England rode on unbeaten hundreds by Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow to pull off their highest successful fourth innings chase to register a seven wickets victory to level the series 2-2 against India at Edgbaston on Tuesday.
Chasing 378 to win, Joe Root (142*) and Jonny Bairstow (114*) took the Indian bowlers to the cleaners to forge a 269-run partnership for the fourth wicket to hunt down the target.
India earlier got a ray of hope after the Three Lions lost three quick wickets after Alex Lees and Zak Crawley’s 107-run stand for the opening wicket. India stand-in skipper Jasprit Bumrah picked up two wickets after which Lees, who scored a brilliant half-century, got run out.
However, following their dismissals, it was the Root-Bairstow show at Birmingham, which saw them claim a sensational seven wickets win. Notably, it was England’s fourth straight successful run chase after they swept New Zealand 3-0 last month under new captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
What did the Series-Drawing Skipper say?
“When the lads play like this, it makes my job easier. When you have clarity like we have in the dressing room, it makes chasing totals like this easier. 378 would have been scary five weeks ago, but now it’s all good,” Ben Stokes said.
“Jonny and Root will get all the credit, but the precedent was set up by the way the openers played against Bumrah and Shami with the new ball. It is all about taking wickets and taking ten wickets. There are no complaints. Sometimes, teams will be better than us, but no one will be braver than us, quote by Jack Leach,” he added.
What did India’s Player of The Series and Stand-in Skipper Jasprit Bumrah Say?
“We fell short with the bat yesterday and that is where we let the opposition in to let the match slip away from us. Ifs and buts can always be there. If you go back, if there was no rain in the first match, we could have won the series. But England played really well. We drew the series and both teams played very good cricket and it was a fair result. Pant takes his chances. He and Jaddu got us back into the game with their counter-attack,” Bumrah said.
“We were ahead in the game. He takes his chances, backs himself and is very happy for him. Dravid is always there to guide us and back us. We could have been a little straighter in our bowling lines and use the variable bounce. The captaincy future is not what I decide. I like the responsibility. It was a good challenge, a new challenge. It was an honour to lead the team and a great experience,” he added.