104: 

    It's time for Aggers and Geoffrey's review of the day - it'll be available later on the TMS podcast page, which now has the Rahul Dravid Q&A from the tea interval, as well as the "Old Aggers' Almanac" predictions for 2013 from lunch.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "There was a bit of argy-bargy out there in that final session, but the final score leaves England not feeling sure of a series victory, but confident of it. Trott has taken every run-scoring opportunity wherever he can, and he's remained calm despite a few storms out there, so hats off to Trott."

    Prakash Wakankar, BBC Test Match Special

    "If England can bat for another two or three hours tomorrow, the series should be safe."

  9. 1100: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 161-3

    Ojha has a slip, gully and silly point for Bell, and a maiden over means the Warwickshire pair remain unvanquished, having added 67 in 23.1 overs, England lead by 165 with one day of the Test series remaining.


    Charles Kahanji on Twitter: "Very low run rate this cricket match is producing, Jose Mourinho would describe England's performance as 'Parking the Bus'."

    Adam Mundy on Twitter: "Are my eyes deceiving me or did we really just get seven from that last over [at 1052]? Not sure if I'm imagining things by this stage."

  11. 1057: 
    Eng 161-3

    Jadeja replaces Ashwin, Trott plays out five dot balls before helping himself to a two to fine leg. England lead by 165, and we'll have one more.

  12. 1055: 
    Eng 159-3

    Bell survives a maiden from Ojha - time for two more overs perhaps?

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Bell's main contribution with the bat in this series was the 28 not out in Kolkata when England got the heebie-jeebies at 8-3 chasing 41, though he also ran out Pujara with a direct hit in that game."


    Richard Vining on Twitter: "How silly did that Indian first hour look now - they needed to attack from the start!"

  15. 1052: 
    Eng 159-3

    Bell guides a single off his legs to move to 22, Trott rotates the strike and he's up to 60, Bell pops a quick one to mid-wicket, and Trott helps himself to a loose delivery which he punches through mid-wicket for four - the boundary is signalled with gusto by some of the Barmy Army. England lead by 163, and we've had our 90 overs for the day so it's just eight minutes for England to survive.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "There will be a night-watchman padded up for England. Could be Anderson, but it probably won't be Swann as an aggressive night-watchman. England have about a dozen minutes to get through."

  17. 1047: 
    Eng 152-3

    Sehwag's back as a non-crouching tiger at first slip as Chawla begins a new over to Trott, who digs in for a maiden over. He's booking in for the night.


    Fiona James on Twitter: "Berating the ump & having a go at Trott? Hmm, I think the Indians might be a bit rattled at the moment."

    Dave Foot on Twitter: "Re: Geoffrey at 1033 GMT: Only if you had Yohan Blake running for your partner!"

  19. 1044: 
    Eng 152-3

    Ashwin begins his 17th over, he's taken a miserly 1-23 from his first 16, he brings in a helmeted silly point for Bell, who may be feeling a little pressure for his place after this tour, but there's now a big gap at slip and Bell squeezes one through where first slip would have been standing, for four. Would Sehwag have stopped it if he were there? Who knows.

  20. 1041: 
    Eng 148-3

    The day is drawing to a close as Chawla bowls a maiden to Trott. Just under 20 minutes of play left today.


    From John Scallan, TMS inbox: "Great following the text (in Burgundy) on a real day of Test cricket but it's just a thought. Wouldn't it be nice if Trott hits his first six in Test cricket in this innings. At about 1000 GMT tomorrow!"

  22. 1038: 
    Eng 148-3

    Sehwag and Dhoni have a little chat with umpire Tucker between overs, all three have big grins on their faces, while Samit Patel sneaks on to give the England batsmen a quick drink. When play resumes, Ashwin fails to deliver the ball and instead warns Trott for backing up - though he was only ambling out of his crease as the ball was released, not trying to steal a run like a T20 player. Fair to say that Trott is about as high on India's Christmas card list as umpire Dharmasena is on Alastair Cook's. Maiden over.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't think Sehwag enjoys fielding much. How does he walk so slowly without falling over?"


    Edward Naylor on Twitter: "I can't help but think the Indian reaction is evidence of the pressure they are under. Stage is set for a Trott hundred now."

  25. 1033: 
    Eng 148-3

    Chawla bowls his second no-ball of the afternoon (well, they all count for England), then Bell helps himself to a two and a single to move to 18. England lead by 152.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "If I'd had that Usain Bolt running for me, I'd have had another 5,000 Test runs, and I wouldn't have had half of those run-outs."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's BBC Sports Personality of the Year tonight. I get asked to it every year, but I've never been because we're always out on tour somewhere."

  28. 1029: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 144-3

    Trott turns Ashwin off his legs for a jogged two, then connects more firmly for another two through mid-wicket, and that's the fifty partnership from 85 balls - positively Sri Lankan (1996 vintage) standard compared to the rest of this match. The last ball hits Trott on the pad, Not a bad shout, but not out.


    From Raj in Manchester via text on 81111: "All of the talk beforehand was it being a result wicket. Well they got that one... It's a draw!"

  30. 1025: 
    Eng 140-3

    Trott plays defensively at Chawla, the ball squirms towards Sehwag at slip (who dropped one earlier) but this one didn't quite carry to him. Once more, he's virtually standing up straight so it's unlikely he would have taken it even if it had carried. "If they edge it into his midriff, it might stick," guffaws Geoffrey on TMS. "Sehwag's a bit like Chris Gayle, who's very laid back, but comes to life in the evenings." They run one.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "They'll still have to bat until the middle of the afternoon tomorrow, I reckon."


    James Holman on Twitter: "Trott's fifty off 106 balls is positively lightning in the context of this match."

  33. 1021: 
    Eng 139-3

    Sharma takes a rest and is sent to graze in the deep as off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin returns to the attack and spins down a maiden to Bell.


    Senthil Kumar on Twitter: "Bring Prior up next. Setting target of 200 should be just enough for Anderson's reverse swing. Guess it is 3-1."

    Alastair Baker on Twitter: "Today is not the day to try to explain the ins and outs of Test cricket to my Spanish girlfriend - block, block, block."

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "At the moment, you'd rather be in England's position, but if they lose a couple of wickets it would leave them with a lot still to do."

  36. 1018: 
    Eng 139-3

    The increasingly assured Trott punches Chawla for a two through the covers, England lead by 143.


    From Richard, TMS inbox: "Re: Trott not walking - what comes around, goes around, India! We'll have Cook reinstated if you don't mind..."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "If Bresnan doesn't take his opportunities, he's now got two bowlers in front of him when they're fit, in Finn and Broad. And I think in English conditions, and New Zealand for that matter, I think you've got to bring Onions in before Bresnan."

  39. 1014: 
    Eng 137-3

    This is one of Sharma's longer spells in this Test, he drops one too short and Bell smacks it through the covers for four, causing the gangly Sharma to grimace. He has 15, Trott has 52, and this stand is already worth 43.


    From Anthony, via text on 81111: "Watching this England innings is like watching Spurs defend a one-goal lead; painful to watch, boring and almost guaranteed to end badly. Attack is the best form of defence."

  41. 1010: 
    Eng 133-3

    Piyush Chawla is back into the attack, he's got a big pinkish smear on his chest and stomach, he must have dived tummy-first onto one of the red sponsor's logos on the outfield. Trott helps himself to a two off his hip, while Chawla boosts England's score with a no-ball (unforgivable for a spinner? I'd say so) which stretches their lead to 137.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Part of me hopes England get bowled out after lunch tomorrow and India have to chase 230 in three hours. We'd have some game then!"

  43. 1007: 

    There's finally a snickometer replay of the Trott "catch" - a tiny line goes up, but seemingly just after the ball passed his bat. Ready to resume after a rather long drinks break.


    Wisden editor Lawrence Booth on Twitter: "Tucker and Kohli still in animated discussion as they take drinks. Could be interesting scenes in the years ahead if he ever captains India."


    Ollie Bunting ‏on Twitter: "The scene is set for Root to replicate Cook's debut in Nagpur and come in and make a match-saving hundred for us."

  46. 1002: 

    That's drinks, by the way, for the last time today. A minimum of 12 overs to be bowled, so with only one pace bowler in the team, safe to say we should be finishing on time at 1100 GMT.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been a fascinating series, but quite a friendly series, until it livened up just now."


    Felix Mulderrig ‏on Twitter: "Could be the last chance saloon for Bell. He can probably feel Bairstow's breath on his neck by this point."

    Gethin Smart ‏on Twitter: "This isn't the England of old. 170-3 at close of play - you heard it here first!"

