Wasteful England punished with first series defeat of Bazball era

England captain Ben Stokes reacts during day four of the 4th Test Match between India and England at JSCA International Stadium Complex on February 26, 2024 in Ranchi, India
Ben Stokes has lost his first series as England Test captain - Getty Images/Gareth Copley

The first series defeat of the Bazball era will hurt because this was a lost opportunity that so rarely presents itself in India.

England talk of no regrets but 3-1 to India could be 3-1 to them if more hard-boiled cricket had been played at pivotal moments.

They lost a third successive Test for the first time of the Ben Stokes’ captaincy, India inching home by five wickets on a tense day that was closer than expected, and they will brush off disappointment with the usual spin about results not being the bottom line.

But three series have now passed since an England victory (in Pakistan 14 months ago) and instead of a dreamlike decider in Dharamsala it will now be a pride-salvaging exercise in a dead rubber.

This was closer than expected on day four because Shoaib Bashir bowled like an old pro at the age of 20 and in only his eighth first-class match. Had England not collapsed losing seven for 35 to 145 all out in 53 overs on a disastrous day three and Ollie Robinson fielded like a hungry Test cricketer and not a village green amateur in India’s first innings rearguard, then Bashir would have had the runs to bowl at and turn himself into a hero.

It is true England have competed far better than on the previous two tours here and given India a bloody nose at times, running them closer than Australia managed last year, but they won the toss in Ranchi, Jasprit Bumrah was rested and at the start of day three were 134 ahead with their opponents seven down.  To lose by five wickets shows how the Bazballers continue to suffer nosebleeds when the game is still to be won.

Bashir’s 3-79 and eight wickets in the match, including two in two balls that after lunch gave England hope of snatching a dramatic victory, is a straw to clutch. Tom Hartley too has bowled way above expectations in four Tests to be the series leading wicket-taker. In the end, they were just not quite as good as the India spinners and there is no shame in that.

Shubman Gill, 52 from 124 balls, and Dhruv Jurel, 39 from 77, held their nerve to see their team home to their 192 target with a nerveless 72 run stand from 136 balls, weathering the pressure, content to pick off ones and twos until the game was assured. India went 30 overs without a boundary as the tension rose but the IPL stars are used to tight corners and showed mettle that England will do well to study.

The composed Jurel won this Test for India. His 90 in the first innings galvanised the fightback and threw his spinners a chance to mug England on a turner. They never recovered their poise. Zak Crawley’s 60 contained some great shots but ultimately nobody could stay in like Jurel and build the total that would have made India really sweat on day four. Jonny Bairstow’s scratchy 30 which ended with a tame poke to cover first ball after tea was lax when the situation demanded dogged commitment while Ben Stokes has to spend the next week working out how to start against spin. Another 50 runs would have made such a difference.

India lacked Virat Kohli, Mohammad Shami, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul in this series which brought the two sides closer together, even though England lost Harry Brook. Ultimately, India showed strength in depth with Yashasvi Jaiswal, Gill and Jurel establishing their careers. England must now start to look further down the line and ease a couple out of the side.

India's Shubman Gill (L) and Dhruv Jurel celebrate their win at the end of the fourth day of the fourth Test cricket match between India and England at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium in Ranchi on February 26, 2024
Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel guided India home on a tense day four - Getty Images/TAUSEEF MUSTAFA

Bazball failed in Rajkot when they lost their minds when in a good position and Ravi Ashwin absent on day three. But Bazball cannot be blamed for this defeat. England batted at 3.3 and 2.6 an over in their two innings. By applying classic Test match batting Joe Root resurrected the first day after a juicy morning when India expertly maximised the pitch’s moisture, but made 11 in the second when England needed a senior player to set the target out of India’s reach.

Where the game was lost was day three when the limitations of England’s attack were exposed by Jurel, who inspired the last three to add 130. Robinson’s wishy-washy four over spell of military medium pace, which included three no balls, and a loosener of 66mph set a flabby tone.

His drop of Jurel on 59 was poor and costly, India adding another 26 runs for the ninth wicket, crucial in the final wash up of the game. Robinson had not played in eight months and needed some cricket first but lacks the desire to make the most of his talent. Time to cut the rope.

Robinson did not bowl on day four, banished to the outer. Instead Stokes opened with Anderson and Bashir as he should have done the night before when England shipped 40 cheap runs with Joe Root and Hartley attacked by Rohit Sharma and Jaiswal.

India eased another 44 onto their overnight total, looking in control before Root bowled for a change of ends and Jaiswal’s eyes lit up. He sliced a drive to backward point where Anderson dived forward to take a good catch.

Hartley ran one past Rohit, who was caught behind but also stumped by Foakes for good measure. The pressure was now up a notch and Bashir was bowling beautifully, switching from over and round the wicket and not bowling a bad ball. He was building a spell like an old master. Rajat Patidar was out for a duck, edging to short leg, where Pope had moved slightly round the corner because of the bounce Bashir was extracting.

