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Never mind the banner: Test cricket’s future looks bright on days like

As a plane with a protest banner flew over Headingley, the third Test showed off the game’s longest form at its best

It was a luxurious slow burn of a third day at Headingley, one of those days when the moments all seem to blur into a kind of ambient hum, a day when nothing is wasted and nothing is resolved, when everything is moving but nobody is going anywhere. India’s batters seemed content to mark out time; England’s bowlers and fielders ran in with purpose but little urgency; the clouds drifted; the electronic advertising boards quietly scrolled their wares.

Partly this was a function of the surface, slow and lifeless and seemingly in no hurry at all. Partly it was the state of the match, with England dominant and India playing largely for pride and thoughts already beginning to turn to the Oval and Manchester. Partly it was a function of the serene Cheteshwar Pujara, who is the sort of batsman who slows the game to his own pace: batting until one can no longer remember a time before he started batting nor can envisage a time when he no longer will be.

Related: India bat again after England all out for 432: third Test, day three – live!

Test cricket has survived world wars, Twenty20 and a global plague. It may just withstand the launch of The Hundred

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