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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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.
James Anderson celebrates after beating Ajinkya Rahane comprehensively BCCI
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.
My issue with Rahane the captain is Rahane the batsman.
After that 100 in Melbourne his scores are – 27*, 22, 4, 37, 24, 1 & 0. After a 100, class players carry their form & carry the burden of players out of form. #INDvENG
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 9, 2021
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.
James Anderson to Virat Kohli in Tests
42 runs from 131 balls 5 wickets
186 runs from 402 balls 0 wickets#EngvsInd
— ESPNcricinfo stats (@ESPNcric_stats) February 9, 2021
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.
Gill looked just as elegant when he was bowled.
— Jarrod Kimber (@ajarrodkimber) February 9, 2021
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.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill punch gloves during their partnership BCCI
“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