India were now shotless at 100 for three, 92 short. Ravi Jadeja and Gill just went into survival mode, India batting at under 2 an over before lunch. Bashir beat the bat and the pressure he applied worked, Jadeja hit a full toss to midwicket just after lunch. Next ball, Sarfaraz Khan pushed forward and a faint inside edge off pad carried to Pope, England getting the wicket on review.

Now at 120 for five the Winviz calculator had shifted from three percent to England to 35. Another wicket and it was game on with Ashwin in next.  Gill and Jurel calmly picked off singles, occasionally pushing for two. The odd ball kept low and Stokes continually shuffled his fielders around but once the target was below 50, India started to look relaxed, Bashir a bit flat. Jurel broke the boundary drought when Bashir overpitched, picking his moment perfectly. With 20 needed Gill was emboldened to go on the attack hitting Bashir for two sixes in three balls to bring up his fifty. The game was up.

Day four as it happened

09:03 AM GMT

'Yesterday was incredibly hard'

Stokes speaking to Graeme Swann on TNT: “We’ve been very good in periods. Yesterday, that was incredibly hard when we were batting - in those conditions against Ashwin, Jadeja and Kuldeep, scoring becomes very difficult. We didn’t think the pitch was going to get any better and we saw that today but they bowled extremely well. It was a tough period for us.

“You come into series, and you want to win them. I’ve been doing this for two years now and my message is always consistent, it’s about your input to the team and don’t worry too much about the output. Everyone has thrown everything into every Test match here, nothing has been left out on the field and that’s all I will ever ask from them.”

08:54 AM GMT

The great man speaks

08:53 AM GMT

Player ratings..

Who stood up and who withered in the Ranchi heat?

Will Macpherson has run the rule over the performances of all 22 players in this fourth Test.

Read those ratings HERE.

08:48 AM GMT

'A very hard-fought series'

Rohit Sharma, speaking to Sanjay Manjrekar: “It has been a very hard-fought series. To come on the right side after four Test feels really good. I am really proud. A lot of challenges have been thrown at us but we responded pretty well.

“Jurel showed solid composure, calmness and has the shots as well. In the second innings he showed a lot of composure and maturity.

“It is always not pleasing when you miss your key players but there is nothing we can do as a group. Those guys are proven players and to come and fill their shoes is not easy. They responded very well to all of the situations thrown at them.”

08:45 AM GMT

No prizes for guessing this one..

Dhruv Jurel has been named player of the match.

India's Dhruv Jurel in action
India's Dhruv Jurel in action

08:44 AM GMT

'Very proud of the team'

Ben Stokes, at the post-match presentation: “I think it was a great Test match. If you look at the scoreboard, India win by five wickets. I don’t think it really gives enough credit to the game as a whole, the amount of ebbs and flows – every single day that happened.

“I’ve got to give so much credit to our spinners, Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir. To come out and put in that performance throughout the whole Test match but in particular today, being exposed in situations like that at such an early start of their career, incredible. I couldn’t be more proud of both of them. And obviously very proud of the team throughout this whole week.

“That’s the way I am as a captain - allowing these guys to come into what could be a very intimidating situation against India in a Test match, to treat every ball as on occasion rather than thinking something in the past that can’t be changed. The series has shown a lot of talent, for us and India. I love Test cricket and we’ve seen some young, inexperienced players perform and the future looks bright in this format.”

08:38 AM GMT

The view of Sir Geoffrey...

08:29 AM GMT

A chance missed

On day two, England had India on the rack at 177-7. Ultimately, letting India score another 130 from there and then collapsing with the bat on day three has cost them dearly. Would they have won had they got another 50 or 60 with the bat yesterday? Who knows but it is inarguable that they had chances in this game to put it beyond India and they did not take them.

08:27 AM GMT

'England will be proud'

Sir Alastair Cook, speaking on TNT Sports: Credit to India - they withstood the pressure. Shubman Gill has got all the talent in the world but a knock like that in a big moment will do wonders for him going forward.

He played the situation perfectly and Dhruv Jurel was very good at taking the pressure off him. England will be proud of how they went about it, they didn’t miss any opportunities today, it was that second innings yesterday.

08:22 AM GMT

England had real chances

08:19 AM GMT

Watch: the winning moment

08:18 AM GMT

Impressive victory

08:17 AM GMT

So mature under pressure

Shoaib Bashir has been so mature under pressure, unwavering in his length and temperament. For Somerset next season, with their two England spinners, they should have the chance of playing on turning pitches. Will that be allowed? It should be, but probably not.

08:16 AM GMT

Much to ponder

Interesting question for England. Previous tours of India have been completely gone by now and they must take heart from their efforts but in both of these last two games, they have been their own worst enemy, letting slip potentially match-winning positions. Much for Stokes and co to ponder.

