England cruise to victory and win sixth Test of the summer: latest updates

Uelcome to live if brief coverage of the fifth day of the third test. England are on the verge of a convincing victory that would seal their comeback to win the series 2-1 and leave them, after a lackluster nadir in the Caribbean and their resounding drubbing in the Ashes, with an incredible 6-1 record for the Test summer.

There are some familiar grumblings about the nature of their victory, as if there are right and wrong ways to win Test matches, as well as the usual reductive fears of what it might mean for the Ashes. One of the main problems over the last 20 years has been this preoccupation with the Ashes and the cycle, “Anderson and Broad won’t make it until 2017/2019/2021 so we have to get rid of them”. Instead, refreshingly and perhaps with just the bottom of freedom, Ben Stokes’ doctrine is simple: win this Test in the most entertaining way possible, celebrate it and try to do it again next time.

I’d be surprised if everyone who played this summer isn’t in Pakistan for the three Test series after the World Cup, apart from Jonny Bairstow, who will still be recovering from his broken leg, and Stuart Broad, whose first child is due to be born. They will need another spinner, maybe Moeen Ali if he decides to retire, maybe Matt Parkinson or Rehan Ahmed. A back-up opening batsman should be on the way – Keaton Jennings and Haseeb Hamed have flourished in the past on Asian pitches, but I suspect Bob/Baz/Ben will be keen to give Lees and Crowley first batting for the first Test. They will also be keen to take some express bowling with them depending on how Mark Wood and Ollie Stone fare over the next few months.

From defeating Kyle Myers and Jaden Seals in Grenada to this in less than six months is worthy of the highest praise. Let’s deal with Hazlewood and Cummins another day.

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