ENG vs IND, 5th Test, Day 5: Lack of plan, lack of intent, India gift the match to England
Edgbaston| The only problem with this Indian team is that they are either too overconfident or they don't care about how a game of cricket pans out, be it in any format, be it in any given condition. It is a matter of surprise that a team having total control over the match gives away the driver's seat to the opponent. This is becoming a recurring habit with the Indian team and they don't seem to improve at it any time soon.
With a lead of 132 runs at the end of day 3, the Indian batting was expected to capitalize and set up a huge score for the hosts, but they failed to do so as they bundled out for 245 runs. The visitors set a target of 378 for England and they comfortably chased it down with seven wickets in hand. Before this England had chased down 359 at Headingley against Australia in the 2019-20 Ashes series.
When the duo of Alex Lees and Zack Crawley walked in, everybody felt that they are just meager walkovers and will be very easy to dismiss. But little did anyone know what Lees and Crawley were looking to do, the English batsmen were quick to attack and did not give any kind of respite to India's dominant pace battery. Both of them put a 100-run stand. India scalped three quick wickets, but the in-form Bairstow and Root steadied England's ship.
With the ball reversing and with Root and Bairstow struggling initially, skipper Bumrah made things extremely easy for both the batsmen by opening up the field. Sensing the opportunity, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow kept on rotating the strike and at one point it felt like both the teams are playing ODI cricket. When play resumed on day 5, Bairstow and Root started on auto-pilot mode and looked in a hurry to finish the match off. In the process, Bairstow scored 114* off 145 deliveries with 15 boundaries and 1 six and Root scored 142* off 173 runs which include 14 boundaries and 1 six.
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England Playing XI: Alex Lees, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Sam Billings, Matty Potts, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, James Anderson
India Playing XI: Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah