Good evening, Mr Kohli?

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Before tea, Che Pujara and Virat Kohli, neither of whom had looked too troubled, started to hit a few more fours. It felt predictable and seemed to foreshadow a long evening session for England.

After tea, Pujara – perhaps concerned that he might partially obscure Kohli’s halo – needlessly looped one in Chris Woakes’ general direction. This precipitated change.

Some guy who sort of looks like Ajinkya Rahane briefly continued his attempt to pass himself off as the batsman, before Kohli did Karun Nair with a magnificent piece of absent-minded ambling. The captain drew his partner 15 yards down the pitch for what appeared as if it was going to be a single before lethally withdrawing the offer. The debutant had an excellent view of Jos Buttler’s throw shattering the stumps.

Kohli quite likes everything going horribly wrong because it gives him an opportunity to look serious and deliver something more memorable. Unfortunately, a little while afterwards he for some reason momentarily imagined he was in England and feathered a seamer to the keeper. The bowler, Ben Stokes, made a hand-over-mouth mime happen in reference to yesterday’s reprimand for being a gobby get.

After that, everything went back to normal and everyone put the previous passage of play down to a brief invasion by a parallel dimension.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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    1. Steady on, I have some questions first.

      Who’s the US president in this dimension?
      What’s the UK’s European status in this dimension?
      How many Tests did Rob Key play in this dimension?

      1. I checked this by connecting into the dimension in question via my 56kbps modem ..
        1. Mark Zuckerberg … apparently in every one of the multiverses, the current US president is a billionnaire associated with walls.
        2. ” It’s complicated ”
        3. None. He did play 57 football games for England in a career marred by alcoholism though.

  1. Fascinatingly set up for a telling first hour tomorrow. If England can keep the India lead modest, that “bat last” factor might tell in the end.

    But if England concede a significant lead, then there will be severe scoreboard pressure for too long second dig. Then I think it likely that England will succumb to the pressure, leaving the bowlers far too much to do/far too few runs to play with.

    1. There’s a first hour to days of this match?

      We thought each day’s play started with the third hour, after lunch.

    2. What would be a ‘significant lead’ that will still keep this match alive? 50 runs? 100? (Anything beyond 150 that will kill the match in favour of India imo).

    3. To answer your specific question, Aditya, I think England could easily cope with a deficit of 133 or fewer runs.

      In that instance, England would sensibly overcome the deficit, build a substantial lead and quite possibly push for a win, but at the very least a draw.

      I see a deficit of 134 as the tipping point. In that instance, England would capitulate and collapse in a heap, allowing India to snatch a big win despite having lost the toss on a bat first pitch.

      I do hope that answers your question fully.

  2. I’m sitting in a Domino’s (please let this slide – more horror to come). Apparently there’s a new launch – Choco Pizza. Why don’t people realize that the fact that two foods taste good in isolation is no reason to combine them? This has ruined the good mood a well set up test match had given me.

    1. See also, almost every pizza topping going. That is an extraordinarily good/bad/extreme example though.

  3. At last we see “The Giant Yadav” batting with the other Yadav.

    In these circumstances, I wonder whether Jayant calls Umesh “Mini Me”?

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