Root and Bairstow
World Test Championship

Root, Bairstow tons help England seal record Test chase against India

ENG v IND, fifth Test, day one, report

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England hunted down 378 and completed their highest successful chase in Test history at Edgbaston on the back of tons from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow to draw level 2-2 against India.

The Test series that began in August 2021 finally came to an end in July 2022 and at the end of it, both teams shared the spoils 2-2.

England's surge in the ICC World Test Championship standings continued as a result, solidifying their 7th spot with at a point percentage of 33.33. India, on the other hand, drop to fourth after point reduction due to slow over-rate.

England dominate despite favourable bowling conditions

There was a stark contrast to the conditions from yesterday to today – from bright and sunny day four, the final day was gloomy and overcast, giving India some hope of a possible comeback.

However, it was only the first over of the day from Mohammed Siraj that India looked slightly threatening, after which Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow went about their business. 

India were guilty of being extremely wayward in their lines and lengths, giving away few too many extras to their liking. The boundaries were flowing easily from the bats of the duo as they started getting closer to the total.

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Root, Bairstow ton up

The No.1 batter in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings notched up his 28th Test ton, his fifth of the year, in style with a boundary. If the shackles weren't broken already, Root became more dangerous after the milestone. Bairstow, at the other end, was patiently playing second fiddle to his former captain in his nineties.

The Yorkshireman got to his fourth Test hundred in three Tests and smashed Siraj for three consecutive boundaries to bring the runs needed to single digits. Root hit the winning run to complete their record chase and draw the series 2-2.

Tale of the Test

Day 1

India were in a whole lot of trouble on Day 1 at 98/5 after being asked to bat. What followed was one of the best counter-attacking knocks from Rishabh Pant that completely turned the tide in India’s favour.

Pant smashed a 111-ball 146 and with Ravindra Jadeja keeping company, bailed India out of trouble. India finished the day at 338/7.

Day 2

Day 2 of the Test is the one that Stuart Broad would like to forget and Jasprit Bumrah, the batter, would not forget any time soon. He gave away the most number of runs in an over in Test cricket history, giving away 35 runs. The over propelled India’s total to over 400.

It was then the turn of Bumrah, the bowler, to blow England away. He picked up three wickets and helped restrict England to 84/5 at stumps.

Day 3

In trouble, England’s newest crisis-man came to their rescue. Jonny Bairstow tonked yet another century and with Ben Stokes and Sam Billings, took England to 284. India had a vital 132-run lead.

India lost three wickets but were in a commanding position, courtesy of Cheteshwar Pujara’s half-century.

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Day 4

The first three days were mostly dominated by India but day four showed how Test cricket can completely turn around in a matter of sessions. 

On a bright and sunny day, Indian batters were guilty of not making the most of the batting conditions. Captain Stokes led from the front with the ball with a four-for and bundled India out for 245, setting England a target of 378.

Alex Lees came out all guns blazing and together with Zak Crawley, put on a 107-run partnership. England lost three wickets in quick succession before the usual suspects – Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow – scored fifties apiece at a brisk rate to leave just 119 runs for the final day.

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