Welcome to our live report of the final day of the first India-England Test from Chennai. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here.
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1.35pm: Archer finishes it
No five-for for Leach, who picks up the No. 9, Shahbaz Nadeem, via a deflection off the keeper to slip in over after Kohli’s dismissal; Root then went back to Archer for the final wicket, Jasprit Bumrah nicking behind to seal victory by 227 runs for England. This is England’s sixth win in a row away from home, and their first in India since 2012. It’s only India’s second defeat in that timeframe – but it has set the series up beautifully, the tourists 1-0 up with three to play.
1.15pm: Stokes gets Kohli
That’s the big one! This emphasises just how difficult the pitch has become. Kohli had been almost faultless in this innings, barely playing a false shot, but is deceived by one which shoots through from a length, with a big puff of dust coming off the surface in the process. It pings back his off stump, and England are on the cusp of their sixth consecutive away Test win.
1.05pm: Ashwin goes
England are into the tail now. Leach finds extra bounce from a length again, just as he did on the fourth morning to remove Ashwin. The ball kisses the glove as Ashwin shapes to play him off the back foot, and Buttler completes the catch. Kohli is standing firm, playing the sort of innings that will leave the rest of India’s top six wondering what might have been if they had managed to show a little more application, but it will take a minor miracle for him to save the game from this situation.
1.00pm: Awesome Anderson
Another record for Anderson: he has surpassed Courtney Walsh in this innings in the list of seamers with most wickets after the age of 30, which is testament to his longevity.
England will have a dilemma going into the second Test: they seemed to have planned to alternate between Broad and Anderson, rather than picking them together, but it will be difficult to leave Anderson out in this sort of form. The counter-argument is that Anderson might not have been able to perform as he has in this Test if he had played both of the Tests in Sri Lanka, so England will see it as vindication for their rotation policy.
Alan Gardner analysed Anderson’s record in Asia – and in India in particular – before this series, and Andrew Miller has been musing on his spell this morning:
The method may have been subtly different but the impact was every bit as spectacular, he writes. Just as Andrew Flintoff ripped open the 2005 Edgbaston Test with two wickets in a sensational and never-to-be-forgotten display of high-class reverse-swing bowling, so James Anderson did likewise on the final day in Chennai – to set up a victory chance that could prove every bit as impressive.
As was the case with Flintoff, all those years ago, the stage had been set by the time he entered the fray in the second hour of the morning, and if the jeopardy wasn’t quite comparable given England’s weighty cushion of runs in this contest, the stage was set for India, at 92 for 2, to build themselves towards a position whereby stalemate might be possible.
The old ball, after all, had been England’s Achilles heel in overseas conditions in recent years – not least on their last tour of India in 2016-17, when their spinners were all too easily neutralised once the leather began to soften, and when Anderson himself was only semi-fit having battled back from a shoulder fracture that might have persuaded a less dogged combatant from boarding the plane in the first place.
This time, however, he arrived at the top of his mark at the top of his game – and at the age of 38 as well, of all the preposterous postscripts. It had been more than a decade, since Lord’s 2009 in fact, since Anderson had last been shunted off the new ball in a Test match, but the logic was utterly sound on this occasion. In his stead, Jack Leach benefitted from the hard bounce and rip to prise out two priceless scalps in alliance with the menacing Jofra Archer, leaving Anderson to focus on the swing as the shine began to dissipate.
And just like Flintoff in 2005, Anderson needed just a single sighter before hurtling into the game. Shubman Gill had caressed his way to a wonderfully serene half-century – but even his fast hands and keen eye had no answer for a stunning off-stump heat-seeker that screeched back through the gate to send the stump cartwheeling and the contest ablaze.
Anderson’s is a different brand of reverse-swing to the bruising, deck-hitting menace that Flintoff made his trademark during his early-2000s pomp. He is lighter through the crease and skiddier off the pitch, but it’s the relentlessness that sets his game apart from any other contemporary practitioner. When every ball is demanding a decision, regardless of its misbehaviour through the air or off the pitch, that makes his magic balls all the more devastating, as Rahane discovered before he could lay bat on ball.