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport in India

    "For all the issues with the geographical location of this stadium it should be said that it is an excellent facility. Viewing is great for spectators and the press box is enormous and spotless. The local cricket authority has been helpful from the start. In fact supporters are reminded on posters as they enter the ground that Vidarbha (this region) is famous for its friendliness, and they should behave accordingly!"

  50. 1001: 
    TROTT FIFTY- Eng 130-3

    The atmosphere remains tense in Nagpur as Trott pushes Sharma for a quick single, and he had to be quick as Jadeja's lively throw just misses the stumps at the bowler's end, but there's no-one backing up and they run an overthrow. Trott straight-drives a four back past the bowler, and a single to third man brings up his 14th Test half century from 106 balls.


    From JJ in Notts, via text on 81111: "How I wish my mate Ken was out there batting with Bell. They once made a hundred partnership together for their school team. Bell got 90 odd!"

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "I can surmise that umpire Dharmasena will become a bigger fan of DRS as this Test goes on, if he's not already. Kohli's had some short, sharp exchanges with Trott, and Chawla's back on the field, perhaps he'll bowl soon."

  53. 0955: 
    Eng 123-3

    Virat Kohli has a long old chirp with Trott and then the umpires between overs, clearly he thought Trott hit that one, we've not seen a conclusive replay yet either way. Jadeja bowls a maiden to Bell, with tempers still raised, and now Dhoni has a word with Dharmasena before the next over.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Someone's having words with Trott here, but I can't believe in this day and age that they're talking to Trott about not walking. There is one solution, but I hesitate to mention it in India... It's called DRS..."


    Tom Woodhatch on Twitter: "Whichever team ends up losing this game will be pilloried for its tactics, and the victor lauded. Fine margins in play here."

    Oli Denne ‏on Twitter: "No reason to panic - all three results may still be on but India chasing at least 150 on this wicket has to be the least likely."

  56. 0952: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 123-3

    Dhoni is still standing up to the stumps to Sharma, while Prakash on TMS has noticed that Chawla is off the field. Bell tries to flick one down the leg side, and with the keeper up it's the easiest four leg byes England will ever pick up. A single rotates the strike for the first time in a while, Trott tries to guide Sharma through the off side, Dhoni appeals for a catch behind but umpire Dharmasena shakes his head. Sharma runs so far forward in celebration, he's almost past Trott by the time he turns to appeal to the umpire, but Trott is adamant he didn't hit it, and he remains.


    Jim Merrick on Twitter: "Never understand leaving a ball when it pitches so straight, regardless of the amount of spin. Step forward and play it!"

  58. 0946: 
    Eng 118-3

    The curly-haired Jadeja has had a change of ends, still bowling in sunglasses to Trott, who's on 43, and plays out a maiden.


    From Brian in Bradford, via text on 81111: "It's that time of day again! Creep along for two sessions and the pitch livens up. Bell has to prove himself today."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I can sympathise with Sharma there, as a quick bowler when the keeper stands up to the stumps, it makes it look so wrong when you're aiming for your line and length."

  61. 0943: 
    Eng 118-3

    India's sole pace bowler Ishant Sharma is going to charge in from the TMS commentary end for the first time in this match, having exclusively bowled from the other end before now. Bell shoulders arms - a little more effectively than KP did a few overs ago - while Dhoni dons his helmet to stand up to the stumps and keep Bell in his crease. "Chance of byes here," adds Vic on TMS. Sharma's response is a long-hop which Bell forces off the back foor for four through point. We've got an hour and 17 minutes of play left, and England lead by 122.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "India are ahead on the overs - there are 17 left today."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Every boundary just calms the nerves for England a little at this stage. Ojha was furious with himself there."

  64. 0937: 
    Eng 114-3

    Trott pushes Ojha for a two to third man as the left-arm spinner begins his 21st over, and he then waits for a long-hop and cracks it through cover point for four. A leg-glance past the tumbling Tendulkar at short fine leg brings Trott four more as he moves to 43, Sachin won't want to watch that one again as he put the dive in but the ball bounced over his arm.


    NJ Daynes on Twitter: "My five-week-old son had more idea where KP's off stump was than him!"

    Andy Johnstone ‏on Twitter: "England are making a meal of this. All this poking around is what did for them chasing 140 against Pakistan. Need to score runs!"

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "An hour of positive batting here from England would make a real difference. I can always tell when Victor's anxious - he commentates standing up."

  67. 0933: 
    Eng 104-3

    Bell is off the mark, guiding Jadeja off his legs for two, and a smattering of applause from the remaining England supporters at the VCA Stadium greets the hundred for tourists. Unbowed, Bell then drills a four wide of the short mid-wicket fielder.


    From Lou from Woodford Green, via text on 81111: "Time for Bell to save his Test place for New Zealand with a gritty 50 from 200 balls! Situation feels like The Oval in 2005 when England needed a draw to win the Ashes, only Chawla is no Warney!"

  69. 0932: 
    Eng 98-3

    The only way is Warwickshire for England at the moment, with Trott and Bell together at the crease, Trott pushes England's lead past 100 with a wristy four steered through mid-wicket. (I nearly typed 200 there, dream on...)


    Anthony Garnett ‏on Twitter: "It's not the IPL that's having an effect on Indian cricket, it's the loss of legends, Ganguly, Dravid, VVS. takes some getting over."

  71. 0929: 
    Eng 94-3

    Although Aggers predicts there will be a few club cricketers out there urging England to send Graeme Swann in to have a bash and get the field put back, their regular number five Ian Bell is the new batsman, and he defends his first ball.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "There's nothing dangerous about Jadeja, he's just a low-slung left-arm spinner, but he's left one there like Trott did in the first innings."

  73. 0925: 
    WICKET- Pietersen b Jadeja 6 (Eng 94-3)

    After flicking a four off his legs, Pietersen offers no shot to Jadeja and is bowled off stump at a ball that comes on with the arm and goes straight. So, that's Kevin Pietersen b Left-Arm Spin. Again. But as he keeps telling the media, he doesn't have a problem with it, oh no.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "The left-arm spinners are the biggest threat, not because they're turning it, but because Pietersen's struggling to score off them. The leg-spinner Chawla might get you out with a perfect ball, but he'll also give you something to hit."

  75. 0923: 
    Eng 90-2

    The runs appear to have completely dried up for England as Trott plays out an Ojha maiden - five in six overs now - and the TV pictures show replays of previous dropped slip catches by Sehwag earlier in the series. Well, he's got to field somewhere...

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think Rahul was being a bit kind there, Sehwag was almost standing stock upright - he never had a chance of catching that."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "A sharp chance, no means an easy opportunity - it went hard, fast and low, and Sehwag was a little too high, he didn't get down low enough."

  78. 0920: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Eng 90-2

    Pietersen gets an edge to Jadeja... and is dropped about shin-height by Sehwag at slip. A let-off for England, and it looks like Sehwag has taken a whack on the shin. Another maiden, four in five overs.


    Ste Hoare ‏on Twitter: "I sort of understand if India don't want to use predictive hawk-eye, but Cook, Pujara & Compton dismissals were matters of fact."

    David Carr on Twitter: "If England had refused DRS would we have lost 3-0 in UAE? We deserved to lose but technology certainly was Pakistan's friend."

  80. 0918: 
    Eng 90-2

    And that's three maidens in four overs as Trott defends well against Ojha - he has a Trott-like 29 from 73 balls.


    Tom Woodhatch ‏on Twitter: "How long will KP be able to subdue his natural instinct to wallop the ball?"

    Hugo ‏on Twitter: "If Trott and KP can push on with the run-rate a touch I think it will be an advantage to England come the end of play."

  82. 0915: 
    Eng 90-2

    Jadeja bowls a maiden to the frustrated-looking Pietersen. The lead is 94.

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think the Dilscoop is the most difficult shot I've seen, that's why I've never tried to play it!"


    From Nick B, via text on 81111: "All this talk about IPL ruining Indian Test cricket, I seem to remember Kevin Pietersen being ranked the best T20 player in the world prior to his exile - and he's not a bad Test batsman!"

  85. 0912: 
    Eng 90-2

    Trott is looking a little more fluent than Pietersen at this stage, there's three men in a ring between slip and silly point but he cuts it between them and the batsmen run two, it might even have been more if they hadn't collided mid-pitch during the first run.


    NJ Daynes ‏on Twitter: "I don't like seeing KP playing so far away from his body on the back foot. Dig in KP."

    Colin Tonkin on Twitter: "Forget about DRS, this is still England's game to lose. India wasted time this morning, should have declared first thing."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "For me, Test cricket's still the numero uno form of the game, I think that's still what you should be judged on."

  88. 0909: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 88-2

    Pietersen pushes Jadeja into the covers and sets off for a single, get back KP, there's never a run there. Jadeja appeals for lbw when the next ball hits him on the pad, he was well down the track there. Next ball, Jadeja screams another lbw appeal, but again he was well down the track and it may have also hit him outside the line. Maiden over.


