England finally saw off Rahul Dravid as they closed in on a 4-0 series rout of India at The Oval on Sunday.
Dravid batted for more than seven hours in the fourth Test before England finally found a way to break ‘The Wall’.
the tourists, following on, were 3-129 at the close of the fourth day,
still 162 runs behind England’s first innings 6-591 declared.
Sachin Tendulkar, bidding for an unprecedented 100th international century, was 25 not out and nightwatchman Amit Mishra eight.
need just seven more wickets on Monday’s final day to complete a 4-0
clean sweep for the first time since a home whitewash of the West Indies
“It’s been a tough series,” said Dravid, who carried his bat for an undefeated 146 in the first innings.
are a quality side and have bowled well as a group. But hopefully
tomorrow (Monday) it is Sachin’s day. If the other guys can rally around
him maybe we can save this Test.”
Meanwhile England off-spinner
Graeme Swann, who removed both Dravid and Virender Sehwag before stumps,
was looking forward to bowling on a last day pitch already offering
“It excites me — especially after you play a whole season
on belting batting and seaming wickets,” Swann said. “It is nice to get a
“We need to make inroads in the morning. We’ve got 20 overs where the ball will talk a lot.
“I was fairly happy with the way I bowled all day. My body is aching like it hasn’t all summer, but it’s a nice ache.”
resumed Sunday in the desperate first-innings position of 5-103 with
Dravid 57 not out and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni five.
Dhoni, who never looked settled, was out for 17 when he pushed
tentatively at a James Anderson outswinger and was caught behind.
responsible for all three India centuries this series, sped through the
90s and made a hundred for the second time while opening in the absence
of regular opener Gautam Gambhir.
He had previously made 117,
when Gambhir missed the second Test at Trent Bridge with an elbow
injury, following his 103 not out at Lord’s.
Dravid’s 35th Test
century took him in front of hero Sunil Gavaskar’s mark of 34 and fourth
in the all-time list behind Tendulkar (51), South Africa’s Jacques
Kallis (40) and Australia’s Ricky Ponting (39).
India started the
second session on 6-218, with Dravid 109 not out and Mishra, who’d
driven Swann for six off the last ball before lunch, on 38.
Mishra added just five more runs before he was brilliantly caught by a
diving Bell at an unusually positioned short backward square leg off a
pull against Bresnan.
The new ball did for Gambhir, who’d
suffered concussion while fielding on Friday, when he fended at Stuart
Broad and was caught by Pietersen at gully.
Bresnan struck twice in three balls as India were bowled out for 300 — the first time they’d made the score this series.
Dravid had contributed nearly 50 percent thanks to a masterful 146 not out in 266 balls with 20 fours.
was only the third Indian after Gavaskar and Virender Sehwag to carry
his bat in a Test innings but India were still 92 adrift of avoiding the
The selfless Dravid kept his pads on but his
resistance ended controversially when, on 13, he turned Swann to
Alastair Cook at short leg.
Umpire Rod Tucker said not out but
England asked for a review and Tucker’s fellow Australian Steve Davis
gave Dravid out, although replays indicated the ball may have gone to
Cook straight off the pad.
The India great, in what could be his last Test in England, walked off to a standing ovation from a capacity 23,500 crowd.
Sehwag made a typically dashing 33 before he was bowled between bat and pad by Swann — a classic off-spinner’s dismissal.
England had one more wicket before stumps when Venkatsai Laxman, who
has had a wretched series, was bowled for 24 by a superb Anderson
delivery that angled in and uprooted his off-stump.