25th over: India 112-2 (Kohli 44, KL Rahul 36) Halfway there. Moeen likewise, 0/21 from his five overs. Part of why I quite like 50-over cricket is that there is enough time in the game to deploy very different tactics. England and India are the best two teams in the world but adopt such a different approach to batting first.
24th over: India 108-2 (Kohli 42, KL Rahul 34) There reaches a point in a build like this where, even though the run rate is in check, the fielding team find themselves under the pump knowing what can come after the base is properly laid. England are nearing that point.
23rd over: India 103-2 (Kohli 39, KL Rahul 32) Just 26 runs from the last five overs of spin – four here off Moeen – but it’s the Kohli chance that defines this period of play. As Jarrod Kimber notes here, middle-overs wickets against India are so valuable as they build.
22nd over: India 99-2 (Kohli 36, KL Rahul 31) KOHLI DROPPED! By the captain! Rashid found the outside edge with a bit of turn but Buttler’s gloves were nowhere near it. That’s going to really sting.
21st over: India 94-2 (Kohli 33, KL Rahul 29) Rahul toughed out a scrappy period early and it’s paying off now, timing Moeen through square leg for two to begin. With two spinners on, Kohli has ditched his helmet and is straight down the track, taking one to long-on.
20th over: India 90-2 (Kohli 32, KL Rahul 26) Adil Rashid’s turn for the first time today, with a slip in position from the get-go at Rahul. But the Indian No4 is up to the task, driving on the up between cover and mid-off. That’s the shot of the day so far. Three singles down the ground to close out the over. Dinesh Karthik, who has been a revelation on Sky Cricket during the white-ball games, says the plan here is simple: get to 150 by the 30 over mark then let rip. “Just play to the template. They are very comfortable accelerating.”
“G’day Adam.” Morning to you, Yaz K. “When did Nadal start bowling? Come on England, lets stifle them and get their captain out.”
I wonder how many of the headbands will remain when Covid bubbles are no longer and they can get their hair cut again?
19th over: India 83-2 (Kohli 31, KL Rahul 20) Six singles off Moeen, picking out the sweepers one after another. No real urgency.
18th over: India 77-2 (Kohli 28, KL Rahul 17) The Curran brothers have taken 1/35 from ten overs in this innings so far, just two risk-free singles here. “You know who is in the touring party by who is added and taken off the WhatsApp group,” Broad says of staying on top of squad movements this winter. I like him on TV – gives plenty.
17th over: India 75-2 (Kohli 27, KL Rahul 16) Moeen into the attack and starts well, just three singles in front of square. Interesting conversation on Sky, Ian Ward asking Stuart Broad if there was fear in the group after Moeen tested positive with Covid. “To be honest, there was.” Of course, they had flown to Sri Lanka together before the diagnosis. It’s too easy to overlook what these cricketers have risked by darting around the world to tour during the pandemic.
I remember reading once that Ian Harvey’s back-of-the-hand slower ball could achieve peace in the middle east. So, why not, Rishabh?
16th over: India 72-2 (Kohli 26, KL Rahul 14) Rahul is better off the back foot, pulling two from Tom Curran. Kohli then takes a couple himself, worked behind square – nice running. They go to drinks.