    From Ben in Cambridge, via text on 81111: "To Jack in Huntingdon [0835]: I don't think you quite understand Test cricket. Would you prefer them swinging away on a slow pitch to a poor total and losing, thus wasting the brilliant work of the last two and a half Tests? If you want that type of cricket, go watch Twenty20. This is enthralling stuff and England need to just carry on doing what they're doing. I can sense a Trott century."

  90. 0907: 
    Eng 88-2

    As India persist with left-arm spin from both ends, Trott is positive against Ojha, straight-driving him back past the non-striker for four.


    From Jack, TMS inbox: "The Cook decisions weren't contentious, they were both disgraceful. Absolutely disgraceful. If I was an England board member, I would refuse to play India until they accepted full DRS. India can't bully everyone forever."

  92. 0904: 
    Eng 84-2

    It's still Jadeja with his left-arm spin, Trott moves to 23 with a single and KP is off the mark with a two through the covers to stretch England's lead to 88.


    Amit Dutta on Twitter: "Dhoni, if convinced that decision has gone wrong for the opposition, would show great character. Dhoni has done it for Bell before."

    Xyz198155 on Twitter: "Either side has a good chance of winning this Test match at this point."

  94. 0901: 
    Eng 81-2

    Ojha to complete his over from before tea, new batsman Kevin Pietersen negotiates his first two deliveries.

  95. 0859: 

    An interesting chat with Rahul at tea, then, we hope it'll be available on the TMS podcast page a litte later - you can already download the Old Aggers' Almanac lunchtime chat there, it's available worldwide.

    And if you're just heading out today, don't forget the new BBC iPlayer Radio app which will allow you to take TMS with you on the go.


    Leigh Tullett on Twitter: "It's been a great Test match (without the umpiring decisions) and with India declaring on par, game on!"

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think it's perfectly possible to have a good Test team and have the IPL. If you start blaming the IPL for everything, I think it's a mistake. It gives a lot of opportunities to young players, the crowds are huge, and it's not just the big players to whom it makes a difference financially. If you look at American sport, a lot of people make money from baseball or basketball, not just the top 10-15 international players."


    Wisden editor Lawrence Booth on Twitter: "To clarify: Compton WAS out, but he was given out for the wrong reason. Which sums up the standard of umpiring in this series."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "My views on DRS haven't particularly changed since I was a player - I've always had a few doubts about the predictive part of it. I think people here feel the game's been played for the last 100 years with the umpire's decision being respected, which is what we were taught as young kids. Alastair Cook's had a tough Test match, both decisions were contentious, and maybe technology can be used up to a level, but there is a counter-view. I think it's [decided] at board level - privately, some of the players might be consulted, although I don't know about that. The board has regular conversations with the ICC."


    OptaJim on Twitter: "Alastair Cook's match strike rate of 11.57 is the lowest (where known) of a batsman in Tests in India (minimum 100 balls)."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "What always impressed me about Sachin [Tendulkar] was that when he was playing well, he never got caught on the crease. He's adapted as he's got older."


    From Stuart Elsy in Durham, TMS inbox: "Re: Ramesh Bala [0748] - Uncle Algy is not a new member of the Boycott extended family, Sir Geoffrey has spoken of him before, but not often. Therefore Algy is a premium score on Boycott Bingo, at least 10 points, whereas his granny taking a catch in her pinny and the 'corridor of uncertainty' are worth only five and one respectively."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "I was asked when I decided to retire, did I feel disappointment or relief? I think it was relief."

  104. 0842: 

    So, Rahul has joined Aggers on TMS and he's going to be taking your questions - email or tweet @tmsproducer.


    SRA on Twitter: "Sharma is the image of Alice Cooper. Hope he hasn't got a python stashed in his box."

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "If it did touch his bat, the ball also carried to Kohli at gully, so he would have been caught. But I think he was out lbw."

  107. 0840: 

    That's tea - it looked pretty straight, Compton looked disappointed but my first instinct was that it was a correct decision. Replays are inconclusive over whether there was the faintest of inside edges on it, but it hit his pad pretty straight in line, well below the knee-roll.

  108. 0838: 
    WICKET- Compton lbw b Ojha 34 (Eng 81-2)

    Ojha shuttles in, Compton is hit on the pad, India appeal and umpire Tucker raises his finger! India are jubilant, and Compton is on his way after 34 from 135 balls.


    Kai Man on Twitter: "You can't talk about Trott having no morals when Dhoni knew Cook did not hit the ball, but he said nothing!"

  110. 0835: 
    Eng 81-1

    Trott defends well against Jadeja, who's not threatened to repeat his comedy ball which Trott hit for four about 20 minutes ago. That's three maidens on the trot, or should that be on the Trott (and Compton)?


    From Jack in Huntingdon, via text on 81111: "This is dreadful from England. Why are they just blocking and blocking? I would be extremely angry if I had paid to watch this, it's dreadful turgid nonsense from Cook, Compton and Trott again! When will we debate the need to drop either Trott or Compton?"

  112. 0833: 
    Eng 81-1

    With tea probably three or four overs away (it's due at 0840), Compton negotiates another maiden from Ojha.


    John Coleman on Twitter: "Compton now has the chance to truly establish himself as a Test batsman this innings."

  114. 0830: 
    Eng 81-1

    Jadeja, still bowling slow left-arm round the wicket to the two right-handers, sends down another maiden.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'd have DRS up to the point of impact, I don't like the predictive stuff, but it means Cook would have been not out in either innings."


    From Dave Johnson in London, TMS inbox: "Alastair Cook should have made the T sign for DRS, knowing that it isn't in use. That way he would have let everyone know that he has not hit the ball, and also by doing this action it would again bring it to everyone's attention that it is crazy that there is no DRS."

    He'd have almost certainly earned himself a naughty boy's visit to the match referee's headmaster's study if he did that!

  117. 0827: 
    Eng 81-1

    Trott is firm in defence against Ojha, who's already into his 13th over, before firmly driving a single to mid-on.


    From Chaz in Essex, via text on 81111: "No international body would dream of having a major athletics meeting or horse race without photo-finish technology, so why is it acceptable for international cricket boards to choose not to use DRS? Time for the majority who use it to say 'if you don't use it we we won't play you'."

  119. 0824: 
    Eng 80-1

    The runs are starting to flow for England here, they're nearly up to two an over after that pedestrian start - Trott pushes Jadeja for a single to square leg, while Aggers has noticed two young Indian boys wearing Santa hats, and "Ebenezer" Boycott complains about too much saxophone music being played in his hotel - he wishes they'd play more Katy Perry (for whom he revealed his admiration last year).


    A.Prashanth ‏on Twitter: "Trott has no morals - hitting a four off a dead ball. He disgusts me."

  121. 0821: 
    Eng 79-1

    With about 20 minutes until tea, Compton steers a two past slip, Jadeja at third man throws to the non-striker's end but Trott has made his ground.


    Wisden editor Lawrence Booth on Twitter: "Steve Harmison can retire happy now. That effort from Jadeja comfortably claims the accolade..."

  123. 0819: 
    Eng 77-1

    Trott takes a fresh guard and rakes his Trott Trench again as Jadeja begins a new over, on-driving the left-arm spinner (in a more orthodox manner than in his last over) for four.

    And a quick reminder - Rahul Dravid will be taking your questions on TMS during the tea interval at 0840 GMT - email your questions for Rahul via or tweet producer Adam Mountford @tmsproducer.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Dhoni has to be more pro-active here. No matter how many runs England score, he can't win the game unless he takes 10 wickets."


    From Pete, TMS inbox: "DRS is all well and good, as long as it is used correctly and currently it's not. Too many players are using it as a tactic, rather than to correct a howler from the umpire. Just ask Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka today against Australia, an appalling decision by the umpire to give him out lbw, when it was clearly an inside edge but he was not able to review as his fellow batsmen before him had incorrectly reviewed when they were clearly out. Players cannot be allowed to umpire the game, otherwise what's the point of having them?"

  126. 0816: 
    Eng 73-1

    Sharma is off and Compton, looking a bit restless, looks for a single against the recalled Ojha but Trott sends him back. Maiden over.


    From Dave in Hitchin, via text on 81111: "That shot from Trott has made the last four hours worth it! Still chuckling."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "He can't call dead ball on that because the bowler has completed his bowling action. Umpires only call dead ball if the ball flies out before the bowler's completed his action. So Trott was quite right to whack it."

