Live Blog: India vs England, Day 2, The Oval

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(Note to readers: we will post live match updates, analysis and expert views through the course of the fourth Test at The Oval. New updates will appear on top. Please hit the refresh button periodically)

Match Package: Scorecard | Report

Kevin Pietersen (R) celebrates his century with Ian Bell.

11:31 pm - Unbeaten Ian Bell (181*) and Kevin Pietersen (175) led England into a commanding position against India on the second day of the fourth Test at Kennington Oval. Their record stand of 350 runs rounded off a good day for England, already 3-0 up, as they pursued a whitewash in the four-match series. At stumps, England were 457 for three as mediocre India continue to labour on a flat wicket. As for Indian bowlers (by bowlers I mean RP Singh and Amit Mishra), they just got hammered. See you guys tomorrow. Goodnight.

11:16 pm - Oh dear! Kevin Pietersen has gifted his wicket to Suresh Riana here. Good catch off his own bowling. End of a stunning knock by KP - series' highest-scorer.

11:11 pm - India's best spinner at the moment, Amit Mishra has leaked 129 runs in 29 overs so far at The Oval. Are you listening Dear Selectors?

Tribhuwan my man, I have been waiting for this.

This match has been so entertaining. If you watch RP Singh's close up, he smiles everytime his bowling gets dispatched to boundry. Perhaps he will develop a stomach cramp after laughing hard, once he gets hit over the boundry. That situation has not come yet. Just waiting.....

10:49 pm - ...and there's the switch-hit I have been waiting for. Mishra to Pietersen - he turns around, gets down on one knee and whacks it as cleanly as possible through mid-wicket for four runs. Incredible!

10:43 pm - Bell and Pietersen complete 150 each as Indian bowlers continue to leak runs at The Oval. It was KPs 8th score of 150+, second this year and Bell's 4th score of 150+, also second this year.

9:51 pm - It doesn't look like a Test match anymore. Lots of ones and twos on offer and the England duo are just having fun out there. Sreesanth is trying his best to keep up the tempo but it's pretty much an one-sided affair. RP meanwhile continues to leak runs. How can you pick a bowler who is unfit, slow, hasn't played international cricket for more than two years and have Munaf Patel warming the benches? Logic fails me...

Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen asserting their Oval reputation.

9:39 pm - England 324/2, 96 overs. Bell 128*, Pietersen 110*. Anybody there?

9:07 pm - And Kevin Pietersen gets to his century straightaway. This is his 19th in Tests after a commanding unbeaten double century at Lord's.

@cricketwallah: This is getting to be an annihilation. But kudos to Bell and Pietersen on a century each and a double ton partnership...

@cricketaakash: India's done a good job by asking for another warm-up game for d tour to Aus but trust me, it isn't d answer to all the problems.

8:44 pm - Bell and Pietersen take England to 296/2 at tea on the second day of the fourth Test. 38 overs, 170 runs, 0 wicket in this session - alarm bells are ringing.

@cricketaakash: Test Match Special from Bell. No better sight than a well timed cover drive off an out-swinger. Mind you it wasn't even a half volley..brill

8: 20 pm - Yet another century for Ian Bell. This is his 16th Test hundred, first at Oval, 5th this year and he looks set for a big one here. What a player...

8:10 pm - Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone conceded that the sport will never be as popular as cricket in India. And then I wonder how England have been bossing around with India considering the fact that football is their main sport. So much for a cricket crazy nation - lost the No.1 ranking and now on the verge of being whitewashed 4-0. BTW...India will host its first Grand Prix on October 30.

7: 53 pm - That excellent morning session already feels like a history now. Bell and Pietersen are batting like there is no tomorrow. With almost 50 overs left for the day, England should pile up close to 400 or even more...

@ZaltzCricket: The annihilation continues. England cruising like a luxury ship. India bowling with the penetration of an inebriated eunuch.

@cricketwallah: Wide gulf between the teams coming thru even more starkly now. Criticism of India hwvr should not obscure England's overwhelming superiority.

7: 25 pm - The field setting for Mishra is outrageous. He is bowling with just one slip. Pietersen has happily got his dancing shoes on. Come'on big fella give us that famous switch-hit already...

7: 11 pm - Pietersen completes his 26th half-century. It's looking all too easy for England right now.

@cricketwallah: After a good first session, it's becoming same old, same old story.

6:44 pm - If Strauss and Cook won't Bell and Pietersen will. The experience duo has decided to go on the offensive. Boundaries have come rather quickly since the interval. Bell notched up his 29th half-century with back-to-back boundaries off Sreesanth. Dhoni needs to act fast here.

6:32 pm - Apparently, Virender Sehwag is off the field because he has a headache.

6:18 pm - Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell resume England innings after lunch. India will hope to maintain the pressure.

Some feedback coming in from Yahoo! readers:

Vinb: Bring back Saurav Ganguly & give him the liberty to select his own team. Dump the present shameless selectors & also impose some penalty on them & on the players who had hidden their injuries. It's also time unfit veterans to hand over the baton to the young lot. CHAK DE INDIA

Raon: Those who are not in form should stay out for the sake of cricket. I hope Srikanth will try with new captain and regroup the team those are in form in every season not for records just for few.

