AR Hemant

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Somewhat of a contrarion.

Live Blog: England vs India, Day 4, Lord’s

(Note to readers: We will post live match updates, analysis and expert views through the course of the Lord's Test match. New updates will appear on top. Please hit the refresh button periodically.)

Question for readers: Can India save this match?

Dravid drives as India chase 458 to win. Dravid drives as India chase 458 to win.

Dravid drives as India chase 458 to win.

11.35 pm - A day of fluctuating fortunes. When England were 62-5 after Ishant's breathtaking spell, any result was possible. But Prior's brilliant hundred and his partnership with Broad has steered England to safety. Can't say that for India, who will have to bat for their lives on the final day tomorrow.

England haven't been able to trouble Laxman and Dravid the least bit. But things can change quickly. Two quick wickets, and who knows what pressure will do to India's middle order?

Thanks for your comments today. Please join us again tomorrow.

Match Links: Action In Images | Scores

Anonymous recalls the 1979 Oval Test where Gavaskar led an astonishing chase for 438.

In a same like this Sunil Gavaskar almost took India to victory in 1979. He scrored a brilliant 221 out of India's 421 for 8 chasing a mammoth 429 to win. Does anyone in this fabulous Indian line-up have guts like him?

Pramod says:

There is some sort of hope from Dravid to play a magical inning and save the indian team.

Meanwhile, news from the Indian dressing room is that Gambhir has only suffered a bruise. No bones broken.

Prior celebrates his hundred on Day 4. Prior celebrates his hundred on Day 4.

Prior celebrates his hundred on Day 4.

9.45 pm - India's fightback was too good to last. Prior came in at 62-5 and produced the best possible innings in that situation. England's progress got quicker every hour. 67 runs in the morning session; 101 in the noon and now 95 in just 12 overs in the evening.

India need 458 to win. Nobody has made more than 344 to win at Lord's. There's no Sehwag; Gambhir's injured and has gone for an X-ray, and Sachin has been unwell. It means Dravid will have to open with Mukund.

The only thing India can do from here is on to bat positively. The wicket is still terrific for batting.

A reader says:

There is no way India can win this...they are already really behind. India really NEEDS to step up their game and start fighting back. They cannot keep playing like this and keep giving England useless runs. Indias fielding isn't that great either, none of them want to make an effort to run for the ball. WHAT IS THIS INDIA? You will highly disappoint your fans if you can't bring your game out in the next games and bring a score that will show England you are the #1 team. Please India show us what you've got and win this series with a bang and surprise everyone!

8.41 pm - Seen the photos of the week yet?

8 pm - India are down to eight men now. Gambhir has taken a hard, painful knock from Matt Prior on his right elbow fielding at short leg. There's a huge swelling. At best, it's a bruise. At worst, a fracture.

Dhoni has missed a sharp catch off Broad's bat. Harbhajan was the bowler. England lead by 350 and have put this game past India now.

England made 67-5 in the first session, 101-1 in the second. And the reason they could do was the positive batting of Broad and Prior. Remember that Broad came into this game after an injury layoff. He was struggling to bat or bowl, and now he's produced an innings that has fortified England's position.

Meanwhile, here are the day's pictures.

Ishant bowls on Day 4 at Lord's.Ishant bowls on Day 4 at Lord's.

Ishant bowls on Day 4 at Lord's.

In a losing battle, the only thing you can save is your pride.

India are down to nine men today. Zaheer is injured. Tendulkar has viral infection. Dhoni has had only three bowlers since Day 1. Yet, in the middle of Day 4, despite England's massive lead, India still hold an outside chance. Who would have thought this was even possible?

It's not extra-ordinary talent that makes a great team. At most times, it's just plain old resilience. That is what India have shown today, in reducing England to 72-5.

Think of all the times good teams have been in the dump, yet redeemed themselves by trying their hearts out. The first instance coming to mind is the Kandy Test of 1999 where Australia were down to nine men when Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie suffered horrific on-field injuries.

Shane Warne took over, and even with only 95 runs to defend, he made Sri Lanka sweat till the end.

While many grudge India their current standing in Test cricket, they can't deny the fact that this team has shown plenty of resilience to get where they.

Think Mohali, where Laxman and Ishant hung on. Harbhajan's hundred against New Zealand when all was lost. Or Tendulkar batting out of his skin in Cape Town.

Winning in Jamaica despite being 85-6 on the first Day. Or Ishant's spell today.

The common thread connecting these events is resilience, the refusal to go away quietly, holding on to whatever they are left with. This clearly separates this Indian team from its predecessors.

As Valerie says in V For Vendetta: "An inch. It's small and it's fragile and it's the only thing in the world worth having. We must never lose it, or sell it, or give it away. We must never let them take it from us."

Ishant gets Pietersen. Ishant gets Pietersen.

Ishant gets Pietersen.

5.16 pm - Ishant is on fire, watch out for that in-swinger!

Trott's off-stump has been knocked back by one which jagged in a long way. Why was this ball special? It pitched against the slope and still cut in. Nasser Hussain says that ball would have got out a lot of great batsmen. We'll take his word on that.

Prior's in. The cover area has been left out. India want him to get on the front foot and drive that in-swinging ball.

England 72-5 at lunch, with a lead of 260. Game on. Or is a draw the most likely outcome?

Indian says:

During the discussion on the first day before the match started Waseem Akram had said that Ishant should pitch the ball up. Ishant by pitching the ball up today got three wickets for 12 runs i 12 overs.

5 pm - Things have changed in a matter of minutes. Harbhajan got Strauss LBW sweeping, after Dhoni built some pressure up with close catchers. And Ishant followed that up with two wickets in an over. First, it was a short ball to Pietersen, who was getting comfortable on his front foot. The nasty lifter caught Pietersen by surprise and touched his glove on its way to Dhoni. Three probing balls later, Bell edged one behind giving Dhoni his sixth catch of the match.

England 55-4. India are crawling back.

4.20 pm - Dhoni has thrown in the towel.

Despite Praveen getting Cook with the perfect out-swinger pitched on off-stump, there are boundary riders protecting both sides of the wicket. Dhoni has one more thing to worry about. India's over-rate has been around 13 and unless he pulls it up quickly, he is certain to be banned for a Test.

Except the hour when Tendulkar and Dravid lit up Lord's with some free-flowing strokeplay, India's tactics in this match have been predominantly defensive. In the seaming conditions on the first morning, India's pacers didn't attack England enough. They enjoyed batting to spread-out fields on the second day. And once their top-order got out cheaply, all Dravid could do was help India avoid following on.

Tendulkar is off the field due to a viral infection. If these tactics continue, the only point of interest is when England will declare.

Rahul DravidRahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid

A question popped up in my head after yesterday's play. Who has the most Test runs since Rahul Dravid's Test debut?

A quick stat check revealed what I had suspected.

Since his Test debut on June 20, 1996, nobody has more Test runs than Dravid. Not even Tendulkar.

Most Test runs since June 20, 1996, Dravid's debut. Most Test runs since June 20, 1996, Dravid's debut.

Most Test runs since June 20, 1996, Dravid's debut.

You could readjust this table to December 8, 1995, the day Ponting made his Test debut against Sri Lanka. Amazingly, it still makes no difference.

Dravid tops the list despite a prolonged lean spell since 2007.

Most Test runs since December 8, 1995, Ponting's debut. Most Test runs since December 8, 1995, Ponting's debut.

Most Test runs since December 8, 1995, Ponting's debut.

Needless to say, this is a blinkered view of things. Tendulkar, with his 14,726 runs is miles ahead of Dravid, who overtook Ponting last night.

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