  129. 0812: 

    Jadeja runs in to bowls, misfires in his run-up as the ball pings in less than halfway down the cut strip and away towards short leg - while Trott chases after it into the leg side, and (as he is entitled), takes a swing and lifts it over the mid-wicket boundary like a golfer chipping onto the green! It's also a no-ball as it bounced more than twice. In that situation, it can often be called as dead ball, but credit to Trott for cashing in. That could well be the champagne moment of this Test... we ain't had many others, to be fair. Trott, with a big grin on his face, adds a two off the last ball. He has 16, Compo has 32, and England lead by 77.


    Charlie Smith ‏on Twitter: "Absolutely obscene that India, or any nation, are allowed to refuse approved technology. ICC need to step in!"

    Jason Truman ‏on Twitter: "Shouldn't Dhoni and Ashwin take some responsibility there, as well as Dharmasena? They knew Cook didn't hit it. Bad conduct!"

    Joe Wilson, BBC Sport in India

    "The pace of the cricket is in stark contrast to the scenes which follow the close of play. Yesterday at dusk we witnessed hundreds of fans sprinting to get on two red buses which had arrived to go back to town. They were already packed. I'm told that for ODIs special buses are laid on. Not for this match. One English supporter said he ended up travelling back to town on the back of a friendly local's motorcycle at an alarming, helmetless, 42 miles an hour.''

  132. 0808: 
    Eng 66-1

    Vic on TMS thinks Sharma is getting a bit of reverse swing against Compton, he's bowling very straight and trying to swing it into the right-hander's pads with plenty of men on the leg side. There's a bit of hesitation betwen Compton and Trott but they complete a single thanks to a fumble in the field by Sehwag, then Trott threads a three to the point boundary.


    From Guy in London, via text on 81111: "Why are people discussing the drag reduction system (DRS) on Test match cricket?"

    You may want to put that question to our Formula 1 colleagues next season...

  134. 0804: 
    Eng 62-1

    Jadeja spins down a new over to Trott, who is happy to play out a maiden. The lead is 66.


    BBC Sport's Alistair Watkins:"Australia reached 27-0 in their second innings at the close of play on the third day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Hobart. They lead by 141 after Peter Siddle ripped through Sri Lanka's lower-order batsmen to dismiss the tourists for 336. Tillakaratne Dilshan (147) and Angelo Mathews (75) shared a stand of 161 in a record partnership for Sri Lanka in Australia. They beat the 144 Aravinda da Silva and Ravi Ratnayeke put on for the seventh wicket at Brisbane in 1998. But Australia's first innings score of 450-5 declared puts them in the driving seat."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "After that ODI in Pune, for the last ODI in Chandigarh, I was told I was being played for my batting, so they put me down at number seven, I was run out again, and I didn't bowl. And I was run out in Cuttack in that series too."

  137. 0801: 
    Eng 62-1

    While Vic Marks recalls that he once batted at number five for England in an ODI (run out for 31 off 39 balls, with no fours) in Pune, where the first T20 international is being played on Thursday, Ishant Sharma returns to the attack against Trott, who moves to seven with a single.


    Ayush Karki ‏on Twitter: "Another poor decision from Mr Dharmasena against Cook. He missed the ball by a very big distance. Unlucky chap."

    Phil Stephen on Twitter: "If every wrong decision was righted by having DRS, I wonder who'd be winning? This is prehistoric cricket - life without technology."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think I heard that [bowling coach] David Saker is going to be in in charge for the two T20 internationals as a lot of the coaching staff are flying home. Of the XI playing in this Test, Tim Bresnan is probably the only one who will play in the T20s, along with Morgan, Bairstow and Patel who are also in this squad."

  140. 0754: 
    Eng 61-1

    Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja into the attack for the first time in this innings, he bowled more overs than any of the other Indian bowlers in the first innings, taking 2-58 on his Test debut. Simon Mann on TMS thinks his bowling is similar to that of ex-Sri Lanka left-arm "dart" merchant Sanath Jayasuriya, whose 98 Test wickets at 34.34 was not too shabby for an opening batsman who bowled part-time spin. Jadeja begins with a maiden to Compton.


    The Independent's cricket correspondent Stephen Brenkley on Twitter: "It is possible after two dodgy decisions that Cook may not vote for Dharmasena to retain his umpire of the year title. Bring in DRS now."

  142. 0751: 
    Eng 61-1

    Chawla fires in another over of leg-spin, Compton adds a single to move to 31.


    BBC Sport's Marc Higginson: "There is much debate about Nick Compton's slow scoring rate at the top of the order, but he is a key part of his county's one-day teams. In the CB40 last summer, he was second in Somerset's batting averages with 237 runs at an average of 47.4 - scoring three fifties in six innings. He also scored 120 at 24 in the T20 team. His strike-rate in domestic one-day cricket is almost double what it is in first-class cricket, suggesting he has the ability to go through the gears when the match situation allows or dictates."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm a big fan of Cook, and I don't think he hit that one, but I think England have been a bit paranoid today."

  145. 0748: 
    Eng 60-1

    So, I'll leave you all to recalculate the averages for this match, with umpire Dharmasena's two wickets (Cook twice) putting him one behind the good doctor Dr Inksbreak, who has three (Trott, Prior and Kohli). Jonathan Trott will really fancy digging in (literally in his case) on a pitch like this, he sees off five dot balls before adding a two to his score. England lead by 64.


    Ramesh Bala ‏on Twitter: "You've got to love Boycs for the random stuff he says on TMS. New character from the Boycott household, Uncle Algy."

  147. 0745: 
    Eng 58-1

    England profit from four more legside byes, before Compton guides a two through mid-wicket to move to 30.


    Paul Anderson ‏on Twitter: "No DRS in India of course, which allows for poor game-affecting decisions such as that to stand."

    Philip Sparrow on Twitter: "DRS everywhere. Now. No more excuses."

  149. 0742: 
    Eng 56-1

    New batsman Jonathan Trott helps the last ball of Ashwin's over off his legs for four.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm sorry, giving Trott not out doesn't make up for giving Cook out twice when he wasn't out either time."

  151. 0740: 

    Drinks are taken while TMS debate the Cook dismissal... and a replay shows Boycs is right, that's a shocking decision, his bat wasn't even close to hitting that. So, having been lbw b Dharmasena in the first innings, it looks like Cook was c Dhoni b Dharmasena in the second innings...

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Dharmasena is the ICC's current umpire of the year, though I don't think he'll be top of Alastair Cook's list."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm not a big fan of Mr Dharmasena, I suspect the next time Cook's facing at Mr Dharmasena's end, he'll be worried too. He's had a couple of rough decisions from him this match. The first innings was definitely not out, and I don't think that one was out either. And he gave Trott not out when he was plumb."

  154. 0738: 
    WICKET- Cook c Dhoni b Ashwin 13 (Eng 48-1)

    Ashwin bowls from wide of the crease, Compton offers no shot at one wide outside off stump and India stifle an appeal. The Somerset man then dabs a single into the covers, so Ashwin can take aim at those footmarks outside off stump again. Ashwin bowls, Cook prods forward and he's given out caught behind... and he really didn't think he was out there, shaking his head as he walks off after scoring 13 from 93 balls.


    Ankush Agarwal on Twitter: "I don't the understand lack of pressure on Sehwag. He's been abysmal for a longer period than Sachin, why not go now?"

    Dave Horner on Twitter: "Listening to Christmas music - I fear if this innings was a song it would be 'Fairytale of New York'. A quiet start which ends in tears."

  156. 0734: 
    Eng 47-0

    Chawla skips in for his second over, Cook guides a single to the lanky Sharma at long-on, and Compton misses with an attempted cut shot, before steering a single to the cover sweeper. Cook, who's just about moving into second gear, moves to 13 with another single, while Compton fails to pick a wrong 'un but manages to smear a single past slip to pinch the strike. The lead is 51.


    Brett Curtis ‏on Twitter: "People can talk about stats all they want, and Cook's concentration is almost unparalleled. But would you pay to watch him?"

    Steve Sant ‏on Twitter: "Dhoni and Fletcher have judged this badly. They're going to need 250 on that wicket in one or two sessions. No chance!"

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "I wonder whether Compton may play more expansively if he opens in New Zealand, when the conditions will be very different."

  159. 0730: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 43-0

    Compton tries to force Ashwin to leg, India appeal for a catch behind but umpire Dharmasena's not convinced and the replays show the ball clearly coming off his left pad. Maiden.


    From Michael Alger in Germany, TMS inbox: "Is this cricket's equivalent of Man Utd being 2-1 up against Hartlepool and holding on to the ball at the corner flags from the 50th minute to waste time?"

  161. 0728: 
    Eng 43-0

    A stat for you: Cook is now England's leading Test run-scorer in India with 863, one ahead of Mike Gatting, with Tony Greig in third place and KP fourth. India make a bowling change, with Ojha replaced by leg-spinner Piyush Chawla, who may yield a few more runs than his fellow spinners. Compton and Cook pick off a couple of singles, then Compton takes a slightly risky single to mid-off, not unlike Dhoni when he was on 99 yesterday, but the throw is wide of the stumps. England lead by 47.


