Tom Hartley gets his first Test wicket! It’s another tame dismisal for Shubman Gill, who drags a half-volley straight to midwicket. England needed a wicket; Hartley really needed one.
34th over: India 158-2 (Gill 23, Rahul 25) Leach is by far the most accurate of England’s four spinners, and England need a nice clean pitch map from him now. His second over is good, just a single from it.
The ball hasn’t turned much this morning. Sunil Gavaskar thinks it might be the effect of the roller, which should wear off as the day progresses.
33rd over: India 157-2 (Gill 23, Rahul 24) Hartley continues, so Root takes a break after a good spell of 4-0-14-1. Gill continues to play one immaculate forward defensive after another; he has 23 from 63 balls, Rahul 24 from 36. There’s more than one way to feed yourself.
32nd over: India 156-2 (Gill 23, Rahul 23) Jack Leach comes into the attack, but it’s in place of JR rather than Hartley. Maybe Root will change ends.
Leach’s second ball is a full toss that Gill flicks easily for four. England’s promising start feels like a thing of the past: since Stokes lost sight of that chance to dismiss Gill there have been 24 runs from four overs.
31st over: India 149-2 (Gill 18, Rahul 21) Hartley has bowled some good deliveries – as I type he skids one past Rahul’s attempted cut – but there has been no consistency of line and length. His figures is are 13-0-78-0, which is exactly a run a ball.
30th over: India 145-2 (Gill 16, Rahul 19) KL Rahul has started positively. Root drifts onto leg stump and is swept firmly past short fine leg for four. That aside it’s another good over; Root has bowled well.
It’s time to get Jack Leach on for Tom Hartley I think. You can understand Stokes wanting to support Hartley as much as possible, but this is such a key period in the game.
29th over: India 141-2 (Gill 16, Rahul 15) Rahul drives Hartley for successive boundaries through mid-on. Beautiful shots, but both deliveries were too full and too straight.
England have already missed chances to dismiss Gill and Rahul. The commentators all agree that Stokes must have lost that ball in the sun.
28th over: India 132-2 (Gill 16, Rahul 6) Rahul comes down the track, but Root sees him coming and spears it down the leg side. Rahul twists his bat desperately and gets a leading edge that drops short of Root.
Hang on, what happened there? Gill charges Root and launches a mishit into orbit, but Stokes at mid-on loses sight of the ball! Had he picked it up it would hve been a simple catch. I’m not sure I’ve seen that before, not in good light anyway.
27th over: India 127-2 (Gill 14, Rahul 3) It’s easy to forget, given their enormous ability, that Gill and Rahul are both under a bit of pressure. Their Test averages are unfathomably low, and Gill hasn’t passed 40 in his last nine innings. He is playing very carefully, which at least, from an England perspective, is allowing Hartley to settle into a rhythm. His figures today at 2-0-2-0.
Play has also resumed in Brisbane, where West Indies are 273 for eight against Australia. You can follow that with Martin Pegan.
26th over: India 126-2 (Gill 14, Rahul 2) Bairstow, lurking just off the cut strip at silly mid-on, fields a drive from Rahul and flings the ball to Foakes in the same movement. England have made an aggressive start.
25th over: India 125-2 (Gill 14, Rahul 1) Tom Hartley gets a vote of confidence from Ben Stokes. There are two right-handers now, and no Jaiswal, so he will hope to settle into the innings. It’s a good start, with just a single to Rahul off the last ball. Never mind a first Test wicket; Hartley’s still striving for his first Test maiden.
Oh my, Foakes did drop KL Rahul. It was a sharp chance by his right bicep, but he’s in the team to take those. “By Ben Foakes’ standards,” says Dinesh Karthik on commentary, “that’s a pretty easy catch.”
24th over: India 124-2 (Gill 14, Rahul 0) KL Rahul has moved to No4 in the absence of Virat Kohli. He’s a marvellous player, whose Test average of 33 is a minor scandal.
Root starts around the wicket and zips his second ball past the edge. Was that a dropped catch? There was a noise, and Foakes fumbled the ball, but we haven’t seen UltraEdge yet.
KP knows of what he speaks
Joe Root strikes fourth ball! Jaiswal had already dragged him over mid-on for four, but it wasn’t the cleanest strike. He tried to go down the ground again and scuffed the ball back to Root, who leapt to take a very smart two-handed catch.
Joe Root, who was surprisingly unused yesterday, will open the bowling to Yashasvi Jaiswal.
The players are almost ready to go. India are in a huddle, with Rohit Sharma delivering the message. It’s
the biggest session of the series so far an important morning; England probably need at least three wickets before lunch.
Tom Hartley made his debut, and it says something about the 24-year-old’s current standing that if you type his name into Google – at least in the UK – the top result is a luxury car dealership in Derbyshire.
Bazball Masterclass: Taking the Positives
Read Ali Martin’s day one report
Morning one, morning all. Reality has a healthy set of molars, doesn’t it? We all know how hard India away would be, yet it still bit hard when they got stuck into Tom Hartley yesterday evening. India will resume on 119 for one, a deficit of 127 on a pitch that is day two in name, day four in nature.
With these players on this surfacee, anything is possible on this surface: an England fightback, a two-day Test, a Yashasvi Jaiswal double-hundred. The only thing we know for sure is that the game will move pretty fast.