England v India: Jonathan Trott's innings puts tourists on top

Ishant Sharma
Ishant Sharma

India can feel the final Test, and the series, slipping through their fingers, judging by the frayed tempers of some of their players towards the end of the fourth day's play.

England are batting themselves towards safety and some of the India players let their emotions get the better of them when Jonathan Trott, who scored an excellent 66 not out, was given not out to an appeal of caught behind.

Ishant Sharma thought he had got his man, but the replays did not prove any edge and the umpires had to intervene when some of the India players exchanged words with Trott.

Ravichandran Ashwin then warned Trott for backing up, when he was not attempting a run and only doing what any other batsman does, and you got the sense that India were under pressure.

However, if anybody deserved to quibble about the umpiring decisions during the day, it was England after their captain Alastair Cook suffered his second bad decision of the match when umpire Kumar Dharmasena gave him out caught behind despite there being no edge.

It brought the issue of the Decision Review System into focus, but the more that people talk about it, the more the Board of Control for Cricket in India will dig their heels in and remain stubborn.

After dismissing Cook and Nick Compton, India started to build some pressure when Kevin Pietersen was out because of a serious misjudgement - being bowled by a straight one after playing no shot - but Trott and Ian Bell batted sensibly until the close.

This is a big innings for Bell because he has not had a good year.

It's the manner of his dismissals which have been disappointing and competition for places is beginning to form in the batting order. Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan are all pressing for a regular spot in the team and Bell needs to eliminate the mistakes and continue batting in the way he did in the final hour of the fourth day.

I expect we will see more of the same in the first hour of the final day. It's pretty much make or break for India's chances.

If they can get two or three wickets, they will put a lot of pressure on England but if Trott and Bell are still there after lunch you get the feeling that England will have virtually made the series safe.

I was surprised by India's tactics in the first hour of the day. They scored just 29 runs in 13 overs before declaring, and the game was going nowhere.

I expected India to throw the bat and get to England's first innings total before getting out in the field and building the pressure.

England were negative too, and it was not a great hour for Test cricket.

However, the match has picked up again and it is now up to England to bat long into tomorrow. If they do that, they will be celebrating a first Test series victory in India since 1984-85.

Jonathan Agnew was talking to BBC Sport's Marc Higginson.

Listen to match highlights and Jonathan Agnew and Geoffrey Boycott's analysis of the day's play on the Test Match Special podcast.

We are using archive pictures for this Test because several photo agencies, including Getty Images, have been barred from the ground following a dispute with the Board of Control for Cricket in India, while other agencies have withdrawn their photographers in protest.