    From Brandon in Kent, via text on 81111: "I can't help feeling England are playing it wrong here. It's all well and good using up overs but scoring some runs is also required. Just bat normally and the runs scored also take time out of the game. The words 'thin' and 'ice' spring to mind."

  163. 0724: 
    Eng 40-0

    Ashwin bowls a rapid maiden over to Cook. He has 10 from 87 balls.


    From Mick Schnackenberg, TMS inbox: "Pete Auret will shine for Slieve Bloom Cricket Club in our first season in Leinster Division Eleven in 2013."

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "If they stay in and don't make mistakes, they'll be singing in the dressing-room by tomorrow evening. You can't make runs when you're in the pavilion, my Uncle Algy used to tell me. He was a seam bowler, not as quick as you, Jonathan, but I think he could teach you a few dodges with the umpires. I think Cook has to be careful of the footholes outside off stump against the off-spinner."

  166. 0721: 
    Eng 40-0

    Ojha has two slips in for Compton, who's getting some big strides in and then late-cuts past the second slip for a well-run two. A single takes him to 23 - England will be hoping he can press on for a big score after his previous seven Test innings of 9, 37, 29, 30 not out, 57, 9 not out and 3.


    Dave Watson on Twitter: "Even the most avid of fans must be turning off this boring dross, no wonder the crowds are low in India."

    Andrew TC ‏on Twitter: "Cook is spraying it around the ground now - should have 10 by tea."

  168. 0717: 
    Eng 36-0

    Compton reaches 20 with a single off Ashwin, Cook drives well and threads his first boundary of the match through extra cover. England lead by 40.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "England are looking to keep their wickets, which is right, but they need to be scoring 70 per session. I've just spoken to my Indian friends in the media and they'd like to see more attacking fields."


    From Dr Gauri-Shankar Guha, TMS inbox: "Will captain Cook break Rahul Dravid's marathon 5 off 112 balls in Sydney 2008? The suspense is killing me."

  171. 0714: 
    Eng 31-0

    Sehwag lets one through his feet at leg slip as Cook steers Ojha for his first two of the match, he now has five. But then the left-armer gets one to turn, it beats Cook, the stumps, wicketkeeper Dhoni and it disappears for four byes. A glimmer for the Indian spinners.


    Rachel T ‏on Twitter: "Time is more precious than runs and England are soaking it up. Winning a Test series in India is up for grabs, this is huge!"

    Sky Banji ‏on Twitter: "If England can't wrap up this series with a win this time around, they may as well never win in India in our lifetime."

  173. 0712: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 25-0

    Ashwin rattles through another over, Compton is again struck on the pad, again it's a good decision as he got a good stride in and it looked to be missing leg stump. Maiden over.

    Prakash Wakankar, BBC Test Match Special

    "In situations like this, captains will try the conventional stuff, then maybe something different to break the concentration. Maybe Tendulkar or Sehwag should bowl."


    From Tristan in Norfolk, TMS inbox: "England XI for the Ashes: Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Root, Woakes/Morgan, Prior, Swann, Tremlett, Finn, Anderson. England 2-1. And may I say that for Sachin Tendulkar to receive this kind of treatment is unacceptable. One of, if not the best of batsmen ever, and a servant to the game should not be given stick at the moment. Every batsman has a poor patch of form, and Sachin will know better than anyone when the time is right to retire."

  176. 0709: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 25-0

    Ojha bowls to Compton, an lbw appeal leaves umpire Tucker unmoved as it looked like the impact was outside the line of off stump. A quick single takes the Somerset man to 19."


    Chris Thompson ‏on Twitter: "2013 will see big things from Ross Whiteley of Derbyshire. Ashes team hard to pick: Compton or Root? Morgan, Bairstow or Taylor?"

    Richard Vining ‏on Twitter: "Been asleep for two hours and just seen Cook has scored one more run - history books won't care how we win series!"

  178. 0706: 
    Eng 24-0

    No sign of India's other two spinners, Chawla and Jadeja, at this stage as captain Dhoni persists with Ashwin, who sends down another maiden over to Cook. Ashwin has figures of 7-4-7-0. "Ashwin tosses it up, Cook plays forward and defends, how many times have we seen it this series?" asks Rahul Dravid on TMS.


    From Chris in Pembrokeshire, via text on 81111: "Why would bowlers want to change a ball that has gone out of shape? Surely it would give unpredictable bounce which is what they want."

    I think they like to change a ball if it's not taking wickets...

  180. 0703: 
    Eng 24-0

    Compton and Cook add a couple of singles against Ojha.

    And an early alert - former India skipper Rahul Dravid will be taking your questions on TMS during the tea interval at 0840 GMT - email your questions for Rahul via or tweet producer Adam Mountford @tmsproducer.


    From Scott Charlton, TMS inbox: "In keeping with England's new slow methodical run scoring, any thoughts on bringing Mr Boycott back out of retirement to join the top order?"

  182. 0700: 
    Eng 22-0

    Cook is back on the defensive against Ashwin, playing out the 86th maiden over of this match.


    A Prashanth on Twitter: "India's number eight and nine have scored at a faster rate than England's openers. Ashwin should train Cook on how to bat."

  184. 0657: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Eng 22-0

    Ojha, bowling round the wicket to the right-handed Compton, hits the Somerset man on the pad and there's an appeal but it looked as though it was well down the leg side as England run a leg bye. "You occasionally see those given out, if you log on to YouTube and type in 'Worst dismissal ever'," adds Simon Mann on TMS, and hold your horses, Captain Cook doubles his score with a single off the last ball, raising his strike rate for this innings from 1.88 to 3.70.

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "I think the most likely results, in order, would be (a) draw, (b) India win, (c) England win."

  186. 0654: 
    Eng 20-0

    Compton, happy to bat out time as ever, sees off five dot balls from Ashwin before taking a gentle single off the last. "That's right up Compton's street," notes Simon Mann on TMS. Would that be Old Compton Street or Young Compton Street?

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "India have to make Cook and Compton play as many balls as possible, they can't let the game drift."


    From Adam, via text on 81111: "If Compton and Root both stay in the side for the NZ tour I'd be happier with Root opening and Compton at six because I feel it suits their respective games better. That said I'd be very happy for Compton to prove me wrong this innings!"

  189. 0650: 
    Eng 19-0

    The wild-haired paceman Ishant Sharma resumes bowling from "his" end (which you can tell from the footmarks he made in his run-up during the first innings). After one delivery, India manage to convince umpire Tucker that the ball has gone out of shape, so the moustachioed fourth umpire CK Nandan brings on a case of replacement balls, from which a similarly-aged one is selected. Captain Cook is back on the defensive - there's no slips in, though Rahul Dravid on TMS wishes India had a short leg in - and the England skipper allows another maiden over.

    Rahul Dravid, BBC Test Match Special

    "It felt like that first hour just drifted by. I don't know whether India were worried about losing, maybe they wanted to take that out of the equation. But if India have a good session here in the afternoon or evening, England could find themselves five or six wickets down, with not too many runs ahead."

  191. 0643: 
    Eng 19-0

    Nick Compton begins the afternoon session with a gentle two off his legs against Ravichandran Ashwin's off-spin. England lead by 23.


    From Robert Hubbard, TMS inbox: "Can everybody get over it. This is Test cricket and England are doing exactly what they need to do to win - play safe and grind India into the dust. War is won in the head."

  193. 0639: 

    Players walking out for the afternoon session - thanks for all your 2013 predictions sent to Aggers and the boys, you can keep them coming to us via (with "For Mark Mitchener" in the subject line), via text on 81111 or via #bbccricket on Twitter. We don't just want your Ashes XI - who will shine domestically, and who will be the new names to emerge in international cricket?

    Prakash Wakankar, BBC Test Match Special

    On Twitter: "England have to be positive to ensure there are no surprises. At the moment, they seem just a bit too defensive, even apprehensive?"

    Kevin Howells, BBC Radio 5 live

    "Look out for the reintroduction of the heavy roller next season - the feeling is that pitches were too bowler-friendly last season. Yorkshire have made a couple of interesting signings in Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett."

  196. 0635: 

    The Old Aggers' Almanac predictions continue - Kevin Howells (who's a couple of floors above us here in Salford) is tipping Surrey as one of his favourites for the Championship, now that they've signed Graeme Smith, while Durham could be dark horses under Colly after winning six of their last seven Championship games next season.


    The Independent's cricket correspondent Stephen Brenkley on TMS: "The Indian press's view is that Sachin can decide when he retires, but the selectors need to do their job and leave him out. When India came out to field, someone in the press box said 'where are they putting the little fat feller then?"

