Bairstow-Root partnership set up England’s historic Test win; Can Bumrah & Co weave their magic?

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Joe Root played an unbeaten innings of 76 runs on the fourth day.

Highlight

  • England need to score 119 runs to win the match and level the series.
  • Indian bowlers could not put pressure on the England batsmen.
  • Hanuma Vihari dismissed Bairstow for 14.

Bairstow and Root spoke of a surprise for the Indian bowlers as they put together an aggressive partnership. 150 off 197 balls to give England a massive lead at the end of the day.

Captain Bumrah got India back in the game with wickets on either side of the lunch break after England openers Alex Lees (56 off 65) and Zac Crawley (46 off 76) thrashed the Indian bowlers. .

It was soon reduced to 109 for three before the dangerous pair of Root (76 off 112) and Bairstow (72 off 87) made 107 for the loss and the Indians got 150 off just 197 balls. Disappointed with a great partnership of runs.

England were 259 for three at stumps on the fourth day, needing 119 for a series-level win.

Though the wicket did not help much, the Indian bowlers were unable to keep the pressure on the England batsmen, who played with the aggression that became the hallmark of Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum’s cricket school.

It also helped that India deployed a very defensive spread off the ground, helping England’s batsmen to rotate the strike.

Bairstow, who is in the form of his life, was dropped by Hanuma Vihari for 14 and he made India pay dearly for it.

With the arrival of Ben Stokes and Sam Billing, India will need something special to win from here. India’s bowling performance in the second innings is reminiscent of their struggle in South Africa where they failed to defend the target twice after winning the first match of the series.

India could have chased down the 400-plus target to England on the fifth day if it weren’t for some poor shot selection. After starting the day at 125 for three, India were all out for 245 in the second innings.

India did little for themselves in the final session except in the first two overs. Ollie Pope was caught behind by Bumrah before Lees was run out when Root took a single which was not the pick.

After that, it was a show for Root and Bairstow as they scored runs of their own free will.

England openers Lees and Crowley also showed very positive intent to take England to 107 for tea.

Bumrah managed to give India a breakthrough at the end of the session by clean bowling Zak Crowley (46 off 76), who misjudged the discharge during a delivery from length.

India could eat only 8.5 overs after lunch. The tail didn’t move as compared to the first innings, but specialist batsmen gifted their wickets to prevent India from taking a 400-plus lead.

Chasing a record target, England scored 53 for no loss in nine overs and Lies scored 53 for no loss with two fours. Ravindra Jadeja In his very first over. He stepped out of the crease and hit the first near mid-off while the second came from a reverse sweep.

Crowley with a flick going to square leg off Jasprit Bumrah Before a crisp straight drive off Mohammed Shami. Lies completed his second Test fifty in the next over with a brilliant back-foot punch from Mohammad Siraj.

Siraj resorted to bowling with a fast seam, but even this did not cause any trouble for the openers. Earlier, India gifted England easy wickets but Rishabh Pant’s half-century allowed them to extend their lead to 361 runs by the lunch session.

overnight batter Cheteshwar Pujara (66 off 168) and Pant (57 off 86) made a confident start. Pujara was going through a back-foot punch and James Anderson’s delivery for four consecutive boundaries.

Pujara, who reached the 50-run mark on Sunday, was hardly bothered by the English pacers. Pant and Pujara’s job became easy after Ben Stokes gave three overs to the part-timer Joe Root after the game starts.

The Saurashtra batsman, however, contributed to his own downfall by cutting a short and wide delivery from Stuart Broad straight to backward point. It’s his pet shot but couldn’t put it down for a change.

Shreyas Iyer (19 off 26) joined Pant in the middle and after playing a few shots again fell to the short ball. England nets Iyer and he pulls a short ball straight over mid-wicket and falls into it

Pant completed his half-century with a tickle on the pads, becoming the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a century and a half-century in an overseas Test.

After sweeping Jack Leach for a boundary, Pant went for a reverse pull in the next over but Joe Root left India at 198 for six at first slip.

England have finished the fourth day in a big way, and from here they are clearly the favorites to win the game and level the series. If they manage to achieve it, it will be England’s highest ever goal in the history of Test cricket and at Edgbaston.

India, on the other hand, will take a more proactive approach, bowl aggressively and set up attacking territory. If the men in blue can get rid of Root and Bairstow in the morning, they can make a comeback. Otherwise, Bairstow, along with Root, will try to take the game away from India in the first session itself.

Whatever the outcome, by the end of the first season the game will be done and dusted.

(Inputs PTI)