Not unlike Ponting in 2005, Rahane’s immediate awareness of the dangers did little to mitigate the challenge he faced. He might have been dismissed by his very first delivery, another wickedly zippy inswinger that smashed him on the shin but was adjudged umpire’s call on review, but undeterred, Anderson simply returned to the top of his mark and did it all over again – producing such a pinpoint reload that Rahane’s leg bail was left unruffled as his off stump tumbled gleefully towards the keeper.
And by the time Rishabh Pant was unseated with a more cerebral but no less skilful piece of bowling – drawn hard-handedly into a punch to short cover after being challenged to keep playing his natural stroke-filled game – Anderson had snaffled three wickets for seven runs in six overs, to take his tally for the winter to 11 wickets for 99 runs in 54 overs. Average 9.00, economy-rate 1.83. Incision and parsimony combined to extraordinary effect.
12.50pm: Stokes into the attack
Root turns to Ben Stokes, looking to get the ball reversing. England have often used him to bowl short bursts of bumpers, so that may be another ploy they go for soon. Kohli, meanwhile, looks in superb touch in this innings, despite his lack of cricket over the past two months. According to our ball-by-ball data, he has been in control for 98% of his innings, playing only two out-of-control shots in his first 89 balls.
12.30pm: India solid
It’s been an assured start to the afternoon session for India, with both Ashwin and Kohli digging in. Anderson has beaten Ashwin’s edge a couple of times, with puffs of dust coming up off the surface from a length, but both batsmen are defending watchfully for the time being. The problem for India is that Ashwin is – more or less – the last recognised batsman in their line-up. Nadeem, the No. 9, has a first-class hundred to his name, but averages a shade below 15 overall.
Root has had to be creative with his fielding placements, and is in tight at silly mid-on himself, with his left boot almost touching the strip. Just the one slip at the moment for Anderson, as he comes towards the end of this spell. Perhaps the biggest question hanging over England is whether Dom Bess will be able to land the ball better this afternoon: he came in for some rough treatment in the morning session, bowling a number of full tosses which were dutifully put away.
Bell: The best I’ve seen Anderson bowl
11.30am: Lunch – India 144 for 6 (Kohli 45*, Ashwin 2*)
Five wickets in the session for England, with three of them in a remarkable spell from the evergreen James Anderson. “Everything Joe Root touched turned to gold,” says Alastair Cook on Channel 4 in the UK. India will be asking questions about their batting line-up – not something anyone expected to hear after their performance in Australia – with Rahane and Gill’s defensive techniques exposed by Anderson’s booming reverse-swing, and while Pant played a thrilling innings on Sunday, his dismissal was fairly tame today.
Ashwin has taken another peppering from Archer in the over before lunch, struck first on the wrist and then on the badge of the helmet as Archer finds some lift from back-of-a-length, but he reaches the interval unbeaten. Kohli has played exceptionally well so far, scoring at a strike rate of 88 without playing particularly aggressively: he has rotated the strike against the spinners and put away every bad ball that has come his way. If he is still there at tea, India might fancy their chances of saving the game, but England are clear favourites regardless.
11.15am: Ashwin takes a blow
Anderson’s spell is done: 5-3-6-3. Not bad for a 38-year-old seamer on the fifth day of a Chepauk Test. Archer returns, and is chipped effortlessly down the ground by Kohli, but he strikes back straight after, rapping Ashwin on the glove. It looks like the middle finger of his right hand is the one causing him some pain, which will concern India with three Tests to come in quick succession, but he’s comfortable enough to bat on.
11.00am: Bess gets Sundar
It’s hard to imagine how this session could have gone better for England. Sundar is rooted to the crease, defending Bess with a straight bat, and gets a thin edge through to Buttler who takes a sharp catch. Given not out, but England overturn it on review. Five wickets inside 90 minutes: India’s only hope is that Kohli can bat for two more sessions.
10.55am: England halfway there
A leading edge from Pant loops up into the hands of short cover, and India are five down. What a spell from Anderson, whose Test bowling average in India has dropped below 30 with that dismissal. Anderson ran his fingers down the side of the ball, not looking to reverse it, Pant was looking to work to leg, and it skewed up off the outside of the bat to Root, in tight. An incredible effort from Anderson at the ripe old age of 38, with his figures on the fifth day reading: 4-3-5-3.