    The Mirror's cricket correspondent Dean Wilson on TMS: "I'm curious as to why he's still playing on. Maybe like Ponting he feels India are going through a transitional period as Dravid and Laxman have retired, maybe he feels he can be a link between the old and the new."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "If Sachin Tendulkar retires from international cricket after this game, that'll be another shopping day gone before Christmas."


    Keith Flett on Twitter: "Beard Liberation Front predicts Monty Panesar will be England captain by end of 2013."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'd make a virtue out of the fact that Prior isn't in the one-day side and use it to elongate his Test career, a bit like Anderson - I'm not bothered about how much one-day cricket he plays."


    From Paul in Dubai, TMS inbox: "I am not a great cricket fan but I am amazed that England are on a go slow. If they keep on like this, mark my words, they will pay for it in an hour or two. A couple of wickets and then panic will set in. Just smash them all over the place and get this done today. Or am I being deluded?"


    Abhishek Thakur ‏on Twitter: "Where are the Kumbles and Harbhajans of old times - they always got wickets in such situations."

    Shravan Bhat ‏on Twitter: "Riveting? You can sugarcoat it all you want, this Test match has been awful. KP and Sehwag spoil us with their scoring rate."

  203. 0610: 

    So then, TMS are opening "Old Aggers' Almanac" and looking for your predictions. Even Jim Maxwell thinks England will be 5-2 ahead after next year's nine Ashes Tests - "I don't think we'll have any fit bowlers left," he bemoans. "They're dropping off like flies."

    TMS want your predictions, then - email or you can tweet @Aggerscricket or @tmsproducer with your thoughts, while we grab some lunch. Aggers has been joined by cricket correspondents Stephen Brenkley (Independent) and Dean Wilson (Mirror), as well as Vic Marks, so keep listening.


    Andy C ‏on Twitter: "If it's going to end in a one-day game, as the TMS boys are saying, shouldn't England do the same right now and set a good total?"

    Deepti Narayan ‏on Twitter: "Hope England are aware that along with occupying the crease, they need to score runs too. Or they'll have to bat until tea on day five."

  205. 0606: 

    TMS have gone over to Jim Maxwell on day three in Hobart, where another Australian bowler has bene injured - "business as usual", notes Aggers. This time, the crocked paceman is "Gentle Ben" Hilfenhaus, who has a side strain. Sri Lanka have just been bowled out for 336 in reply to Australia's 450-5 - Tillakaratne Dilshan eventually fell for 147, with Angelo Mathews making 75.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "It's OK for England as long as they don't get out. Cook has scored two runs from 74 balls in the match, but the important thing is that they've not lost a wicket."


    Comedian and cricket fan Andy Zaltzman on Twitter: "Still struggling to understand why Nagpur groundsman didn't save everyone's time & just paint the words 'I Hate Cricket' on the pitch."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "The situation is not sterile, but the cricket is, if we're honest. We had a hapless first hour - we've had 46 runs in the session, for one wicket. England may be happy for it to stay sterile, as Cook has one run from 46 balls, but I feel a bit for the schoolkids [who Aggers thinks may be in detention] as we want Test cricket to be a bit livelier than this."

  209. 0601: 
    LUNCH INTERVAL- Eng 17-0

    We won't have two overs of spin, because we're going to have an over of Sharma, and his lengthy run-up - plus a bit of faffing around between deliveries - means it's the last over of the session. Sharma appeals for lbw from a ball looking like it's going down the leg side, Cook runs a leg bye. Neither side seems bothered to force the pace, Compton picks up a single and it's time for lunch. England lead by 21.


    From Carl Evans in France, TMS inbox: "My prediction for 2013 is North Korea are admitted to Test cricket, playing India in their only extended home series. Their leader ends the year with seven quadruple centuries and 14 ten-fors. The BCCI proposes a resolution outlawing non-DRS matches in the far east."

  211. 0555: 
    Eng 15-0

    Ojha shows the ball to umpire Rod Tucker at the end of that last over, he's not happy with the shape. Henry Blofeld has a good phrase for when this happens - he calls it "ballsmanship". Tucker tells them to get on with it as Ashwin begins a new over to Compton, who blocks out four dot balls before slashing a four off the edge past slip - that's the first boundary of the day, just five minutes before lunch. Time for a couple more overs of spin?


    Gus Walton on Twitter: "This is a terrible advert for Test match cricket."

  213. 0551: 
    Eng 11-0

    Compton breaks the deadlock, pushing Ojha for a two and a single as the Somerset man moves into double figures. Cook takes a fresh guard, he's moving well over to the off side against Ojha, perhaps wary of lbw.


    From Andy in Glasgow, via text on 81111: "This could be some finish to this match. I've been growing my fingernails just in case"

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "Don't forget, I lost a house once when I said I'd put it on England winning in Abu Dhabi."

  216. 0548: 
    Eng 8-0

    Ashwin, bowling round the wicket to the southpaw Cook, tosses it up but the England skipper is playing no-risk cricket and that's three overs on the trot.


    From Callum in Eastbourne, TMS inbox: "England XI for the first Ashes Test at Nottingham: Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Morgan, Prior, Swann, Anderson, Finn, Tremlett. England win 3-1 at home and win 2-1 away with Aussies winning at Waca. Top four teams: South Africa, England, Australia, India in that order."

    Bit harsh to bat Chris Tremlett (who has seven first-class fifties) below Anderson and Finn, neither of whom have ever passed 40?

  218. 0546: 
    Eng 8-0

    Ojha has changed ends and spins down a rapid maiden over to Compton.


    Cricket Record on Twitter: "This is only the fourth occasion that India have declared their innings when they were still trailing - first since 1982 (also v England at Kanpur)."

  220. 0543: 
    Eng 8-0

    India make their first bowling change, with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin replacing Ojha - there's a slip and silly point in for the left-handed Cook, who's happy to occupy the crease for another six dot balls.


    From Ramster in Luton, via text on 81111: "This is what I like about Dhoni, always thinking about the game in a way different from everyone else. I am sure there is a secret strategy, let's see."

  222. 0539: 
    Eng 8-0

    Cook is still becalmed against Sharma, though he'll be happy if he can drop anchor for the rest of the day. The skipper is finally off the mark with a single into the covers off his 27th ball. Just over 20 minutes until lunch - when as Aggers mentioned at 0511, they'll be opening "Old Aggers' Almanac" with some predictions for 2013.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "With the scoring rate so slow, England are going to have to bat until after lunch tomorrow, as even they they'll only be 240 ahead, and India might have a dart at that - Virender Sehwag has made a lot of bowlers look silly."

  224. 0535: 
    Eng 7-0

    Ojha spins down a maiden over to Compton, watched intently by what looks like a father and son, both wearing turbans, in the crowd - the father is nibbling on a choc ice.


    As Aggers prepares to make his predictions for 2013 on TMS during the lunch break, here are some of yours:

    Derek in Northumberland, TMS inbox: "England's team for the Ashes will be Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bell, Taylor, Prior, Swann, Finn, Anderson, Panesar. Broad will be 12th man."

    Brian Poole, TMS inbox: "Cook (capt), Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Root, Prior, Swann, Onions, Anderson, Finn."

    Matthew Vernon in Blackburn, TMS inbox: "Cook, Compton, Trott, Bell, Bairstow, Root, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn. Where's KP, I hear you ask? Oh he'll have another falling out and 'retirement' before returning either for the deciding fifth Test or the return in Australia over Christmas. Home Ashes: England 3-1, Away Ashes: England 2-1."

  226. 0531: 
    Eng 7-0

    Sharma bowls a no-ball which Compton helps on its way for three down to long leg, there are plenty of schoolchildren in the ground again who look absolutely delighted when they're featured on the big screen. Cook moves to 22 balls without scoring as he sees off the rest of the over - his total for the match is 50 balls faced, for one run. England lead by 11.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "I still think back to Graeme Swann's innings in this match, he batted as though it was the flattest pitch imaginable. Both sides seem to have worked out you can't do certain things on this pitch, but no-one seems to have explored all the possibilities, apart from Swann."


    From Ali from Abu Dhabi, TMS inbox: "In reference to Vic Marks's comment [0519], everyone gives the ICC a lot of stick for getting it wrong but we never talk about the things they have got right. DRS is another initiative that has made the game better, when applied. Progress is being made towards day-night Test cricket, though it's taken time, but is a very good initiative. And let's not forget discipline, or else we'd have players behaving like footballers!"

  229. 0526: 
    Eng 3-0

    Ojha bowling slow left-arm over the wicket (or should that be "ojha" the wicket?) to Captain Cook, who defends a maiden over. "It seems a strange thing to say, but it wouldn't matter if Cook were nought not out at the end of play," notes Simon Mann on TMS, but Vic warns of the "dangerous mindset" of getting bogged down.


