England v India: Fifth Test, Day Three – Live! † England v India 2021

37th over: England 148-5 (Bairstow 50, Stokes 25) England is doing well and reaping the points. Stokes gets three for a hack in the side of the leg and Bairstow takes a couple of hits for his FIFTY

Sriram emails in:

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

Give it time, I’d say. When Virat Kohli’s and Ravi Shastri’s India started playing this type of cricket a few years ago, it didn’t work brilliantly for them either. In 2018, India played exciting cricket but went – heartbreakingly – 1-4 to England – with many of the same players on the team: Kohli, Shami, Bumrah, Jadeja, Pujara, Pant, Rahul, Ashwin.

If you look even further back, you may recall that Lloyd’s West Indians played free-flowing calypso cricket and went 1-5 to Australia in 1976. The strategy is okay.”

36th over: England 141-5 (Bairstow 48, Stokes 20) DROP! HUGE DROP! Stokes air Shami and Shardul Thakur spill it! Shami turns away in horror, having bowled 18 overs on the bounce and grafting in on that opportunity. It was an easy catch, the ball went so high that the crowd got involved with some “Woooaaa-ing” as the ball came down and Thakur grabbed it with fingers raised. Bairstow then plays some nice shots for four, a clipped leg stump and a controlled ride across the ground. Some of his shots this morning were a little agricultural, but those two were all timing and class.

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

35th over: England 130-5 (Bairstow 39, Stokes 18) Siraj comes on the attack to replace Bumrah and Bairstow takes him for a pair of fours, a wrist-like pull in the leg side and another aerial cover ride.

34th over: England 121-5 (Bairstow 31, Stokes 17) 11 runs come over from the Shami – Stokes plays a violent cut-shot for four that whistles at the gate and Bairstow goes up again and again to get four to the ground. The two batters then run a quick two, most notably Bairstow is lightning between the wickets. Shami throws a beauty last that leaves late and Bairstow follows him. Every ball feels like an event.

33rd over: England 110-5 (Bairstow 25, Stokes 12) Bumrah chases one back into Stokes and an inner rim saves him. Bairstow goes on strike and short arm swipes Bumrah from the air to the ground for four hours. The Yorkshireman then leans on one in the blankets to pick up two. Absorbent first half hour this.

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

32nd over: England 100-5 (Bairstow 16, Stokes 11) It all gets a little spicy out there when Virat and Bairstow seem to have short words and the umpires intervene. I don’t know about it, probably Kohli is trying to get into Johnny’s noodles. Bairstow’s beans have risen well as a result, and he has a few wild swipes before connecting to a flay-over point for three. Bairstow taps.

31st over: England 97-5 (Bairstow 13, Stokes 11) OUCH. Bumrah covers one in Stoke’s “diaphragm” and gives the English skipper a floor. Take a deep breath and finally a wry smile. An inside edge is nearly chopped to the stumps, but gets Stokes off the strike. Bairstow is then defeated by consecutive outside deliveries before delivering a single from the last ball.

John Little has the first email of the day:

“Morning James, great choice of music to start the day. Kristofferson often used a key change to kick it up a notch after the first chorus. Watch out, Johnny Bairstow and Ben Stokes”

There are notches and there are notches John. Will we get a rousing chorus or a waning feedback spell in these English innings?

Ben Stokes
Fortunately, Ben Stokes was carrying a cup to protect his ‘diaphragm’. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA

30th over: England 95-5 (Bairstow 12, Stokes 10) Bunch! Stokes jumps down and knocks Shami back for four over his balding pate. Shades of Rishabh Pant on that shot. He then nurdles a single to get out of strike. Ayayayay – Shami then squeezes one back to Bairstow who misses his stumps from a mosquito’s eyelash. It’s not boring.

29th over: England 90-5 (Bairstow 12, Stokes 5) Stokes jumps to Bumrah, but the fast bowler holds back his height and beats Stokes on the outside edge. It seems that both men are enjoying this fight and neither will take a step back. Sure enough, Stokes clips Bumrah away by mid-wicket for four! He’s underway.

28th over: England 84-5 (Bairstow 12, Stokes 0) Shami finds some movement and there is some wiggles as the ball goes through to Pant behind the beams, he spills one and does well to cling to another. Shami starts with a girl. Stokes v Bumrah next!

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

Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes
Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes from England take to the field. England need these two to hang out to have any chance. Photo: James Marsh/Shutterstock

And this by Jonathan Liew, offers a pretty sobering reality check:


Here’s Andy Bull with those optimistic quotes from Anderson:


Sunday morning is coming.

Welcome to the third day OBO of England v IndiaJim here with the Sunday morning call before the mighty Rob Smyth takes over this afternoon. And what position could the match be in by then?

England we were chastised by the Indian juggernaut yesterday and if they are to get that far behind in this Test it will take a little more crackers than anything we’ve seen in ‘BazBall’ so far.

The day started with Stuart Broad being flogged for the most expensive over in Test history, ending on his stomach in the dirt from the banging crease from which he had been killed by Jasprit Bumrah.

Bumrah, the laughing killer with the bullwhip action, went on to get down to England’s highest order with the ball, beating Lees, Crawley and Pope and England is 84-5 behind India by 332 runs.

Stokes and Bairstow are in the fold and it would be wise to tune in from the get-go, as Jimmy Anderson’s call that “attack will be the best form of defense” suggests they won’t change their aggressive approach and will try to give themselves another shot. to get out of the fight.

The game starts at 10:30am BST – just over ten minutes (the earlier start already caught me…)

Time for a quick sip of coffee and we’re good to go. sip.

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