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Root and Bairstow run riot against India

2022-07-05 HKT 04:54
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  • England's Joe Root (left) and Jonny Bairstow walk back to the pavilion at the end of play on Day 4 at Edgbaston. Photo: AFP
    England's Joe Root (left) and Jonny Bairstow walk back to the pavilion at the end of play on Day 4 at Edgbaston. Photo: AFP
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow took the attack to India as England closed in on a fourth successive winning run chase under their new Test leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

England were 259-3 at stumps on the fourth day of the Covid-delayed fifth Test, needing just a further 119 runs to reach a target of 378 on Tuesday's last day at Edgbaston and so end this five-match series all square at 2-2.

Former captain Root was 76 not out and Bairstow 72 not out after making 106 – his third hundred in as many Tests – in England's first-innings 284.

The Yorkshire duo had added an unbroken 150 in 22 overs on Monday after coming together at 109-3, with England having lost three wickets in quick succession either side of tea.

India wasted two of their three reviews this innings when Root was on 11 and 16, with spinner Ravindra Jadeja and paceman Mohammed Shami the bowlers rightly denied lbw verdicts against the world's top-ranked Test batsman.

Bairstow was reprieved on 14 when an edge off Mohammed Siraj burst through the hands of Hanuma Vihari at second slip.

Root, driving stylishly, brought up his fifty in 71 balls.

The in-form Bairstow took four more deliveries to reach the landmark before late cutting Shami for four and pulling Siraj for six.

There have been only two successful fourth-innings chases above 200 in a Test at Edgbaston, with South Africa making 283-5 in 2008 and England 211-3 against New Zealand in 1999. (AFP)

No England side have made more to win in the fourth innings of a Test than 359, when Stokes' brilliant century led them to a thrilling victory over Australia at Headingley three years ago.

This decider should have been played in Manchester last September only to be postponed just hours before the start because of coronavirus concerns within the India camp. (AFP)