    Philip Smith on Twitter: "Sometimes I marvel at the unique tactical and psychological intricacy of Test cricket. Other times it's just plain annoying."

  231. 0524: 
    Eng 3-0

    Compton is watchful against Sharma, playing out a maiden over. While England obviously need to score runs, batting time is probably more important - and that will suit Compo down to the ground.


    Richard Davies ‏on Twitter: "First time I have ever heard of a cricket team declaring when they are still trailing the other team."

    It used to happen all the time when the County Championship was only three days long - teams would declare behind to push the game along if they needed a win, in the hope of setting up a third-innings declaration (possibly with some friendly runs fed by joke bowlers) and a fourth-innings chase.

  233. 0519: 
    Eng 3-0

    Fresh from his batting cameo, Pragyan Ojha will share the new ball with his left-arm spin - as he has to, given that India only have one seamer. Compton gets England under way with a three off his legs, there'a a leg slip in for Cook and a half-hearted appeal for a catch down the leg side but nothing doing. We're around 40 minutes from lunch.


    From Graham in North Carolina, TMS inbox: "By declaring at this point, India have selfishly denied 'Drinks Break' the opportunity of taking a fourth wicket. Will this ruin his chances of selection for the New Zealand tour?"

    Very harsh indeed on the good doctor, Dr Inksbreak, who was just warming up to come on at 0500...

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "[Former Wisden editor] Scyld Berry told me last night that the ICC have done two brilliant things in the last few years - neutral umpires, and the minimum of 90 overs in the day, if you think back to the over-rates they had on the 81-82 tour here."

  236. 0515: 
    Eng 0-0

    Cook offers no stroke to the first couple of deliveries from Sharma, just the one slip in, and Sharma completes a maiden over.

    Remember, add four runs to the score for England's overall lead. Simon Mann has worked out there's a minimum of 166 overs left in the game.

  237. 0511: 

    Ishant Sharma taking the new ball to Alastair Cook and Nick Compton...

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "At lunch today, we'll be opening the pages of Old Aggers' Almanac and making our predictions for 2013. Email your predictions to or tweet us @Aggerscricket or @tmsproducer - we want to know what the England XI will be for the first Ashes Test at Trent Bridge next summer, who will win the Ashes home and away, and who do you think on 31 December 2013 will be the top four teams in the world Test rankings? I think we know what the four teams will be - but what order would they be in?"

  239. 0508: 

    England have opted for the heavy roller - it takes three men to drag it across the Nagpur pitch, overseen by the fourth umpire. Players are already walking out for the start of England's second innings, while Vic thinks Ishant Sharma will be encouraged by the one or two deliveries which have kept low today.


    Deepti Narayan ‏on Twitter: "I think India's tactics involve England batting for majority of tomorrow as well - dismiss them on a day five track and chase down the runs."

    Callum Honisett ‏on Twitter: "Why on earth didn't they declare before start of play? Just wasted an hour, drinks break and time for change of innings."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "If you have a sterile pitch, you get sterile cricket. I suppose the favourite [outcome] is that England bat and bat, and play out a sterile draw. Which team is likely to win it? Probably India, as they look like the only team who are interested in winning it. There won't be a declaration from England until they're absolutely ramrod-safe."

  242. 0505: 

    Aggers and Vic's theory from earlier that England need to bat for four sessions (presuming they score at two an over to leave them about 240 ahead) would leave them needing to bat until midway through the afternoon session of day five.

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't know what India were trying to achieve, but perhaps psychologically he didn't want to give England any sort of a lead. I think England will have to bat until after lunch tomorrow, but there could be a lot of interesting cricket left in this game."

  244. 0502: 
    DECLARATION- Ind 326-9

    The public consensus seems to be that while these have been debatable tactics from both teams, the general go-slow is harming India more than England. Ashwin comes doen the wicket to Panesar but declines a single to long-on, then he hoists one over the bowler's head and there's time for them to run two. A slog-sweep brings him two to the sliding Nick Compton at deep mid-wicket, the traditional fifth-ball single means India trail by five. Now, in the dressing-room, Mahendra Dhoni already has his wicketkeeping pads on, is a declaration imminent? Sharma pushes the last ball for one, and India have declared, four runs behind.


    From John in Sydney, TMS inbox: "I think England have the right approach. Let India score slowly for an hour or two. It means less time for England to bat to reach safety."

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    On Twitter: "Bizarre morning. England didn't even seem that happy to get Ojha out. Lots of school kids in today. Not sure if they've come for pleasure or if they're in detention."

  247. 0457: 
    Ind 320-9

    Ashwin digs out a yorker from Anderson with the field spread to the four corners of the VCA Stadium, there's only a short mid-wicket making any pretension at saving the single. A single off the fourth ball takes him to 24 and reduces the first-innings deficit to 10. Sharma negotiates the rest of the over.


    Will Newby ‏on Twitter: "Going to have to think of something else to do because the paint has dried!"

    Arun Ramachandran ‏on Twitter: "Help me understand India's tactics please, this is annoying."


    BBC Sport's Alistair Watkins: "Tea in Hobart on day three of the first Test between Australia and Sri Lanka and the tourists are 249-5, still 201 runs behind Australia's 450-5 declared. The only wicket to fall in the day so far came when Peter Siddle trapped Angelo Mathews lbw for 75. Tillakaratne Dilshan moved to 132 not out at the break, with Sri Lanka needing two more runs to avoid the follow-on."

  250. 0452: 
    Ind 319-9

    Last man Ishant Sharma lopes to the wicket, finally England have a couple of close catchers for the number 11. The lanky seamer blocks three balls before he dabs a single to the dawdling Joe Root in the covers. "I don't know what Root had for breakfast, it looks as though he had three Yorkshire puddings," jokes Geoffrey on TMS. Ashwin pinches the strike with a single to long-on.


    The Sun's John Etheridge ‏on Twitter: "Is that the lowest-key wicket celebration in history?"

    Geoffrey Boycott, BBC Test Match Special

    "India have to bowl, and should bowl, more than their 15 overs an hour. With the change of innings, they've already taken more than an hour's play out of today."

  253. 0448: 
    WICKET- Ojha b Panesar 3 (Ind 317-9)

    Panesar finally makes the breakthrough when Ojha plays forward at one which pitches well outside off stump, it spins a little, hits Ojha on the forearm and smashes into the stumps. Finally reward for Monty with the first ball of his 51st over, though he's been England's most economical bowler by a distance.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    On Twitter: "Of the two, India's approach is the most surprising. But if England take this mindset into second innings they are asking for trouble."

    Prakash Wakankar, BBC Test Match Special

    "Someone needs to tell Dhoni this is not the Ranji Trophy where you get points for a first-innings lead."

  256. 0446: 
    Ind 317-8

    Ashwin whips Anderson down to long-on where Panesar is patrolling, though I'm surprised he's not doing third man or fine leg. Ojha taps a quick single into the point region. Ashwin guides a single through the covers. Ojha is still taking any run available, taking a leg bye off the last ball.


    From Glen from Kinsley, via text on 81111: "India will get to 331 and then declare."

    Simon Mann, BBC Test Match Special

    "What surprises me here is that when Ojha's on strike, England don't seem to be trying too hard to get him out. Get some close fielders in and crowd the bat."

  259. 0441: 
    Ind 313-8

    Panesar begins his 50th over (and the 139th over of the innings), Ashwin helps himself to a two through mid-wicket, and a single takes him to 20. I've just spotted a yawn from an England fan in the crowd.


    The Mirror's Dean Wilson on Twitter: "This passage of play reminds me of the episode of Porridge where both boxers need to lose and both fall over after one punch."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    On Twitter: "Ghastly 20 minutes - not sure what either team is doing. England's defensive mindset is dangerous. India need to be positive."

  262. 0437: 
    Ind 310-8

    Ashwin plays Anderson into the empty off side and belatedly remembers he's supposed to be taking any runs on offer, jogging through for a single. Ojha rotates the score with a leg bye, Ashwin drills a single to long-off which reduces the deficit to 20 runs. Maybe England have heard there's a monsoon coming... Or not. The way England are approaching this, if I were India captain Mahendra Dhoni, I'd be tempted to declare - that would put the cat among the pigeons.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Even if India score a low 30 or 40 without being bowled out, on this wicket 30 runs is an hour's extra batting that England will have to do. This is betraying England's fears that they don't want to bat. They're going to have to bat four sessions whether they start now, or in an hour's time."


    David Lewis ‏on Twitter: "Please don't be so boring at 4:20am, sending me to sleep! We want wickets!"

