Morgan ton, Cook still there, at last some wickets
Tea: Third Test, day three, Edgbaston
Match score: India 224 (MS Dhoni 77; SCJ Broad 4-53, TT Bresnan 4-62); England 646-6 (AN Cook 266*, TT Bresnan 19*, EO Morgan 104, AJ Strauss 87, KP Pietersen 63) Full scorecard
Session score: England 143-3. England lead by 422 runs with four wickets in hand. England win session
It’s the sort of day the statisticians love. Alastair Cook continues. He marches up the highest-scores by an Englishman – passing Geoff Boycott’s 246 against India on the way. He’s now ninth. This is his highest Test score, his highest first-class score, the most amount of balls he’s faced in a Test innings by quite some margin (518), the third longest innings in minutes by an Englishman.
Cook is no game changer, although he has won this match. A game-changing innings is one that alters the direction of the match – a Z-bend. Cook is a cross-country railway line; he remorselessly ploughs in one direction, unperturbed by the beautiful scenery, the tunnels, the viaducts, the suburbs and the stations he passes. It’s all the same. Nudge to midwicket, take one.
Eoin Morgan is a game-changing player, not that he did it here. He chugged alongside Cook to his second Test hundred with calm singles and little aggression. The gentle nature of his celebration summed up both the mood of the innings and the challenge he’d faced.
It was a vast, dozy partnership of 222. After 40 overs in the day, there had been four boundaries hit, two of them in the first two overs. It’s not that the run-rate was poor – healthily over three – it’s just the process was not dynamic.
The only talking point, apart from the relentless prods to square leg for one, was a brief interruption in play (16 minutes) for bad light. Power-cuts in the new stand had rendered the floodlights unusable but a change of fuse here and and on-off switch there sorted it. And they should never have gone off in the first place.
Finally, Morgan drove to Virender Sehwag at short extra cover and life became more interesting. Poor Ravi Bopara inevitably failed – he had nothing to gain, really – lbw to one that went straight on from Mishra. Prior fell to the same bowler, top-edging a sweep to a tumbling Tendulkar at fine leg.
Tim Bresnan joined Cook and started a no-nonsense innings with a hefty hit over long on off Mishra and has made 19 in a partnership of 33.
When will England end India’s torture and do they care about Cook’s landmarks? Next session may produce answers.
Edward Craig is the deputy editor of The Cricketer magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Cricketer_Ed