08:14 AM GMT

First series defeat for Bazball

This, then, is the first series defeat of the Bazball era. If you had told me on arrival in India that England would be 3-1 down after four, I would not have been surprised. The problem for England – and what should really hurt – is that for the second series going, they have blown great chances against top teams. With India depleted, they had such a great chance and have blown it on day three in Rajkot, when they had a promising position, and day three in Ranchi, when they had a dominant position.

08:11 AM GMT

Mr Calm...

08:09 AM GMT


Jurel hammers Hatley over mid-wicket for four. Leaving India needing just two to win. Thos two come with a dab into the leg side.

India's Shubman Gill celebrates with Dhruv Jurel after reaching his half century
India's Shubman Gill celebrates with Dhruv Jurel after reaching his half century

08:07 AM GMT

A tip of the hat

This has been a very fine, calming stand by Jurel and Gill, just as England thought they had a sniff. A tip of the hat for that.

08:06 AM GMT

OVER 60: IND 186/5 (Jurel 33 Gill 52) - India need 6 runs to win

Gill smashes over his head for six. That’s the game you feel. Any slim chances England had have disappeared. That’s all the more certain now as Gill takes Bashir for another maximum. Fifty for Gill, match and series for India.

08:02 AM GMT

OVER 59: IND 178/5 (Jurel 32 Gill 39) - India need 20 runs to win

Gill drives down the ground to bring up the 50 partnership between himself and Jurel. Utterly superb batting from these two in the circumstances. Death by a thousand singles for England here.

07:58 AM GMT

OVER 58: IND 169/5 (Jurel 31 Gill 37) - India need 23 runs to win

Bashir is bowling an attacking line to Jurel, tying him up and meanding the dab into the leg side is really the only option.

07:55 AM GMT

OVER 57: IND 169/5 (Jurel 31 Gill 37) - India need 23 runs to win

Bashir squares up Gill but the India No 3 does well to adjust with smart hands to get enough on it. Hartley finds the outside edge but again Gill is in complete control, sending the ball out into the cover-point region.

India's Shubman Gill plays a shot on the fourth day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India
India's Shubman Gill plays a shot on the fourth day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India

07:52 AM GMT

OVER 56: IND 168/5 (Jurel 30 Gill 37) - India need 24 runs to win

Jurel is just a touch uncertain whether to come forward or back to Bashir and fiddles at it. He then goes hard down the ground and Duckett dives full length to save a boundary. These two have now put on 48 for the sixth wicket.

07:49 AM GMT

OVER 55: IND 165/5 (Jurel 27 Gill 37) - India need 27 runs to win

The pitch has quieted down a touch since that flurry of action just after lunch. Gill drops another single into the leg side off Hartley. Stokes just can’t stem the bleeding here.

07:44 AM GMT

OVER 54: IND 163/5 (Jurel 26 Gill 36) - India need 29 runs to win

A shot of real intent from Gill, who takes few strides down the wicket but doesn’t connect cleanly and has to settle for a single down to long on. Jurel does well to pull his gloves out for the way to one that turns down the leg side. A prod at that and Ollie Pope would have been in the game

07:40 AM GMT

OVER 53: IND 161/5 (Jurel 25 Gill 35) - India need 31 runs to win

Joe Root is on. The man often responsible for a surprise wicket is back, Can he break this game open again? Jurel gets a genuine nick on one but it’s always heading down and lands short of Crawley at slip.

07:36 AM GMT

OVER 52: IND 156/5 (Jurel 21 Gill 34) - India need 36 runs to win

Hartley gets away with a short and wide delivery and then tosses a tasty one up outside off stump. Gill resists the temptation, his temperament has been flawless so far.

07:33 AM GMT

OVER 51: IND 156/5 (Jurel 21 Gill 34) - India need 36 runs to win

Stokes and the men around the bat are trying to keep England’s spirits high. The chat remains incessant but Stokes will know something needs to change here. Decent over from Bashir, just one from it.

07:31 AM GMT

Jurel has been outstanding

In just his second Test, Dhruv Jurel has been outstanding. Batted with such patience and class with the tail in the first innings, and has had added some much-needed impetus here, in an awkward situation. He kept really well, too.

07:29 AM GMT

OVER 50: IND 155/5 (Jurel 21 Gill 33) - India need 37 runs to win

Too straight from Hartley and Gill helps himself to another couple. He’s playing nicely now and England need to get him in the next couple overs to maintain any hopes of winning this Test match.

07:27 AM GMT

OVER 49: IND 152/5 (Jurel 21 Gill 30) - India need 40 runs to win

Bashir is still pressing hard but Jurel and Gill are looking more and more comfortable. Gill clips one smartly into a gap on the leg side after Bashir drops short and scampers back for two. India now require just 40.

07:23 AM GMT

OVER 48: IND 148/5 (Jurel 20 Gill 27) - India need 44 runs to win

Jurel wants to after knocking one into the leg side but is sent back firmly by Gill. Good call as that could have been tight.

