England lose four wickets chasing world record target of 521
India edged closer to victory at Trent Bridge.
England lost four wickets before lunch on day four of the third Test against India as their hopes of a new world record run chase were effectively ended.
The hosts must score an unprecedented 521 in their second innings if they are to win the match at Trent Bridge and clinch the series.
They managed to take 84 off that total by the end of Tuesday’s opening session but it came at significant cost as Keaton Jennings was out in the opening over before Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Ollie Pope were also dismissed.
The record fourth innings score to win a Test is 418, by the West Indies against Australia in 2003.
England lost all 10 wickets in a single session in the first innings, collapsing from 54 without loss to 161 all out.
After resuming on 23 without loss after nine overs, they suffered an almost instant blow when Jennings was caught behind off the fifth ball of a cloudy morning.
Ishant Sharma’s angle from round the wicket and natural movement away from the left-hander is a potent weapon, and it was too much for Jennings.
Captain Root was therefore in the thick of it very early at 27 for one, with a huge task on his hands alongside Cook.
In Ishant’s next over, England lost Cook.
There was an element of action replay about his departure, although – unlike Jennings – his thicker edge went instead to second slip.
KL Rahul was safe there again, as he has been all match – and with England needing resilience at 32 for two, out strode Pope.
In only his second Test, Pope was off the mark first ball with an off-driven four off Ishant.
Root had significantly more trouble getting started, and there were a series of plays and misses at Jasprit Bumrah.
By mid-session, the third wicket pair had taken England to 62 without serious further alarm. But both were to go, though, in successive overs without addition.
England had been stuck on 62 for 14 deliveries when Root fenced an edge to second slip off Bumrah, Rahul holding his fifth catch of the match away to his right.
Then Pope went after an expansive drive at Mohammed Shami but instead edged high to third slip, where Virat Kohli dived across Rahul for a memorable catch.
Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes were therefore plunged into the crisis without a run between them, with England perhaps already effectively five down if they decide not to risk Jonny Bairstow – who suffered a fractured finger on Monday – in hopeless circumstances.
Buttler made an unbeaten 19 before lunch, including four fours, while Stokes added three off 29 balls.