10.40am: Leach vs Pant, Round Two
Pant nudges the first ball he faces from Leach into the covers, and then misses out looking to reverse-sweep the second. He’s not going to die wondering. Jon Lewis, England’s seam-bowling consultant, was asked about their first-innings battle last night. “Jack was asked to do a really specific job for the team and I thought Pant’s options were really high risk,” Lewis said. “Obviously he got more runs than we would have wanted him to, but the percentages were still very much in [Leach’s] favour.
“Jack showed his character with the way he came back after Pant got after him [on Sunday]. He’s bowled an absolutely beauty to get out Rohit – who is obviously a class, class player – and looks a real threat on this pitch. He could walk away with four or five wickets tomorrow and we could win a Test match – I’m pretty sure people won’t be talking about Rishabh Pant’s first-innings runs if he does that.”
10.25am: Two in the over
Amazing start from Anderson and England are buoyant. Plenty of reverse-swing on offer and who better to extract it than the man with 600 Test wickets? Rahane is struck on the pad second ball by another shooter, which would have crashed into the base of middle stump but umpire Menon’s not out decision was upheld because the impact was ‘umpire’s call’ according to ball-tracking. And Rahane’s third ball cleans him up. It jags back in from wide on the crease, squeezing through the gap between bat and pad, and off stump is sent cartwheeling once more.
Rishabh Pant strides out at No. 6, and it will take a Pant special for India from this position.
10.20am: Cleaned up
Anderson comes into the attack for his first over of the day, and Gill’s off stump has gone flying. Gill had just reached fifty, again looking a million dollars and timing the ball sweetly, but this one flies through him with the ball reversing. Anderson pitches on a fullish length outside off stump, and this shoots through low off the surface and sends the stump cartwheeling. Two for England within the first hour.
10.10am: Gill attacks Bess
Shubman Gill has decided that Bess is the man to target today. He threads his first ball of the morning through mid-off for four, then swings him just out of reach of the man running round from deep midwicket in the same over. In Bess’ next, he skips down the pitch and nails a sweet six over mid-on.
I think this is a calculated decision from Gill, who is determined to through Bess off his length, but perhaps he doesn’t need to be overly aggressive against him: since his spell on the third afternoon, Bess has bowled one bad ball in most overs, so it is easy enough to take him for four or five runs while playing in a fairly restrained manner.
9.55am: Pujara goes
That’s a huge wicket for England and a blow to India’s hopes on the final day. Leach gets one to turn sharply again, spinning away from the bat with extra bounce as Pujara closes the face, looking to work him into the leg side. The ball takes the outside edge and lobs up to slip, where Stokes snaffles it. India lose Pujara within half an hour.
It was always likely to take a good ball from Leach. That was only the sixth time Pujara had been dismissed by a left-arm orthodox spinner in Tests, having faced 1898 balls from them. He’s still averaging 138.83 against SLA bowlers.
9.50am: Variable bounce
A mixed bag for Jack Leach this morning, with Shubman Gill getting his second ball of the day away to the boundary, but there have already been signs of turn and bounce from a fullish length. Gill did well to jam him bat down on a shooter, and another turned sharply away from the outside edge.
“We saw a lot of India’s fight and character in the tour of Australia just recently,” James Anderson said before the start. “We know that they’re not going to roll over easily. We’re going to have to put a lot of hard work in, and we might have to be clever at times with fields and the way we bowl. We’re in a good position but we know it’s going to be a day of hard work.”
“There was a good amount of turn and bounce yesterday,” Washington Sundar said. “Given the scenario we’d like to take one session at a time and stay positive. We’ve got a lot of depth so let’s stay positive.”
9.15am: All results possible
A reminder of the match situation ahead of the final day. England need to take nine wickets in 90 overs, after Jack Leach dismissed Rohit Sharma on the fourth evening. If they fail to do so, we’re heading for a draw – unless India can pull off another remarkable heist by scoring 381 fifth-day runs on a wearing Chepauk surface.
There was plenty of discussion yesterday about England’s go-slow after tea as they looked to set up a declaration, but George Dobell wrote that after they had dominated large swathes of the match, their caution was understandable. In the India camp, R Ashwin and Ishant Sharma were bullish about their chances of pulling off the win.
Ian Bell: England will be kicking themselves if they don’t go on to win
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98