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PICS: England have India reeling after Cook, Root show

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 11, 2018 00:05 IST
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IMAGE: England's Alastair Cook congratulates captain Joe Root on reaching his century on Monday, Day 4 of the fifth Test against India at The Kia Oval, London. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

India face an embarrassing defeat after Alastair Cook's fairytale farewell knock and Joe Root's classy hundred enabled England to pile more misery on the visitors on Monday, the penultimate day of the fifth Test.

- Scorecard

Cook scored a dogged 147 off 286 balls in his final innings while skipper Root roared back to form with a stylish 125, his first hundred in 28 innings, as the duo ground the Indian bowling into submission with a 259-run stand.


Courtesy the twin hundreds by the former and current skipper, England declared their second innings on 423-8 amd set the Indians a massive target of 464.

Deflated after fielding for over 112 overs, India's wobbly top-order once again faltered. Shikhar Dhawan (1), Cheteshwar Pujara (0) and Virat Kohli (0) were dismissed in quick succession as the tourists ended the day on 58 for 3.

With 406 runs required on the final day and seven wickets in hand, an embarrassing 1-4 series defeat looks imminent for India as of now.

The wily Jimmy Anderson (2-23) equalled Glenn McGrath's haul of 563 Test wickets and is expected to break the record on Tuesday, while Stuart Broad (1-17), with 433 wickets, is just one short of Kapil Dev's (434 wickets) tally.

IMAGE: India batsman Ajinkya Rahane congratulates Alastair Cook at the end of play on Day 4. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Dhawan's poor technique was again exposed as he was adjudged plumb leg before to an incoming delivery from Anderson. Ditto for Pujara, who got a sharp in-cutter that breached his defence. He wanted a Decision Review but was late in appealing for it.

Skipper Virat Kohli after a tremendous English summer during which he scored 593 runs was finally out for a duck as he nicked one off Broad to Jonny Bairstow, leaving India in tatters.

K L Rahul (46 not out) however batted in cavalier fashion, hitting eight boundaries, in company of Ajinkya Rahane (10 not out) to give India some hope of saving the Test.

IMAGE: Joe Root launches into a celebratory run after completing his century. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

The day certainly belonged to Cook, who scored his 33rd hundred his last appearance and joined a select band of players having scored a hundred on debut and final Test. He is fifth in the list after Reginal Duff, Bill Ponsford, Greg Chappell and Mohammad Azharuddin.

His 286-ball knock had 14 boundaries and certainly overshadowed Root's 190 ball effort that had 12 fours and a six. Their partnership literally killed the contest after Ishant Sharma's ankle injury had pegged India further back.

In the post-lunch session, the duo looked to build on their partnership and further frustrate the Indian bowlers, bringing up their 200-stand off 303 balls.

Root, on 94, got a second life as Cheteshwar Pujara dropped him at first slip off Mohammed Shami (2-97) in the 77th over. He then went on to score his 14th Test hundred off 151 balls.

IMAGE: Stuart Broad celebrates with Joe Root after dismissing Virat Kohli. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

Thereafter, Root started attacking as England crossed 300 in the 88th over. India were a bowler short with Ishant leaving the field due to ankle pain.

Hanuma Vihari (3-37) struck twice in the 95th over. First, Root holed out and then Cook was caught behind, the opener walking off to a standing ovation as well as congratulatory handshakes from the Indian team.

Shami then got reward as Jonny Bairstow (18) played on and Ravindra Jadeja (2-147) removed Jos Buttler for a duck as England looked to score some quick runs in sight of a declaration.

Earlier, Cook's hundred helped England reach 243-2 at lunch. Starting from overnight 114-2, first up he reached his half-century off 127 balls.

He and Root continued to plunder runs at an easy pace as 55 runs came in the first hour of play, and 129 runs overall in this morning session, the best of this fifth Test.

IMAGE: Alastair Cook is congratulated by Virat Kohli and other India players after his memorable knock. Photograph: Paul Childs/Reuters

In doing so, the duo raised their 100-partnership off 171 balls as Cook started breaking records. First, on 76, he went past Kumar Sangakkara as the highest-scoring left-handed batsman in Test cricket history, and will finish as the fifth-highest run-scorer overall after Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Rahul Dravid.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Root scored his half-century off 81 balls as England crossed 200 in the 63rd over. He had been dropped at slip by Ajinkya Rahane, on 46, off Jadeja in the 56th over.

The big moment then came in the 70th over of this innings as an overthrow from Jasprit Bumrah (0-61) gave Cook his 33rd Test century off 210 balls, surpassing Australia's Steve Waugh (32).

This was his seventh Test hundred against India, more than any other English batsman, ahead of Kevin Pietersen's six.

With 15 hundreds in second innings in Test cricket, he also over took Sangakkara (14 hundreds).

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