England 332 and 114 for 2 (Cook 46 *, Root 29 *) lead India 292 (Jadeja 86 *, Vihari 56, Moeen 2-50, Anderson 2-54, Stokes 2 -56) for 154 races

Alastair Cook has a lovely smile. There is a kind of mischief, as if he knew something you do not know and is very pleased with himself for that. He flashed one after he completely measured the final ball before tea at The Oval and left. England finished the day 154 races ahead. More importantly, if it was just for this Test, I was not 46 years old.

Playing his 291th and last inning, he had skipped the mark with a characteristic punch of the pads and the crowd stood up once more. A good part of them had gone down the stairs that led to England's locker room after India had been defeated by 292 in their first inning, thanks to the unbeaten 86 of Ravindra Jadeja.

The cameras were outside. Goosebumps were visible. And the applause sounded. A wave of that, rising more and more and bathing the former captain of England with an energy that only a live performer can understand. Is magic. Truly. And if you are skeptical, see the three installments that preceded Cook and that dull Shami to end the session. Inclined, angled and moving away, they demanded a shot from the batter. They deserved an advantage every time. But it did not happen.

It could not happen. Not today. Do not cook.

So Shami smiled too and settled for the shutter of Keaton Jennings, he did not play a shot. The opener series ends with seven of his nine innings producing less than 25, and while there are real problems, he has been discarded by leaving the ball twice in two events, so many of them must be in the mind, it is also It's important to keep in mind that you have been dealing with some extremely good bowlers. They are accurate And unlike before, there are very few opportunities for easy races. In fact, two of the 10 best economy rates in India since the turn of the century, while traveling, arrived in 2018.

They could afford to concentrate all their attention on collecting land thanks to their own efforts during a queue – finish the fight. England started the day with a lead of 158, but Jadeja reduced that number to just 40 and was very pleased to do so. When he reached his half century, he dusted off his bat – it had been a while since he played international cricket – and turned it like a sword. England must be uncomfortably used to that celebration at this time. After all, it was presented for the first time about 10 miles from The Oval, back in 2014.

Jadeja's tickets were thrilling per minute, in a match situation where he and his team had a lot to gain and nothing to lose . Here, they had to show fight, and an aptitude for the defense, with the Test against them. And he was more than willing to do it. The man faced 133 deliveries, 83 of them were left alone or fell harmlessly at his feet.

But, as will be the custom with a player of his charisma, Bharat's army sang "oooh Raavi Jadeeeeeja" the moment he went to the middle – it is the attack blows that stand out. The six hit directly on the head of James Anderson or cut Moeen Ali, when he read the length so early and moved to his position so fast. There was also a wonderful moment when I was at the end of the non-strikers and Jasprit Bumrah kept out a flood of insolvent Stuart Broad. Jadeja raised his bat and hit with his fist, appreciating the determination of his teammate. The last Indian wicket added 32 runs of 55 balls. No. 11 only faced 14 of them and got 0.

Jadeja is now more comfortable as a hitter. He has more confidence in his technique, which allows him to spend more time in the fold, which in turn means that he is giving himself the best opportunity to score runs. The debutante Hanuma Vihari discovered him in the morning. He started allowing the ball to approach him, letting it spin before committing to a shot, and he looked very far away from the batter who had originally made his way down the middle and dropped quickly on his front foot to get caught in the lead. for 0. But referee Joel Wilson and England offered him a life preserver. He took maximum advantage to score a 56 of 124 balls.

However, there was an unpleasant moment for India: Captain Virat Kohli burned both critics 12 times and may even regret his despair while England continues to build. 19659003] It's been hard work for hitters in these five tests. There were 53 sessions, only four of them have been without a ticket. In the second possibility here, England did not have control of 20 of the first 54 balls they faced. The odds are high and the expectation is palpable. After 161 tests, Cook has the whole of England waiting with restrained breathing. There could not be a better time for the 33rd century.


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