Preamble: high-class drama
Amble? Amble? There’s no ambling round here. As September arrives, we don’t have to wait for Sunday night to enjoy a gripping drama. After three and a half episodes, England-India 2018 is shaping up as one of the all-time great series, as tense as Bodyguard and as elegant as Vanity Fair.
This match has been the Platonic ideal of ebb and flow: India right on top at first, Sam Curran dragging England to respectability, Virat Kohli in command at 142-2, India capitulating to Moeen Ali, and then Cheteshwar Pujara showing the rest how to play Test creekit. We’ve had ten wickets each day and the contest is about as even as even can be. England are 21 runs behind but batting third, which is usually easier than going last, and should be all the more so on a drying, pockmarked pitch. But then anything Moeen can do, R Ashwin may well be able to do better.
From here on, the fourth Test just needs to maintain its fabulous balance while making sure it ends in a one-wicket win for India. An epic like this has to stand at 2-2, not 3-1, as its finale looms. Join us at 11am for the next instalment.
Updated at 10.30am BST