Join us for updates, analysis and colour from the fourth day of the second Test
Welcome to day four of our live report of the second India-England Test from Chennai. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here
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10.05am: Finding a way
England’s two best batsmen, the only members of the top six with previous experience in India, are currently trying to save a bit of face for their side. Root has started to find his range with the sweep again, while Stokes is trying to work out how best to manage the threat of Ashwin into the rough outside his off stump.
Before the start of play, England’s batting consultant on this tour and a man who was adept at finding his way whatever the conditions, Jonathan Trott, spoke to the host broadcaster.
“It’s up to each individual player. They’ll all have worked hard on their options against spin. There are good seamers as well in the India side. They’ve got to work as a pair, rotate the strike, picking up length quickly, move feet and back options. [Method for defence] depends on their contact points. Whether that’s using their feet or getting right back on their stumps. We’ve seen how people who have scored runs have gone about it.
[Toughest conditions for England to face?] “I think so. This wicket is a bit tricky; the last wicket was a bit tricky as well and we scored runs on it. The guys will be confident.”
9.52am: Ashwin strikes first ball!
All sorts going on here… Dan Lawrence is the man to depart, done by Ashwin for the second time in the match, and it’s thanks to another fine bit of glovework in this Test. Rishabh Pant’s wicketkeeping has largely been patronised, given it’s his ability with the bat that has got him in the side, but this was a fantastic bit of work, taking the ball down the leg side after Lawrence had been nutmegged on the charge, and then stretching to break the bails as his feet went from under him. Lawrence leapt for his ground but couldn’t get back, and heads off disappointed once again: that might be his last on-field act of the tour. India one seventh of the way there, as Stokes walks out into Ashwin’s crosshairs.
9.40am: Ax-ing questions
Virat Kohli has started off with Mohammed Siraj, who’s had an eventful Test despite initial speculation that he was going to get a “Thanks for coming” in the manner of Adil Rashid at Lord’s in 2018, and Axar Patel this morning, keeping the Chepauk crowd waiting in their hopes for more Ashwin heroics. You can bet he’ll be on once Ben Stokes walks in… and with Patel starting right on the money to Root, who knows, that might be fairly soon.
9.15am: Finish them
Is Ashwin a better allrounder than Stokes?
Hello and welcome to the last knockings. India have dominated proceedings in the Chennai rematch and after three days stand on the verge of a series-levelling victory – in Mortal Kombat fashion, it’s time to finish their opponent off. Can England produce a show of character in the teeth of certain defeat? Has Joe Root got parting shot innings in him? Will R Ashwin get four more wickets to walk off the pitch and into a very special club? We will find out soon enough.
Alan Gardner is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick