English captain Alastair Cook may be left ruing his decision no to enforce the follow-on while New Zealand were still reeling.

But Cook’s conservative decision regarding the follow-on was made to look positively avante guarde by his declaration, which, bizarrely, came after lunch leaving the Black Caps to chase a world record breaking 468, more than New Zealand had scored in their last three innings put together.

Cook’s declaration combined with some almost defensive fielding positions left many wondering whether the England team weren’t using the test to practise other aspects of their game.

Despite the curtailed session the Black Caps were reduced to 158-6 by the close of play due to bad light.

Swann continued his good form grabbing four wickets, with Steven Finn the best of the quicks, giving the New Zealand middle order a real going over.

Day four left England needing just five wickets, but with rain forecast throughout day five, if England don’t get on long enough to take those wickets questions are sure to be asked of Cook’s decision making.

A pitch inspection at 11.20 is due to take place after heavy rainfall overnight in Leeds, with play hopeful to get underway at 12noon, with rain forecast from early afternoon onwards.

Image via Getty