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PHOTOS: Root, Bairstow put England on course for win on Day 4

Last updated on: July 04, 2022 23:34 IST

Images from Day 4 of the rescheduled fifth Test match between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Monday.

IMAGE: Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow shared an unbroken 150-run stand for the fourth wicket to boost England's hopes of pulling off a record chase, on Day 4 of the rescheduled fifth Test in Birmingham. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow put England on course for a ground-breaking run chase against India despite Jasprit Bumrah's brilliance on day four of the rescheduled fifth Test, setting up a fitting series finale in Birmingham on Monday.

 

Skipper Bumrah brought India back in the game with wickets on either side of the lunch break after England openers Alex Lees (56) and Zak Crawley (46) finally found form and shared a 107-run stand chasing a record 378-run target.

From 107 for loss, it soon became 109/3 before the dangerous duo of Root (76 not out) and Bairstow (72 not out) frustrated the Indians with a commanding 150-run partnership off just 197 balls.

IMAGE: Joe Root plays the pull shot. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

England were sitting pretty on 259/3 at stumps on day four, needing another 119 runs for a series-levelling victory.

Though the wicket did not offer much help, Indian bowlers were unable to maintain pressure on the English batters who played with the aggression that has become hallmark of the Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum partnership.

It also helped that India deployed very defensive spread out field, letting England batters rotated the strike with elan.

IMAGE: Jonny Bairstow continued his good form with the bat as he stroked a fluent half-century. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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

With Ben Stokes and Sam Billing still to come, India will need something special to pull off a win from here. India's bowling performance in the second innings was reminiscent of their struggles in South Africa where they failed to defend target twice after winning the series opener.

IMAGE: England opener Alex Lees is run out by Ravindra Jadeja. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

India could have made England chase in excess of 400 on day five if it was not for some poor shot selection. After starting the day at 125 for three, India were all out for 245 in the second innings.  

India had very little going for themselves in the final session barring with the first two overs. Bumrah had Ollie Pope caught behind before Lees was run out after Root went for a single that was not for the taking.

After that, it was Root and Bairstow show as they scored runs at will.

IMAGE: India's players celebrate after Jasprit Bumrah dismissed England opener Zak Crawley on Day 4 of the fifth Test on Monday. Photograph: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Earlier, under-fire England openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley displayed a lot of positive intent, taking England to 107/1 at tea.

India managed to get the breakthrough towards the end of session with Jasprit Bumrah cleaning up Zak Crawley (46), who offered no shot to the incoming delivery which crashed into the stumps.

India could only last 8.5 overs after lunch to be bowled out for 245 in their second innings.

The tail did not wag compared to first innings but specialist batters gifting their wickets away prevented India from getting a lead in excess of 400.

IMAGE: Alex Lees hits a boundary. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Reuters

Even then, a target of 378 remains a Herculean task but England began strongly with Lees (56 off 61) and Crawley finally getting some much needed runs.

They came out with an aggressive approach and put the pressure on the Indian pacers, who didn't get any assistance from the pitch or lateral movement.

England raced to 53 for no loss in nine overs with Lees collecting two fours off Ravindra Jadeja in his very first over. He stepped out of the crease to hit the first one past mid-off while the second came from a reverse sweep.

Crawley got going with a flick towards square leg off Jasprit Bumrah before a crisp straight drive off Mohammad Shami.

 

IMAGE: England captain Ben Stokes celebrates after dismissing Ravindra Jadeja. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

The Indians got closest to getting a wicket was in the 15th over when they appealed for a catch off Crawley's attempted reverse sweep but replays confirmed the ball bounced before jumping up off the pads on way to the short-leg fielder.

Lees got to his second Test fifty in the following over with a classy back foot punch off Mohammad Siraj.

India were able to ball only one maiden over out of 20 they bowled in the session.

Siraj resorted to bowling with a scrambled seam but that also did not put the openers in any sort of discomfort.

IMAGE: Shreyas Iyer is hit by a short ball from Matthew Potts during Day 4 of the rescheduled fifth Test match at Edgbaston on Monday. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

England chipped away at the wickets but Rishabh Pant's half-century helped India extend their lead in the morning session.

Ravindra Jadeja, who hit a century in the first innings, was unbeaten on 17, while Mohammad Shami made 13 as India reached 229/7 in 73 overs to swell their lead to 316 runs.

Resuming the fourth day on 125/3, overnight batters Cheteshwar Pujara (66 off 168) and Pant (57 off 86) made a confident start.

IMAGE: Rishabh Pant celebrates his half-century. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Pujara got going with a backfoot punch and a flick off James Anderson for consecutive boundaries.

Compared to his first innings heroics, Pant looked more measured in his approach.

Pujara, who battled his way to fifty on Day 3, was hardly troubled by the English pacers. Pant and Pujara's job was made easier with Ben Stokes giving three overs to part-timer Joe Root in the morning session.

IMAGE: Jack Leach celebrates with team-mates after taking the wicket of Rishabh Pant. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

However, the Saurashtra batter contributed to his own downfall by but cutting a short and wide ball off Stuart Broad straight to backward point.

Shreyas Iyer (19 off 26) joined Pant in the middle and after a playing a few shots, fell to the short ball yet again. England laid the trap for Iyer and he fell right into it by pulling a short ball straight to the fielder at midwicket.

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

After sweeping Jack Leach for a boundary, Pant went for a reverse pull in the following over but was caught at first slip by Joe Root, leaving India at 198/6.

IMAGE: Matthew Potts celebrates after taking the wicket of Shardul Thakur. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Towards the end of the session, Potts employed the short ball tactic against Shardul Thakur (4 off 26) who was hit hard on the helmet. Thakur did not last long after that and could not control a pull of Potts to be caught at fine leg.

Jadeja got a life when Anderson grassed a tough chance at cover off Potts' bowling as he kept the scoreboard ticking in the company of Shami.

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