The predictability of England's failure with the bat on Wednesday made their total of 183 all out no easier to swallow. Sibley scratching around, Lawrence looking out of his depth and Buttler aghast at the ball being red made for another day's tricky viewing, a scene that over the past what feels like forever has become so familiar it is as reassuring in a COVID-stricken world as it is infuriating.
Perhaps as predictable as the ten men around him failing was the relative serenity of Joe Root's knock of 64. So many times Root has appeared to be batting on a separate surface to his colleagues, and during those calming 108 deliveries he caressed the runs required to become England's all-time leading run scorer, currently sitting on 15,739 in all formats.
The innings ended in surprisingly soft fashion as Root missed a middle-and-leg stump half-volley, being dismissed LBW by Shardul Thakur. But as England regress into the 1990s, it is worth taking a moment whilst watching England's skipper bat to realise just how brilliant he is. It is not particularly controversial to say that, at the age of 30, he is amongst England's top five batsmen ever. Pity his lack of company at the crease.