07:21 AM GMT

England need a wicket

India’s 30-over wait for a boundary is broken. Feel like they are right in charge again now. England need a wicket.

Dhruv Jurel in action
Dhruv Jurel in action

07:20 AM GMT

OVER 47: IND 146/5 (Jurel 19 Gill 27) - India need 46 runs to win

Bit too short from Bashir, who lets Jurel get off strike with a dab into the off side.Gill, now also playing with a more positive intent, punches down the ground for a single of his own. Bashir then goes too full and too wide and Jurel cashes in for four through cover.

07:17 AM GMT

OVER 46: IND 140/5 (Jurel 14 Gill 25) - India need 52 runs to win

Jurel has brought some energy to the crease here. He dances down the track and drives Hartley out to wide mid-off for a couple. He was the thorn in England’s side in the first innings and looks to be ready to play that role again here. Harltey finds a genuine outside edge but Jurel’s soft hands mean the ball falls short of Root at slip.

07:13 AM GMT

OVER 45: IND 136/5 (Jurel 11 Gill 24) - India need 56 runs to win

Bashir spots Gill coming down the track and pulls his length shorter to compensate.He’s bowling with such poise here. Gill gets off strike with a little dab into the off side but India have now nearly gone 30 overs without hitting a boundary. Crazy stuff.

DescriptionIndia's Shubman Gill plays a shot on the fourth day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
DescriptionIndia's Shubman Gill plays a shot on the fourth day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

07:10 AM GMT

OVER 44: IND 134/5 (Jurel 10 Gill 23) - India need 58 runs to win

Jurel attempts to take on Hartley but spoons it in the air instead. The ball feels like it’s up there for an eternity but it lands just safe, out of the reach of Bashir. My word that’s a stroke of fortune for India. Harltey has found his area again and is looking threatening.

07:09 AM GMT

Amazing squeeze

Amazing the squeeze that England have put on. They have not conceded a boundary off the bat since the 16th over, before the first wicket fell!

07:08 AM GMT

'England are favourites now'

“England are favourites now,” MIchael Vaughan has just messaged to say. If they get Gill out, I will agree with him. Still feels like India’s game to me.

07:07 AM GMT

Leading England’s attack

Shoaib Bashir, who came into the series with 10 first-class wickets at an average of 67, is now leading England’s attack. It has been a remarkable display, both by the off spinner and of captaincy. England are right in this contest - though what they would give for those 40 runs that India’s openers added quickly, Virender Sehwag style, last night.

07:06 AM GMT

OVER 43: IND 133/5 (Jurel 9 Gill 23) - India need 59runs to win

Bashir is now back over the wicket again. Jurel, looking to be positive, is happy to come down the track and defend but that’s a dangerous game on this track as Sharma found out earlier.

07:03 AM GMT

OVER 42: IND 131/5 (Jurel 8 Gill 22) - India need 61 runs to win

Hartley has just been a shade off his area after lunch and that is allowing India to just relieve the pressure slightly. England needs to be at it from both ends here. He beats Jurel with real turn outside off stump before bringing him forward with another nicely flighted delivery.

07:00 AM GMT

OVER 41: IND 130/5 (Jurel 8 Gill 21) - India need 62 runs to win

A bit odd to see Bashir coming back around the wicket despite having just taken two from over the wicket in his previous set. But, as ever, England have their plans to which they stick rigidly. Jurel has looked assured since coming in and has just been able to rotate the strike a shade better than Jadeja did.

06:57 AM GMT

OVER 40: IND 126/5 (Jurel 6 Gill 19) - India need 66 runs to win

A slight mix-up in the middle has India scrambling for a second but Crawley can’t gather cleanly and Gill survives. England appeal for an LBW but it looks too leg side to me and Stokes doesn’t review.

06:55 AM GMT

'Some absolute rippers'

Bashir bowled some absolute rippers before lunch past Jadeja’s outside edge without success. First ball after the break he sends down a full bunger that Jadeja, one of the best players in the world, punts to midwicket. That’s down to the pressure Bashir applied earlier.

England's Shoaib Bashir in action
England's Shoaib Bashir in action

06:54 AM GMT

OVER 39: IND 121/5 (Jurel 1 Gill 19) - India need 71 runs to win

Superb delivery on the hat-trick from Bashir. It turns sharply as the new man Jurel pushes forward but he’s well outside the line. He then gets off the mark with a push down to mid-on for a single. That over has just blown this game wide open.

06:50 AM GMT


Khan c Pope b Bashir 0

What is going on here!?! Sarfaraz prodded forward and just got the finest of nicks onto his pad. Pope took the catch and this game is back in the balance now. FOW: 120/5

06:49 AM GMT


Do England have Sarfaraz Khan first ball? I think they do you know. A little edge onto the pad...

