London: Ruthless England came down hard on wounded and battered India, but the visitors had fingernails dug in at the edge of the cliff. Forced to bat at Nos 2 and 3 respectively, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman were made to look ungainly by some testing seam and swing bowling, but they batted out 131 deliveries between them to leave India another 98 overs to survive on the final day, with nine wickets in hand. Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar were not available to bat in their usual positions because of injury and illness respectively.
Those tuned into the match would have known that the real game on the fourth day would begin some time in the final session, when England - 193 for 0 effectively at the start of day - would declare to leave India four sessions to bat, give or take. The journey to that point proved fascinating too. Ishant Sharma, a rhythm bowler, found his rhythm against a surprisingly suspect batting line-up, reducing England to 62 for 5, incredibly bringing an Indian win into the faint edge of the frame.