TOP SPIN ON THE TEST: Ali now has third most England Test spin wickets

TOP SPIN ON THE TEST: Moeen Ali becomes England’s third-highest Test wicket-taking spinner, while James Anderson bowled more overs in a Test innings since 2018

  • Moeen Ali became England’s third-highest Test wicket-taking spinner with 194
  • Shardul Thakur is the ninth player to make two 50s in one Test from No 8 or lower
  • James Anderson’s 33 overs are the most he’s bowled in a Test innings since 2018 

England were left to rue several poor fielding errors and a flat pitch for India’s wresting control of the Fourth Test at the Oval on day four. 

A massive second innings total of 466 thanks to several Indian lower-order batters meant England were under pressure as they closed on 77 for no loss, with a huge target of 368 to chase for an epic victory. 

Here, Sportsmail‘s LAWRENCE BOOTH looks at the main takeaways from a captivating fourth day that has left all three finishes – India win, England win or draw – on the table ahead of the final day’s play. 

Moeen Ali (right) overtook Jim Laker with 194 Test wickets when he got Virat Kohli out

Shardul Thakur is only the ninth player to get two 50s in the same Test batting No 8 or below

When Moeen Ali had Virat Kohli caught at slip for 44, he moved clear of fellow off-spinner Jim Laker’s Test tally of 193 wickets — though Laker’s came at an average of 21 to Ali’s 36. Only two England spinners have now taken more than Ali: Derek Underwood (297) and Graeme Swann (255). 

Shardul Thakur became only the ninth player to make two scores of 50 or more in the same Test from No 8 or below – and the fourth Indian, after Wriddhiman Saha, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harbhajan Singh. The only Englishman to perform the feat is wicketkeeper Alan Knott, who made 92 and 63 against Australia at The Oval in 1972.

James Anderson bowled 33 overs – the most he has in one Test innings since January 2018

India have only made one higher third-innings total in England than the 466 they ended up with here. Back in 1967, they made 510 following on at Headingley, only to lose by six wickets.

James Anderson sent down 33 overs in the innings, more than in any Test innings since he bowled 34 against Australia at Sydney in January 2018.

His figures of one for 79 did little to improve a statistical oddity that has crept into his game this summer. In first innings, he has taken 16 wickets at 19 apiece. In second innings, he has taken just two at 131. 

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