06:46 AM GMT


Jadeja c Bairstow b Bashir 4’s a full toss from Bashir that England should have been picking up off the boundary rope but instead Jadeja hits it straight to Bairstow at mid-wicket. The door was shut...but it’s ajar now. FOW: 120/4

06:45 AM GMT

OVER 38: IND 120/3 (Jadeja 4 Gill 19) - India need 72 runs to win

Half-hearted appeal first ball after lunch but there’s nothing in that. Jadeja looks frustrated with Gill after he’s sent back when looking for a quick single. India will know they need to be a touch more positive after lunch.

06:42 AM GMT

The players are out...

...Hartley to Gill after lunch.

06:39 AM GMT

India's to lose

Tense. England’s three wickets before lunch gave them hope of pulling off a comeback win but Shubman Gill and Ravi Jadeja batted watchfully to the break to leave India 74 runs away from a series victory at 118-3.

India added 44 to their overnight score before Jaiswal’s sliced drive against Root, only bowling so the other spinners could change ends, was superbly caught by Anderson diving forward at backward point.

Rohit danced down the pitch but was beaten by Hartley bowling round the wicket who tempted him forward. He was stumped by Foakes but given out for a thin edge as well. Rajat Patidar’s hard handed push forward edged a catch to Pope at short leg, moved just round the corner by Stokes because of the bounce from Bashir.

The young offie is bowling beautifully, especially round the wicket to the left handers. He is flighting the ball, landing it outside off stump and constantly asking questions. Regardless of the result, England have found a spinner of great potential.

Gill and Jadeja ground out 18 runs from 66 balls, lucky a couple of shooters were not bowled in line, while Stokes fiddled with his fields to put doubt in their minds and make them think. If only he had another 50 runs.

06:10 AM GMT

'Love Test cricket'

06:08 AM GMT

A good morning for England

England's Ollie Pope takes the catch to dismiss India's Rajat Patidar, off the bowling of Shoaib Bashir
England's Ollie Pope takes the catch to dismiss India's Rajat Patidar, off the bowling of Shoaib Bashir
England's Ben Foakes (L) celebrates after taking the wicket of India's captain Rohit Sharma during the fourth day of the fourth Test cricket match between India and England at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium in Ranchi on February 26, 2024
England's Ben Foakes (L) celebrates after taking the wicket of India's captain Rohit Sharma during the fourth day of the fourth Test cricket match between India and England at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association (JSCA) Stadium in Ranchi on February 26, 2024
India's Ravindra Jadeja in action as England's Ben Foakes look on
India's Ravindra Jadeja in action as England's Ben Foakes look on
England's captain Ben Stokes, right celebrates the wicket of India's Rajat Patidar on the fourth day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
England's captain Ben Stokes, right celebrates the wicket of India's Rajat Patidar on the fourth day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India, Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

06:04 AM GMT

The inevitable shooter

Gill and Jadeja have steadied the ship, but can’t help but feel that the shotless approach leaves them vulnerable to the shooter, which does feel inevitable at some stage.

Ollie Pope fielding on his knees as a close slip, reminiscent of a latter-day Marcus Trescothick at Somerset. Trescothick has been donning the whites again this week as England’s squad is so stretched (they only have three spare players, Mark Wood, Gus Atkinson and Dan Lawrence) that he and Paul Collingwood have been running on the drinks. They are not allowed to act as sub fielders, though, as they are not officially in the squad. What a shame, as Colly could still do a decent job.

06:03 AM GMT

OVER 37: IND 118/3 (Jadeja 3 Gill 18) - India need 75 runs to win

Last over before lunch. Bashir is lucky to get away with a single after dropping one short to Gill before good fielding from Bairstow keeps Jadeja on strike. Jadeja plays and misses one more to Bashir, who really has impressed this morning.

That’s lunch...

05:59 AM GMT

OVER 36: IND 117/3 (Jadeja 3 Gill 17) - India need 75 runs to win

Root is going to have a bowl before lunch. Can England take four with them into the break? Root does well to keep Gill on strike with a diving stop. Stokes is changing the field almost every ball to try and discombobulate these batters as much as he can.

05:55 AM GMT

'They’ve let slip opportunities'

Even if England lose this series, which is highly likely, it does not feel like a meltdown tour like some I have been on to India and Australia. It is also not the horror show of the World Cup before Christmas which reminded me of being in Australia (2002-03, 2013-14, 2017-18 and 2021-22). England have competed and all scorelines could be possible: 4-0 India, 3-1 England, 3-1 India and 2-2. Only in Vizag did they not really have a sniff after losing an important toss before they were Bumrahed. They’ve let slip opportunities. Is that more annoying than a hammering?

05:54 AM GMT

OVER 35: IND 115/3 (Jadeja 2 Gill 16) - India need 77 runs to win

Foakes goes up roaring for an LBW but Bashir is not interested. He’s coming around the wicket to the right-handed Gill now so it’ll have to be something special to get him like that.

