Alastair Cook's typical effort of unbeaten 46 in his final test entries before the international withdrawal left England in a strong position in the fifth Test against India in the Oval on Sunday. England went 114 for two in their second shot on stumps on the third day, a 154-race lead, having won this five-game series with a 3-1 record. Now Cook, England's top scorer and captain Joe Root (29 not out), his successor as captain, will seek to amass the agony of India when they resume their uninterrupted third-pitch partnership of 52 on Monday. The Indian Ravindra Jadeja continued with an excellent return to the Test Cricket to star in both the bat and the ball. (LIVE SCANNER)
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Live updates between India vs England, 5th Test, Day 4, directly from The Oval, London
Jadeja, playing his first test of the series after being called in place of the injured Ravinhandran Ashwin, added to his selection of four first-inning fields by scoring highest with 86 not in a total of India's first innings of 292. England , who led by 40 races in the first possibility, has struggled for a long time to find an opening mate for Cook, with 12 batters given a chance at work since Andrew Strauss retired six years ago. And before his coming from Sri Lanka, England may now be looking for two starting pitchers instead of one after Keaton Jennings completed a miserable series by playing 10 moves without a shot to Mohammed Shami on Sunday.
It was the second time in so many Tests that Jennings had been fired leaving the ball and it meant he finished the series with only 163 runs with a minimum average of 18. A carefree Cook, who has already batted for more than three hours in this possibility, came out 26 balls without scoring, but took advantage of a ball thrown too much to push Shami on the floor for four. Moeen Ali, batting in number three, another of England's problematic positions, failed to demonstrate a similar patience.
The third member of all three of the best left-handers in England, Moeen drove lamely with Ishant Sharma at 14, only for the second, normally reliable, KL Rahul slip to drop the possibility of a high head. Fortunately for India, Modeja was knocked down by Jadeja for 20 years trying to get the driver out of his left arm for rudeness. But Root, batting in his favorite position of number four, showed his class with a four-stroke lead to Shami to bring the score to 100 for two.