Dravid throws down gauntlet: Can you beat us on our own pitches?

England have been better side, admits Indian opener, but winning away will be their 'biggest challenge'

The Oval

England have solved the Rahul Dravid problem for the final time in this series. But the man who has stood in their way for hour upon hour has already come up with a new challenge for the world's No 1 team: try winning in India.

"We have been found wanting against a better team," admitted Dravid after scoring his third brilliant century of the summer before falling cheaply second time around. "It's not a nice feeling but when you reflect, England have had a great couple of years.

"In their conditions they have been superior and deserve to be No 1. When they come to India [towards the end of next year] that Indian team will be very keen to correct it.

"That will be their biggest challenge – to win in India. They have the players, but it still needs to be done. That has not been easy for any team so it will be interesting."

Dravid does not do sour grapes. His praise for Andrew Strauss's team was genuine, and few people would disagree with his assessment about the difficulty of winning a Test series in India – something England have not managed since the 1984-85 tour. So to be undisputed Test champions you have to win in India? "That would be the view from India," said a smiling Graeme Swann. "I would say to be No 1 you have to beat England in England.

"But I said a few days ago that the litmus test for this team could be winning in the subcontinent. We have to play Pakistan and Sri Lanka this winter so that could be a good test of where we are. But, sure, you would think it is going to be a more even contest in India when our seamers are not as effective because with this bowling attack, in the conditions we've had this summer, I think we are undoubtedly the best team in the world."

England's seamers and swingers – Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan – did their bit again yesterday. But so did off-spinner Swann when he finally found himself on a pitch giving some assistance.

Having taken three wickets in the first innings, Swann struck twice more when India followed on – with Dravid among his victims second time around. And he could have added Sachin Tendulkar to that collection if only someone had appealed for a stumping just before close of play.

"I wasn't aware of that until I left the field," said Swann before slipping into his wise-cracking routine. "But I'm at the bowler's end, I can't see. There are only about 12 pairs of eyes around the stumps, but it's not exactly the brains trust fielding around there. Mind, I'm surprised [wicketkeeper] Matty Prior didn't appeal because he appeals for everything."

Dravid had fallen to a catch, admitting last night that he did "feather" the ball, but Swann's dismissal of Virender Sehwag was more spectccular. The opener was bowled middle stump, between bat and pad.

"Bowling people through the gate only happens three or four times a year, if you are lucky, so it is always one to savour – especially if it is a player of his standing," said the spinner.

Swann stressed that while England may have won the series by a handsome margin and already achieved their objective of reaching No 1, victory today is still a burning ambition. Whatever the result, though, captain Strauss will receive the Test Champions' Mace from ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat at the end of play.

How the fourth Test's fourth day unfolded

11.02: Start 103 for 5

MS Dhoni and Rahul Dravid are the two Indian batsmen in overnight, and are the two most important if India are to save the game. Stuart Broad bowls the first over.

11.46: Wicket 137 for 6 MS Dhoni edges a Jimmy Anderson outswinger to Matt Prior, ending a fairly spirited morning of resistance from the Indian captain and wicketkeeper.

12.20: Century 172 for 6 Rahul Dravid cuts the ball for two runs, reaching his 35th Test century, and his third in this series. A very impressive effort from India's best performer.

13.02: Lunch 218 for 6 Amit Mishra hits the final ball of the morning session over long-on for six off Graeme Swann. His support for Dravid has been brisk and enterprising.

13.52: Wicket 224 for 7 Mishra goes for 43, after a stunning catch by Ian Bell. Mishra pulled a Tim Bresnan lifter and Bell, close on the leg side, extended his right arm and snatched it.

15.02: Wicket 264 for 8 Stuart Broad makes the breakthrough, ending Gambhir's 62-ball innings of 10. Gambhir struggles with a short ball, fending to to Kevin Pietersen in the gully.

15.30: Wicket 300 for 9 India reach 300 for the first time this series, but two balls later RP Singh is caught by Jimmy Anderson in the slips off Tim Bresnan, after an exciting knock of 25.

15.32: Wicket 300 all out

Sreesanth drives his second ball to Eoin Morgan at short cover, for Bresnan's third wicket. England, 291 runs ahead, decide to enforce the follow-on.

16.12: Tea 25 for 0

Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid – who has been batting all day – reach tea unscathed. Sehwag inside-edged his first ball to the fine-leg boundary.

17.03: Wicket 49 for 1

Finally, England have dismissed Dravid. They need a review to do it, though, after Alastair Cook takes a bat-pad catch at short leg from Graeme Swann.

17.22: Wicket 64 for 2

Swann strikes again. A perfect off-break seduces Virender Sehwag into driving, but it turns back in through the gate to bowl him. Tendulkar comes in.

18.11: Wicket 118 for 3

VVS Laxman (left) is bowled by Anderson for 24, as an unstoppable delivery ruins his off-stump. Amit Mishra joins Tendulkar, who is looking good, at the crease.

18.33: Stumps 129 for 3

Despite a few scares, Tendulkar and Mishra reach the close of play intact, with India 162 runs behind. 'The Little Master' is on 35, setting today up perfectly.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Dawkins: 'There’s a very interesting reason why a prince could not turn into a frog – it's statistically too improbable'
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home