05:50 AM GMT

OVER 34: IND 115/3 (Jadeja 2 Gill 16) - India need 77 runs to win

There will be some frustration at least inwardly from England that they didn;t bowl better last night. Those 40 cheap runs feel incredibly valuable now. Gill sends Jadeja back after he starts careering down the track in search of a single. Gill is watchful going back to Hartley. Any of those deliveries could keep low now.

05:46 AM GMT

OVER 33: IND 114/3 (Jadeja 2 Gill 15) - India need 78 runs to win

England could almost get another slip in here owing to the amount of times Bashir has found Jadeja’s outside edge. Jadeja then does very well to keep one out that shoots low off just back of a length. Another good over.

India's Ravindra Jadeja in action
India's Ravindra Jadeja in action

05:44 AM GMT

OVER 32: IND 114/3 (Jadeja 2 Gill 15) - India need 78 runs to win

Quietly Subman Gill has looked pretty good. It is tough out there and England’s spinners are bowling well but he’s tried to remain positive as wickets fell around him. Just two from that Hartley over as Gill punches one out to deep cover.

05:41 AM GMT

OVER 31: IND 112/3 (Jadeja 2 Gill 13) - India need 80 runs to win

More good work from Bashir, who can only look on in frustration Jadeja picks up a couple of an inside. He then beats Jadeja again outside off stump. One of these is going to have Jadeja’s name on before long you feel.

India's Ravindra Jadeja and England's Ben Foakes in action
India's Ravindra Jadeja and England's Ben Foakes in action

05:38 AM GMT

They couldn't could they?

Winviz was down to 3 percent for England when Rohit and Shubman Gill were batting. Turn this one round and we can add another to the Stokes legend (ok he’s not bowling but is the puppet master in the field.)

05:37 AM GMT

OVER 30: IND 107/3 (Jadeja 1 Gill 9) - India need 85 runs to win

Love how Hartley is bowling to Jadeja here. The angle from round the wicket is really bringing short leg into play if he can get one to turn enough to find a  little inside edge. Just one run from the over.

05:33 AM GMT

OVER 29: IND 106/3 (Jadeja 1 Gill 8) - India need 86 runs to win

The left-hand, right-hand combination is a real bonus for India and it can keep Stokes from really homing with his fields. Bahir passes the outside edge of Jadeja and then gets one to turn even more. This ball is starting to talk for England.

The feel of the place has changed, rather, to the point that an Indian fella in the press box keenly applauded the four byes in the last over, despite it being to a shooter that completed fooled Jadeja. England could do with one of those being on line. They’d love a couple of freebies before lunch.

05:31 AM GMT

OVER 28: IND 106/3 (Jadeja 1 Gill 8) - India need 86 runs to win

Superb piece of backing up from Joe Root saves a certain four overthrows. Every little counts for England now and those sorts of effort are what is required from here on in. Misfortune for Hartley as one hits the cracks and dies along the floor down the leg side. Four byes - nothing Foakes could do about that.

05:27 AM GMT

OVER 27: IND 100/3 (Jadeja 0 Gill 6) - India need 92 runs to win

Stokes has placed faith in his young spinners this morning and they have stepped up for him. Another excellent over from Bashir as he comes round the wickets to attack the stumps of new man Jadeja.

05:23 AM GMT


Patidar c Pope b Bashir 0

Game on...Bashir finds a little inside edge as Patdiar tries to attack. The ball loops up enough for Ollie Pope at shot-leg to scramble across the ground and take a good catch. FOW: 100/3

05:22 AM GMT

OVER 26: IND 99/2 (Patidar 0 Gill 6) - India need 93 runs to win

England have dried up the scoring and that is what has led to that breakthrough. Shamra just got a little restless and Harltey took full advantage. Wicket-maiden from the left-armer.

05:17 AM GMT


Sharma St Foakes b Hartley 55

It’s Sharma! We said Hartley had bowled will and now he gets his reward. Sharma comes down but is beaten by both flight and turn. Foakes does the rest and England have the big wicket. FOW: 99/2

Love a wicket like Rohit’s, where it’s out two ways, caught and stumped. Stokes’s wicket yesterday might have been lbw and bowled but presumably pitched outside leg.

Anyway, this game has changed a little, and England look very lively! Love Bashir’s attitude. He’s now got 20 first-class wickets, half of them in Tests.

05:16 AM GMT

OVER 25: IND 99/1 (Sharma 55 Gill 6) - India need 93 runs to win

England go up after the ball clips Gill’s pad on an attempted sweep. The appeal was loud but there’s no chance that’s out and Stokes does well to avoid temptation to review. Sharma keeps working Bashir into the leg side from outside off stump virtually. For most, that’s risky. For him, it’s rudimentary.

05:12 AM GMT

OVER 24: IND 97/1 (Sharma 54 Gill 6) - India need 95 runs to win

Harltey bowls an absolute beauty to Gill, bringing him forward and then finding enough to turn to rip past the edge. To their credit, England have bowled very well this morning for the most part, the equation is just firmly against them.

