It was on the second day of the third Test that Ian Bell joined the esteemed 7,000-run club placing his side in a commanding position in the process.
Just a day later, England’s most successful bowling duo – James Anderson and Stuart Broad – reached a new milestone 500 Test wickets between them. They are only the third pair to do so behind Pakistan’s Wasim Akram-Waqar Younis and West Indies’ Curtly Ambroes-Courtney Walsh.
In fact, the duo’s 500th wicket came as an early present for Anderson, who turns 31 on Wednesday. With the kind of hostility and consistency they have showed in this match, it would be fitting if England went on to win this Test and level the series.
The moment was a big one for Broad and he did not refuse to admit it. "To go into the company of Wasim and Waqar, and Courtney and Curtly is a huge honour," said Broad after stumps.
Admittedly, they were his childhood heroes so joining them in the record books would be a dream come true.
The two pacemen have been wreaking havoc for all types of batsman and this does not happen without chemistry. "I think it shows the value of partnerships when bowling.
"We constantly talk on and off the field even though we have played a lot of cricket. We work together really tightly. It's a great feeling to know we have 500 together," an elated Broad added.
Moeen Ali must stop wearing his ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’ wristbands while playing for England, the International Cricket Council has decided.
England were prepared to let their all-rounder continue wearing the wristbands, declaring his support for the population of Gaza, during the remainder of the third Test against India.
But the ICC has ruled that its international sports arena is not after all the place for British Muslim Moeen’s show of solidarity. He has not been charged or punished, but simply told the wristbands must go when he is out on the field.
A spokesman for the world governing body yesterday said: “The ICC equipment and clothing regulations do not permit the display of messages that relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes during an international match.
“Moeen Ali was told by the match referee that, while he is free to express his views on such causes away from the cricket field, he is not permitted to wear the wristbands on the field of play and warned not to wear the bands again during an international match.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board was unaware beforehand of Moeen’s plans to wear the wristbands but was not planning unilaterally to ask him to take them off until the ICC made it clear he must.
The 27-year-old Ali, a Birmingham-born practising Muslim of Pakistani descent, was photographed recently helping raise funds for Gaza relief efforts in his home city in central England.
Meanwhile other cricketers expressed their support of Ali on Twitter. “Absolutely love this! Well done Moeen bro! Keep showing your support! #Pray4Gaza” wrote former England cricketer Ajmal Shahzad.
“Good on brother mo! #prayforGaza” wrote Lancashire and former England bowler Kabir Ali, Moeen’s cousin.
“We have always worn wristbands or ribbons when showing support 4an incident or raising awareness, we do it for animal rights too, y not humans,” wrote former Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood.
Before play began yesterday, players from both sides, together with officials stood to observe a minute’s silence in memory of all those cricketers who fought and lost their lives in World War I, a hundred years on from the start of that conflict.
Meanwhile the England players also wore shirts with the logo of Help for Heroes, a charity that assists wounded British armed forces veterans, stitched into the collar.
The question of what kinds of protest are permissible at sporting events has long been a thorny topic.
Ajinkya Rahane believes India have a lot to fight for and all is not yet lost for the visitors in the third Test against England.
The Indian middle-order batsman, who was the top scorer with 54 runs, drew confidence from captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni presence at the crease despite trailing by 246 runs. Dhoni is unbeaten on 50 and has just the tailenders for company.
“MS and Shami are still batting. If we can bat well in tomorrow’s morning session, then anything can happen. It could still become an interesting match. Cricket is a funny game.
“We are not thinking of the second innings at all at this stage. After losing a few wickets we have managed to recover quite well thanks to our captain. We are not safe but in an okay position now,” he added.
Rahane was upset with himself for playing a poor shot off a rank long hop bowled by part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali that led to his dismissal. “I was really disappointed in the manner I got out,” he said.
“I was concentrating really well at that point of time. I thought it was a loose delivery and played it. In the end, it was a bad shot. I just need to learn from this and bat well in the second innings,” he added.
Rahane praised the England bowlers for their discipline.
“The England bowlers bowled well. They were patient on a pitch that didn’t show too much wear and tear. When the ball was old, the pitch seemed to be a little two-paced. But with the new ball it is coming easily on the bat. However, they bowled consistently and in good areas,” he said.