England vs India fourth Test: India are Moeen down as Ali sets up innings victory

England, even without the injured Broad, force India to capitulate in three days with part-time spinner taking four wickets to give home side a 2-1 series lead, writes Stephen Brenkley at Old Trafford

Old Trafford, Manchester

What had seemed impossible a fortnight ago is beginning to look a formality. England swept aside India yesterday to win the fourth Test inside three days by an innings and 54 runs.

The winners were irresistible, the losers simply capitulated. The reversal of fortunes between these sides since the match at Lord’s last month has been extraordinary.

Then, England did not know where their next win was coming from. They were rudderless and ineffective, led by a captain who was being advised to resign from all sides. India had secured one of their most famous victories. They were confident and assertive, beating their opponents at their own game.

Since that abject defeat, England have won almost every session of play, barely able to believe how straightforward it has been as India have collapsed in mind and body. It is difficult to envisage any way back for the tourists now in the Investec series.

The progress of the third day was as inexorable as the first. As soon as India subsided to eight for four on the opening morning they were virtually out of contention and their second innings followed a similarly disastrous pattern on the third afternoon.

Read more: Broad retires hurt after bouncer hits him in face
Broad to have surgery on knee after series
Fans fume after Old Trafford farce

Faced with batting 61 overs yesterday to take the match into today with the remnants of Hurricane Bertha expected to be unleashed over Manchester, they lacked gumption, spirit and will. At one point they lost five wickets for 13 runs in 29 balls as batsmen played a series of foolhardy, careless stokes.

For the second match in succession the man inflicting most of the damage, tearing the heart out of India’s middle order, was Moeen Ali, who is making a nonsense of his supposed status as a part-time off spinner. As at Southampton 10 days earlier, he made India’s batsmen, brought up on turning pitches, look like callow apprentices against his wiles and cunning. In truth, all that Moeen did was pitch it up and made sure the ball turned. India did the rest. The way was opened up for him by Jimmy Anderson, under the weather but still far too much of a handful for the tourists’ top order. It was hugely embarrassing, especially as England were without Anderson’s opening partner, Stuart Broad, who was forced to leave the field after being hit on the nose by a bouncer while batting.

From the moment play started, England were firmly in control. The loss of much of the second day to rain had interrupted their first innings but not the admirable work of Joe Root and Jos Buttler. Root has been England’s most assured batsman this season, finding life at number five suits him.

Buttler made his second fifty in his first two Test innings, the only England wicketkeeper to do that. This innings was as equally impressive as his blazing 85 on his debut at Southampton. This time, he needed to knuckle down to play in an authentic Test fashion and he responded accordingly, leaving well and leaving all the fancy shots in the locker.

But he pounced on the bad ball, especially the half volley and anything with width, and his power remains breathtaking. Both became improbable victims of Pankaj Singh, who had waited 69.2 overs for his first wicket. The outpouring of jubilation for this gentle warrior when he had Root caught down the leg side was so great that it was as if he had taken all 10 wickets in the innings. Having waited so long, 14 balls later he induced Buttler to strike a slower ball to mid-off.

After lunch, England’s clear plan was to score quick runs before India started their second innings. Test matches cannot be played according to the weather forecast but the likelihood of storms today with rain tomorrow was so great that it was bound to affect thinking.

Broad hooked two sixes but in going for a third was beaten by the pace and bounce of Varun Aaron. The ball clipped the top edge of his bat and went between the grill and peak of his helmet, hitting him squarely on the bridge of the nose.

Blood flowed on to the pitch and after treatment, Broad retired, clutching a bandage to his wound. It was clear that he would play no further part in the day and shortly after went to hospital.

Broad’s absence made a three day win unlikely. India looked much more assured than they might have done at the start. The ball was swinging a little but not with the venom of the first day. Chris Woakes, given the new ball, in place of Broad, made the breakthrough when he had Murali Vijay lbw playing round an inswinger and India went to tea at 33 for one. Then came mayhem.

Gautam Gambhir was too late in trying to remove his bat from the last ball of an over from Anderson, and to the first ball of the next over, Cheteshwear Pujara was lbw missing a mildly turning off break.

Ajinkya Rahane drove a low return catch to Moeen’s right, Virat Kohli limply edged to second slip an away swinger from Anderson, Ravindra Jadeja was caught at slip off Ali. From 66 for six there was no way back.

India scored some quick runs hereabouts as Anderson left the field. Neither Jordan nor Woakes bowled with much verve and had trouble with their lengths. Still, it was only time. MS Dhoni was spectacularly caught at mid-wicket, Bhuvneshawar Kumar was run out mysteriously going for a second. Jordan eventually finished it in successive balls. England should make it 3-1 at The Oval next week.

More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
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

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?