05:08 AM GMT

OVER 23: IND 95/1 (Sharma 53 Gill 5) - India need 97 runs to win

Poor mis-field from sub fielder Dan Lawrence turns a potential run-out chance into an easy run for Shubman Gill. Sharma has approached this morning so well. He’s been attacking without being overly risk-taking and appears dead-set on taking his side across the finish line. He retains the strike after working Hartley into leg side.

05:01 AM GMT

OVER 22: IND 93/1 (Sharma 52 Gill 4) - India need 99 runs to win

Hartley is really testing Gill. Around the wicket, he keeps winding thick outside edges and with Gill playing so far out in front of his pad, the close catchers around the bat are seriously interested. India’s required runs slip beneath 100.

Shubman Gill of India bats during day four of the 4th Test Match between India and England at JSCA International Stadium Complex on February 26, 2024 in Ranchi, India
Shubman Gill of India bats during day four of the 4th Test Match between India and England at JSCA International Stadium Complex on February 26, 2024 in Ranchi, India

04:59 AM GMT

Player of this Match?

It looks as though the Player of this Match has to be…? Dhruv Jurel, not so much for his keeping wicket as for keeping India in the game with his 90 and minimising England’s first innings lead.

04:58 AM GMT

OVER 21: IND 92/1 (Sharma 52 Gill 3) - India need 100 runs to win

Sharma’s reaction to that Jaiswal wicket was priceless. Look up to the heavens in the manner of a man who had just told someone to not do exactly that. Gill takes a quick single to Anderson off Bashir.

04:55 AM GMT

OVER 20: IND 90/1 (Sharma 51 Gill 2) - India need 102 runs to win

Sharma leaves one from Hartley that shoot through to Foakes. If that’s on the stumps, Sharma has real issues there. But alas he does not and then soon moves to an excellent fifty with a punch out through point for a couple. Excellent line from Hartley to Gill.

04:52 AM GMT

'Extraordinary sportsman'

The bloke who took that very athletic catch turns 42 this year. What an extraordinary sportsman Anderson is. Twice this morning he’s chased balls all the way to the fence in the hope of saving one run (once successful, once not).

04:51 AM GMT

OVER 19: IND 87/1 (Sharma 48 Gill 2) - India need 105 runs to win

Bashir is straight back into the attack. There is an area of rough starting to appear outside the right-handers off stump and with two now in, Stokes wants to take advantage. Rohit takes a risk to get off strike with a wristy flick into the leg side.

04:48 AM GMT

OVER 18: IND 85/1 (Sharma 47 Gill 1) - India need 107 runs to win

The change to Root has worked for Stokes. Just enough grip to throw off Jaiswal there and England now have Shubman Gill out in the middle.

04:43 AM GMT


Jaiswal c Root b Anderson 37

Jaiswal is gone! He tries to smash Root back over his head but mis-judges the length and instead gets a thick outside edge that flies up into the air. Anderson still has work to do at short third man and takes an excellent catch diving forward. FOW: 84/1

04:42 AM GMT

We agree Will...

Haven’t seen Hawkeye for that Jaiswal lbw, and it surely isn’t out, because he was so far down. But looks like for the second time in this match third umpire Joel Wilson has mistaken the bat brushing the pad for an inside edge.

04:42 AM GMT

OVER 17: IND 83/0 (Sharma 46 Jaiswal 37) - India need 109 runs to win

After the minefield it was yesterday, this pitch has been relatively placid so far this morning. No demons really or prodigious turn until Sharma gets one that just shoots through a touch. A reminder of the dangers that remain for India despite the nearing finish line

04:36 AM GMT

OVER 16: IND 82/0 (Sharma 45 Jaiswal 37) - India need 110 runs to win

Poor ball from Bashir allows Sharma to simply push into the off side for three. Jaiswal then sweeps hard and gets a bottom edge that runs away for four before picking up another boundary through point. The tempo has just been turned up here and England are really staring down the barrel.

04:32 AM GMT

OVER 15: IND 71/0 (Sharma 42 Jaiswal 29 ) - India need 121 runs to win

Jaiswal is tied down by Hartley but then brings out the reverse sweep to ease the pressure. There are momentary cries of catch but that’s four.

04:30 AM GMT


The third umpire says there’s an inside edge but it looks like Jaiswal clipped his pad rather than an inside edge there. A small piece of mis-fortune for England you feel.

04:28 AM GMT


England want a look at an LBW. Hartley bowling to Jaiswal.

04:26 AM GMT

OVER 14: IND 66/0 (Sharma 41 Jaiswal 25) - India need 126 runs to win

Bashir has started really well here. He’s bang on the money and should the pitch mis-behave, he’s finding the right areas to take full advantage. Sharma noticeably less aggressive against the spinner until he sweeps hard into the vacant area at deep square for four. Stokes wants his to play that shot and Sharma did just that.

