Ticket sales go for a six: The Indian team could hardly have got off to a poorer start in the third Test. Everything that could go wrong did, and before a home crowd strengthened by hundreds more who came from India in the hope of watching more of the winning streak of the second Test. Not everyone has a ticket but there are always enough on offer outside the grounds in what are called “informal sales”. The eagerness to buy has taken a setback. Indian fans fear already that they may not need one on the fifth day.
Kohli talks the talk, but…: Once again Indian captain Virat Kohli has been more aggressive in talk than at play just before the start of the third Test with a complaint that the England team had provoked India during the second Test that India won at Lord’s. “The details don’t need to be discussed,” he said ahead of the game. “It happens in the moment. It’s how you get up from that situation, that’s what matters.” What matters is that England have got up rather well at the start of the third Test.
Afghan brain drain: New warnings have sprung up of an unexpected sort over the Kabul evacuation: that this exercise is becoming a serious brain drain for Afghanistan. It’s Afghans who were trained and skilled through training funded by the US and its allies who are now leaving or looking to leave. That was a relatively small band of Afghans running the country’s institutions. With that cream gone, the Taliban will struggle to run the country.
Pak looks to get media edge over India in Afghanistan: More warnings are being sounded over Afghanistan that will be of particular concern to India. Among those leaving Afghanistan are its band of journalists. And the Pakistan government is looking to replace them rapidly with chosen journalists from Pakistan. These will seek to push a line on Afghanistan that is expected particularly to discredit Indian development initiatives within Afghanistan.
In full flight: New flights between India and the UK are opening up with the drive in place already to recruit crew for new Hans Airways. The airline will be using the wide-bodied Airbus A330-200s. New direct flights are due to begin later this year.