England have managed to retain control of the fourth and final Test against India after play on the penultimate day. At close of play, Alastair Cook's men are 161/3 and are now only a day's play from a historic series win in the country. They lead India by 165 runs.

Alastair Cook

The visitors were bowled out for 330 in their first innings and had their hosts on the ropes for large parts of their innings. However, a strong middle-order partnership of 198 between captain MS Dhoni (99) and Virat Kohli (103) allowed the Indians to make an attacking statement when they declared at 326/9 earlier today.

The fourth day's play began with the Indian lower order pair of Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha at the crease and the two found little joy with the bat. The England bowlers maintained a tight line and the first hour saw only 29 runs scored, with one wicket falling - Ojha (7) - before Dhoni called his men in. The declaration was a hugely positive move by the Indian skipper, albeit one that was forced on him - India must win this Test to square the series at 2-2.

In any case, the visitors began their second innings strongly, with Cook (13) and Nick Compton building a 48-run opening partnership. Unfortunately, it ended after the captain fell to yet another poor umpiring decision - his second of the match and the second from Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena. Cook was declared caught behind by Dhoni but replays seem to show the ball missed the bat completely.

Compton (34) and Trott continued the good work, putting on 33 for the second wicket. The remaining opener was the next to go, after he misread a straighter delivery from Ojha and was out leg before. That brought Mumbai centurion Kevin Pietersen (6) to the crease but the big-hitter departed in a hurry, bringing some relief for watching India fans. England will rely on Trott (66 not out) and Ian Bell (24 not out) to hold fort for the fifth and final day and seal a first series win in 27 years.

As for India, they will throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the batsmen tomorrow, hoping for early breakthroughs. Dhoni will know, realistically, any target over 200 will be a difficult one to chase down, given the slow nature of the pitch... and considering the English already have 165 on the board, if Trott and Bell (and Joe Root and Matt Prior) can notch another 100 runs between them, England will likely have ensured India cannot win this match.


England: 330 (J Root 73; P Chawla 4/69) and 161/4 (J Trott 66 not out; R Jadeja 1/27)

India: 326/9 (V Kohli 103; J Anderson 4/81)

England lead by 165 runs