Diva Jcj: It is the stage to immerse new blood in the test team, without out any politics.

A quick poll for our readers as we take a 45-minute break. Do you think out selection panel needs a shake-up?

5:33 pm - England lost two wickets in the morning session to reach 126/2 at lunch on the second day of the fourth Test against India. Indian pacers have pulled their socks up - they have been spot on with their line and length. There have been no freebies at all for England today. 25 overs, 51 runs and 2 wickets - that says it all.

5:22 PM - England look to rebuild after losing Strauss and Cook early on Day 2. Pietersen is the key here...Not much of a spin on this wicket yet.

4: 45 pm - Excellent stuff from Sreesanth here. The order of the day has been bowling outside the off stump and Sreesanth - who has relly bowled today - doing just that, manage to get the outside edge of Strauss for a comfortable catch to MS Dhoni. The first hour of the day clearly belonged to India with 12 overs, 22 runs and two important wickets.

Rudra Pratap Singh, who was at the receiving end for his wayward bowling yesterday - admitted he was nervous bowling on the first day of the fourth and final Test against England.

The year 2007 is a long time back. But I've learnt a few more things like how to bring an in-swing to a left-hand batsman. I just need a good click. I wasn't surprised at my inclusion. I have been working on my fitness at home. I came here to play and was waiting for my turn, said the pacer.

Ishant Sharma celebrates the wicket of Alastair Cook.

4:05 pm - Indian pacers have bowled completely different line to yesterday morning. They have looked much sharper this morning and right on the money. Weather perhaps has a big role to play in this. The hands are out the pockets as well.

@deepakyen: Five overs gone, one run and one wicket this morning. One month into the tour, India have finally acclimatised! #EngvInd

@cricketwallah: Fine bowling by RP, Ishant and Cook snapped early wicket too. Late bloomers India?

3:40 pm - And Ishant gets rid of in-form Alastair Cook straightaway. The ball was pitched just outside off-stump which forced Cook to have a go at it - only managing a fatal edge. Virender Sehwag completed a successful catch at the first slip. First over of the day and Cook already gone, good start for India.

@cricketaakash: This wicket is far too flat for my liking...early call but draw looks imminent. Sachin's ton will brighten the proceedings :)

@VaughanCricket: Great start for India.. Cook out 5th ball..Bwld Sharma caught Sehwag... He might have to get all 10.

3:32 pm - 98 overs to be bowled today. Ishant Sharma starts the proceedings with three slips.

3:15 pm - The weather forecast for today is great. Dry and sunny. Expect England to run riot again...

3:10 pm - Persistent rain ensured only 26 of the day's scheduled 90 overs were bowled on the opening day of the fourth Test between India and England at Kennington Oval. Openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook helped England to 75 without loss after opting to bat first on a good Oval pitch.

Indian bowlers were far from impressive on Day 1 as English openers scored at ease on both sides of the wicket. RP Singh, who was making a comeback after three years, looked out-of-form and wayward. Sreesanth was also poor in his first spell, spraying down the leg side allowing England to score freely.

Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff blasts India's pre-match routines.

I've not seen much of the summer, and this morning I watched the two sides warming up. I saw India, and they looked like they had just got their kit out of the garage. They were all in different gear. England looked really professional next to them. They just looked poles apart.

England's batting coach Graham Gooch praised his team for their consistent performance.

I think, down the years, England has put together a good team, they have played well. I think the difference with this team is that its playing consistent cricket on a regular basis over the last few years, it is improving over the time, Gooch said.

This is what Yahoo! Cricket readers had to say about yesterday's play –

SimantaB: Being consistent is not always possible....the mantra is to be sincere in whatever one does...if our boys have played sincerely, which I am sure they have, one must remember that the English are also playing sincerely.....however, what saddens me is that once there is a downfall then everyone becomes an expert in the game ....what we must do is have faith in our boys and let them do what they do best....that is play cricket....and let us do what we can it must not forget to give what is due to the English...they are playing superbly at present.....

gunasekar: For all the followers of cricket in India, it's a most crunch time, India can't able to think of winning this test, may they can draw the match with help of rain and some clever batting atleast in one innings. England playing like professional team, i thought R.p .Singh made a difference in his comeback. but no one. Once again India playing for time, not with any aggression. so sorry guys, you can't be no.1 again in test status. very hard to say this, but that's the reality. Hope Many changes will come in Indian cricket once they come back to India

Hai Frndz: Team India is still better than English Team n No 1 in not only in Test also in ODIs.Its only just a matter of busy schedule n tired body as well as mind also.Let play them freely.We r too much emotional about cricket.We should b proud of what the team present us be4 some months ego. All should hope for the best. Definitely this team will take the no.1 position again.All the best Team India. n I Love my Team above all.

Day 1 - Blog / Match Report / Pictures