There seems to have been a good deal of criticism of England, considering how well they’re doing. We’re not joining in.
While Alastair Cook could have accelerated later on, there was also something to be said for the sheer demoralising effect of batting on and on and on. If it was tough on you as a spectator, imagine being out in the field. India’s batsmen wouldn’t be at their best after that.
There are two days to go. England aren’t short of time, because despite the apparent slowness they still scored at a rate approaching four an over throughout their monster innings. They also put another 40 overs into Praveen Kumar’s legs. With the next Test starting on Thursday, that might be pretty handy. It’s a Test series, not just a Test match.
There’s also merit in being characterised as a team of heartless bastards. England teams of yore seemed to empathise with the opposition and it was a huge weakness. This team doesn’t give a toss.
If you’re about to play a Test series against a group of people who’d bat the same way even if you only had one fielder and who’d bowl the same way even if you didn’t have a bat or protection, it’s intimidating.
‘Aura’ sounds magical – we don’t like the word. Having a repuation for being cold and brutal is an attribute however and it’s on days when you emotionlessly and efficiently score 700 that you build that reputation. If time were a concern, it would be a different matter. But it wasn’t.