And welcome to our live coverage of day three of the third Test in this see-sawing England vs India series.
The hosts are in a commanding position after Joe Root chalked up his sixth Test match century of a quite remarkable year with an imperious knock in front of his home crowd.
Dawid Malan had one of the best seats in the house as he shared a stand of 139 with the England captain – and afterwards he hailed Root as an authentic Test match great.
Root’s 121 was his sixth ton in 11 appearances since the turn of the year, equalling a national record previously shared by Denis Compton and Michael Vaughan. With an aggregate of 1,398 in that time, and an average of 69.90, the 30-year-old is entering a plane of near perfection few ever get to experience.
He has also scored three in a row in the current series, but while his previous efforts at Trent Bridge and Lord’s have led to a draw and a defeat, only a cricketing miracle would prevent his latest coming in a winning cause.
At stumps on day two England were 423 for eight, already 345 ahead of an India side who were bundled out for 78.
Malan, who made a classy 70 on his return to the side, was happy to rank Root among the game’s elite band of batsmen.
“He is phenomenal isn’t he? He just scores runs all the time,” he said. “You look at all the best players that have played – all the greats, if you want to put it that way – and as soon as you miss your line and your length, they hurt you. Joe is one of those.
“It’s great to watch and it’s great to have the best seat in the house when he does play as well as that. It’s the ease of what he does and the speed at which he does it.
“He just moves his feet so well and his position when he hits the ball is so good…he hits the ball so much later than most people. He always looks to score with intent, you know if you bowl a bad ball he just puts you away.”
England’s tail-enders will be looking to add some quick runs this morning before turning their attentions to snaring the 10 wickets they need to level the series at 1-1.