04:22 AM GMT

OVER 13: IND 61/0 (Sharma 36 Jaiswal 25) - India need 131 runs to win

India avoid a running disaster as Rohit scampers to the non-striker’s end after losing track of the ball. Lucky he ran there because Jaiswal was fully committed. Words are then shared between Sharma and Anderson. You feel the pleasantries have long worn out here.

India captain Rohit Sharma bats during day four of the 4th Test Match between India and England at JSCA International Stadium Complex on February 26, 2024 in Ranchi, India
India captain Rohit Sharma bats during day four of the 4th Test Match between India and England at JSCA International Stadium Complex on February 26, 2024 in Ranchi, India

04:18 AM GMT

OVER 12: IND 56/0 (Sharma 33 Jaiswal 23) - India need 136 runs to win

There is turn for Bashir. Jaiswal goes for a hard sweep which cannons off his pad but England aren’t interested. A fine edge then runs away past slip and out towards the boundary. Anderson chases and gets there but can’t pull the ball back with enough momentum. Four for Jaiswal.

04:14 AM GMT

OVER 11: IND 52/0 (Sharma 33 Jaiswal 19) - India need 140 runs to win

Anderson is right on the money to Sharma here but the ball has behaved through nine deliveries of seam so far this morning. Sharma recognises this and goes full T20 mode, flicking Anderson over mid-wicket for six. Sensational stuff from the Indian captain.

04:10 AM GMT

OVER 10: IND 45/0 (Sharma 27 Jaiswal 18) - India need 147 runs to win

Shoaib Bashir starts from the other end coming round the wicket to the left-handed Jaiswal, who gets the score ticking with a quick single out into the off side. There is a bit of extra bounce as Sharma looks to turn one round the corner but the Indian captain’s soft hands see him pick up two.

04:06 AM GMT

OVER 9: IND 40/0 (Sharma 24 Jaiswal 16) - India need 152 runs to win

First four balls of the morning are poked back down the pitch by Sharma. No unnecessary risks needed from him this morning, get through the first phases of the day and he will know his team are nearly there. Tight first set from Anderson.

England's James Anderson with Ben Stokes during the match
England's James Anderson with Ben Stokes during the match

04:00 AM GMT

James Anderson has his cap off...

...cometh the hour.

04:00 AM GMT

Here we go

The umpires are out in Ranchi. The old ‘important first hour’ is not really applicable today. You’d say it’s a vital first ten minutes for England really.

03:51 AM GMT

'Series is on life support'

Greetings from Ranchi, where this series is on life support. Can England turn this game around and salvage a series in which they have done a fair bit right? WinViz gives them an 11% chance, and it’s hard to be much more optimistic than that.

Not for the first time in this match, Stokes’s choice to open a session where curious last night, with Joe Root and Tom Hartley sharing the new ball. I might have gone for Shoaib Bashir and Jimmy Anderson, who will surely get a go this morning. The ball was doing all sorts off the pitch yesterday, but only for India’s spinners, who are just so much more accomplished and experienced. Bashir and Hartley have done everything expected of them and more, but they are so raw.

03:48 AM GMT

Ten minutes to start of play

Coffee, tea...whatever your morning tipple is at 3.50am on a Monday morning, go and get it now.

03:43 AM GMT

Interesting point

03:37 AM GMT

Cracks are widening

In order to emphasise how this pitch is breaking up, Graeme Swann has just shown how one of the cracks is not virtually the size of his finger. There will be assistance for England but without runs on the board it may not matter.

03:34 AM GMT

Some hope for England?

Only nine times in the history of Test cricket have India chased 175 or more to win a Test match.

03:31 AM GMT

The men in the middle...

...for India this morning. A good start to the day and India will have this game wrapped up. England must remove both Sharma and Jaiswal quickly to have hope.

India's captain Rohit Sharma, left, and Yashasvi Jaiswal touch gloves as the share the crease on the third day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024
India's captain Rohit Sharma, left, and Yashasvi Jaiswal touch gloves as the share the crease on the third day of the fourth cricket test match between England and India in Ranchi, India, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024

03:19 AM GMT

If you really want to... can re-familiarise yourself with England’s chaotic performance on day three.

03:10 AM GMT

England facing oblivion

This time yesterday morning it all looked so rosy for England but after a disastrous day, Ben Stokes and his side now stand firmly on the precipice.

India resume this morning on 40/0, requiring just 152 more to wrap up the Test match and the series. How different it could have been.

England had the chance to put this game out of sight with the bat on day three but a meek performance saw them bowled out for 145 - putting them just 190 runs ahead in Ranchi.

What followed was perhaps England’s worst period with the ball of the series.

WIth a volley of loose deliveries punished by Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal, as the India openers were given a headstart in their innings rather than the tough 30 minutes at the day that Engldn were hoping for.

Should Stokes be able pull this one out the fire, it would surely rank as his finest victory as captain but early wickets will be the key. There is some demons on this pitch as England found out yesterday but young spinners Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir must get it right or England’s likely fate will soon become terminal.