It was Pakistan who opted for a lap of honour at The Oval at the conclusion of one of the better series of recent times.
England’s resistance was shortlived on the penultimate day of the fourth Test as Pakistan cut through their middle and lower order before knocking off the token total of 40 required to win by 10 wickets. The result at the Kia Oval means the four-match series ends drawn at 2-2.
Moeen Ali revealed that the embarrassment that followed his dismissal to Yasir Shah in the first Test at Lord’s was the catalyst for his current purple patch with the bat, culminating in the almighty six off the Pakistan leg-spinner that brought up his third Test hundred.
Alastair Cook was wide awake at 2am mulling over his one selection dilemma for the third Test with Pakistan at Edgbaston but after plumping for Steven Finn ahead of Jake Ball, the England captain’s message to his fast bowler is to not overthink.
Test Match 3: Beyond the Traffordome. This time it's personnel.
It is possible to demonstrate what a phenomenon Joe Root has become by churning out the figures (and we’ll have a go at that later on). But there is another way, which is to use our eyes.
Alastair Cook had his decision not to enforce the follow-on during a stop-start third day at Old Trafford questioned by three of his predecessors as England captain but the assistant coach, Paul Farbrace, believes the home team will back it up with victory.
It was much to the amusement of his press-box colleagues that not so very long ago, John Woodcock, the eminent former cricket correspondent of The Times, began a piece with the words: “As recently as 1936 …”
A tired but satisfied Joe Root revealed some words from England’s bowling coach, Ottis Gibson, on the first day at Old Trafford were the inspiration behind the highest and longest of his 10 Test hundreds.
It is mid-afternoon on the south coast. For the first time, the brooding clouds that have covered the south coast have dispersed and the sun has broken through, glinting on the ear stud of the strapping young pace bowler striding up the hill from the sea end.
England’s cricket teams are set for a change of kit supplier, with the American sportswear company New Balance poised to take over from Adidas in a five-year agreement.
The England captain, Alastair Cook, has joined his Australian counterpart Steve Smith in rejecting the idea of Test matches in future Ashes series being played under floodlights.
Marc Wilmots has been sacked as Belgium head coach following the national team’s poor showing at Euro 2016.
Joe Root has long accepted the expectation that comes with being England’s top batsman and, after his opening day hundred against India, hoped a message has been sent to his team-mates that they too can thrive in this Test series.
Roy Hodgson may have offended San Marino, but he's on to something about the England cricket team!
Steve Evans expects Liam Bridcutt so sign a loan extension at Leeds on Monday.
Alastair Cook says he would like nothing more than to wipe off the 36 runs he needs to become the first Englishman past 10,000 in Test cricket, if only to get people talking about something different.
It would be fair to say that Steve Eskinazi has enjoyed an eventful start to his first class career. Last September, he made his debut for Middlesex against Yorkshire at Lord’s, batted at five and found himself walking to the crease at the end of the first over of the match as Ryan Sidebottom disposed of Paul Stirling, Nick Compton and Dawid Malan.
There is a mountain for England to climb whatever the formbook might say. Recent history suggests they have a better chance of winning here than anywhere else in India since they have been victorious in their past two Tests at the Wankhede Stadium.
Alastair Cook has soaked up some tough days during his record 57 Tests as England captain but Monday in Mohali – which ended with him out for 12, his opening partner unable to bat, his side four down and 56 runs adrift with hopes of a series win close to blown – was quite some challenge to his fortitude.
Stuart Broad will wear a protective boot on his injured right foot once the fifth day in Visakhapatnam has been completed and while the third Test in Mohali starting on Saturday may come too soon for the fast bowler, he remains confident of returning to full fitness and seeing out the remainder of the five-match series.