    NB16 ‏on Twitter: "Discreetly following updates in silence with newborn baby Elizabeth asleep in my arms having joined us today and wife resting."

  265. 0432: 
    Ind 307-8

    "This field looks as though Monty is bowling to Brian Lara or Clive Lloyd," notes Vic as Ashwin moves to 15 with another single, Ojha sees off the rest of the over.


    From David Barber in France, TMS inbox: "India will bat again tomorrow. Better we use some of that time up now when they are batting slowly than when they will have to attack."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "This is unproductive from an England perspective if they're allowing Ashwin easy singles off the last ball of the over, with a tail-ender at the other end. It doesn't seem to have any common sense behind it."

  268. 0428: 
    Ind 306-8

    "Dravid We Want U On Pitch Not In Commentary Box" reads one Indian fan's banner as Ashwin tucks Anderson off his legs for a single to move to 12, while England are dawdling in the field here with yet more field changes. Ojha is off the mark as he dabs a single down to Bresnan at third man, Ashwin drills a single to deep mid-off., Ojha nurdles one to fine leg, and Ashwin guides the last ball to long-on and they run one.


    Si Lomas ‏on Twitter: "Good to see Ashwin batting out for the draw here!"

    Richard Vining on Twitter: "India need the win. Declare or start the fireworks! As an Englishman, I'm well happy with this."

  270. 0422: 
    Ind 301-8

    So, will the 12th man's message change India's approach? Yes - Ashwin comes down the track to Monty's first ball and lofts a single to long-off. Field comes in a little for Ojha, but Vic is surprised there's only one man saving the single on the leg side. Ojha can't get his fellow left-arm spinner away, even when Monty tries a slower ball, and offers no shot. We've had four runs in 4.5 overs today, I hope you can stick with this and not drift back to sleep...

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "The way this game is going, we may give you the full scorecard from Hobart, and all the bowling figures. Come on, lads. This is the cricketing equivalent of Mogadon."

  272. 0418: 
    Ind 300-8

    Ashwin glances Anderson to Tim Bresnan at fine leg, again no run, while he's lucky not to be bowled by one that keeps low and trundles along the ground to Matt Prior behind the stumps. This over, for variety, Ashwin takes a single off the fourth ball rather than the fifth, and that's the 300 up for India. End of the over, the Indian 12th man brings on a drink which both batsmen try to ignore - clearly a message from the dressing-room. "I think it's 'take any runs that come'," notes Vic.


    Ace Kazama on Twitter: "Indian spinners have to deliver today because England will go for a draw - that's all they want, to win the series."

    Nick Hall ‏on Twitter: "One big innings from skip today should see us through. Stick another century on to your list."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Ojha should have taken that single, otherwise they're going to be marooned on one run an over. England are on the go-slow - there are two Zimbabwean coaches out there looking to give away nowt."

  275. 0412: 
    Ind 299-8

    An immediate bowling change as Monty Panesar replaces Swann, but Jonathan Agnew and Vic think England have a rather defensive frame of mind as they swap over a number of fielders before the over. "That's time-wasting," warns Aggers. Again taking a single off the fifth ball, Ashwin nudges one through the vast open spaces at mid-wicket. Ojha pushes the last ball to deep extra cover but turns down an easy single.


    From Sarah, TMS inbox: "The England team that Andrew Strauss built is the one I've been most proud of (and I go back to pre-Botham days). They put the pride back into our cricket. But they weren't perfect. The unselfishness which made them more than the sum of their parts also made them vulnerable to collapse. Test cricket requires a little bit of individualism. We will find out today if Cook is the man to add that twist which will make England the finest Test side of their time."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "England should want to bowl India out and get that lead. They're drifting at the moment. What some of the shrewd captains do it to get their overs in early - they bowled 32 in the first session yesterday - and can then slow it down later if they need."

  278. 0408: 
    Ind 298-8

    Ravichandran Ashwin delayed England for a long time in Kolkata, cleverly batting with the tail - and England have plenty of fielders back to offer him a single if he wants it, with James Anderson bowling round the wicket - I think there are six men back on the fence, and a couple more half-way back, saving two. Ashwin forces the ball to fine leg but declines a single - you can tell from England's body language that they're in no hurry to rush through their overs today. Eventually, Ashwin pokes a single off the fifth ball of the over, and Ojha defends the last ball.

  279. 0401: 
    Ind 297-8

    As Vic mentioned, Swann resumes his over and the left-handed Ojha plays a few defensive strokes, playing out a wicket maiden.

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Pragyan Ojha has been promoted to number 10, after Ishant Sharma showed his inability to hit straight balls from Monty Panesar in Kolkata."

  281. 0358: 

    Players are walking out - it's still a hot day in Nagpur, though Aggers has seen a weather forecast which says it'll be partly cloudy. Graeme Swann is going to have to complete his over from last night, having taken the wicket of Piyush Chawla with the first ball of the last over of day three.


    Former England all-rounder Derek Pringle, now of the Daily Telegraph, on Twitter: "In Indian conditions fourth day is moving day, so outcome should be clearer by the close."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "Alastair Cook's captaincy has not only made him a better batsman, I think it's made him a better fielder. I always used to catch better when I was [Somerset] captain, as I was desperate to get us out of whatever hole I'd dug us into. Cook's probably the last player on the team, apart from Monty, who you'd expect to have run Dhoni out like that."

  284. 0352: 

    Meanwhile, on day three of the other ongoing Test match in Hobart, Sri Lanka are 241-4 in reply to Australia's 450-5. Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan is unbeaten on 125, and has added 154 so far with Angelo Mathews, who's unbeaten on 74. The Aussies' catalogue of injuries to their pace bowlers continues - Ben Hilfenhaus has left the field in the middle of an over with a side strain.


    Sam Rosser on Twitter: "Four wickets in final session shows how conditioning plays huge part in cricket. England's players look like athletes, India's do not."

    Vic Marks, BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't think India will declare, but I think they'll come out and swish. The pitch is still pretty easy to stay in on - Kohli and Dhoni showed us that - but you could die in a hole there as well. Remember the Adelaide Test of 2006 on a pitch far easier to score in than this one, when Paul Collingwood made 22 off 119 balls. The trap for England is that they could be so cautious that they don't make any headway at all. I think they need to bat for four sessions."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "If there's one day in this series to get up for, it's this one. The whole series is in the balance."


    Deepti Narayan on Twitter: "Innocent question: What if Eng do a repeat of their Dubai/Abu Dhabi horror show today in Nagpur? No need for tomorrow's play!"

  289. 0344: 

    And as Michael (below) has done, you can get in touch with us throughout the day's play by the usual methods - emailing (with "For Mark Mitchener" in the subject line), texting 81111 if you're in the UK (please put CRICKET as the first word, and don't forget to put your name on it or we can't use it), or if you're a Twitterer, tweet us via the hashtag #bbccricket - thanks in advance.


    Michael Ralph on Twitter: "Finely balanced. A jitter or two, a bad decision and the game's gone. We've been counting a series win chicken before it hatched."

  291. 0340: 

    So, while we wait for the arrival of Test Match Special at 0345 GMT, you can look back at yesterday's play with Marc Higginson's match report, Jonathan Agnew's column in which he feels England will have to bat about 120 overs to make the game safe, and the TMS podcast page which has the usual entertaining review of the day with Aggers and Geoff Boycott, as well as features on the state of Indian cricket and recent changes in county cricket.

  292. 0335: 

    While that marathon stand was broken when Graeme Swann trapped Kohli lbw, and Ravindra Jadeja was soon leg before to James Anderson, the key moment in yesterday's play came when England skipper Alastair Cook ran Dhoni out for 99 with a direct hit - which team-mate Jonathan Trott has described as "a game-changer and potentially a series-changer".

  293. 0330: 

    Morning, everyone - whether you've just switched off your alarm, or if you've stayed up in anticipation of Ben Dirs' live text commentary on Amir Khan's fight, strap yourselves in for day four from Nagpur, where England and India are set to lock horns once again in the final Test.

    A stand of 198 between centurion Virat Kohli and Mahendra Dhoni yesterday started to swing the game back in India's favour - but four wickets in the last hour have left England still leading by 33, with India eight wickets down.

Live Scores - India v England


  • India drew with England
  • India: 326-9 (143.0 overs)
  • England: 330 & 352-4 (154.0 overs)
  • Venue: Nagpur

England 2nd Innings

Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total for 4 352
Cook c Dhoni b Ashwin 13
Compton lbw b Ojha 34
Trott c Kohli b Ashwin 143
Pietersen b Jadeja 6
Bell not out 116
Root not out 20
Extras 6nb 8b 6lb 20

England in India 2012-13

India's Mahendra Dhoni and England's Alastair Cook

Reports and scorecards from England's one-day tour of India, which includes five ODIs.