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.
Paul Farbrace, the England assistant coach, is confident Alastair Cook will base his upcoming decision over the Test captaincy on what is best for the team but expects him still to be in charge for next winter’s Ashes series.
BT Sport has announced the addition of Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen to their punditry team for the Australia v South Africa Test series next month. The two former England Test captains are joined by Graeme Swann, the former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, the BBC commentator Alison Mitchell and Radio 1’s Greg James as the anchor.
HITC Sport writer Rana Malook caught up with West Indies cricketer Chris Gayle at the launch of his academy in London.
A round up of the latest news stories from across the world of sport.
Former England captain Mike Gatting has been speaking to HITC Sport about moulding a James Anderson and finding the stars of tomorrow.
Alastair Cook has described the series defeat in India – one that was completed with a Test to spare by a crushing loss in Mumbai – as the type of result that “naturally” leads him to question his future as England captain but he will not be making any decisions until the new year.
England are bad at endings. The last Englishman to win his final series as captain was Keith Fletcher, who led his side to victory over Sri Lanka in a one‑off Test in Colombo and was promptly sacked by Peter May.
The man in the Hampshire tie in the Robin Smith Bar had a quizzical air about him. “The thing is,” he confided in subdued tones, as if addressing his physician, “I have never seen Ben Stokes bat. So I want to see him do well, but not too well, if you get my drift.”
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.