How England snatched a victory from the jaws of almost certain defeat


England's Ben Stokes and Joe Root celebrate after winning the 5th Test match against India, at Edgbaston Stadium, in Birmingham on Tuesday. (ANI Photo/England Cricket Twitter)

INDIA-ENGLAND TEST  We wanted India to get 450-run lead to see how things will play out: Ben Stokes following win in Edgbaston Test

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Following his side’s seven-wicket win over India in the fifth Test, England captain Ben Stokes said that his team wanted India to secure a 450-run lead in the game to see how things will play out.

A 269-run partnership between Root and Bairstow helped England create history, with the side completing their highest successful run chase ever in the longest format of the game with a seven-wicket win over India at Edgbaston in Birmingham. England was able to successfully chase down the target of 378 runs set by India. This win comes after England was bundled out for 284 in their first innings, trailing by 132 runs after India posted 416 in their first innings. India was bundled out for 245 in the third innings of the match setting a target of 378 for England to win.

With this, England levelled the series 2-2, denying India their first series win on English soil since 2007. They have also completed the most successful run chase at Edgbaston. India has also been handed over their first Test loss while defending a total of 350 or more.

“We wanted to see them get a 450-run lead to see how things will play out,” said Stokes in a press conference.

When you get clarity as to how to play with a bat or a ball, it makes our jobs easier. Cricket is about taking 20 wickets and outscoring your opponent,” he added.

Stokes said that Rishabh Pant’s fall for 57 at the hands of spinner Jack Leach was the turning point of the match. “That was huge for us. We know what he can do, how he plays his game. He could take it away from us quickly. So getting him for a fifty was a huge part of the game. Of course, a chase starts with openers. The way they played against Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, the best in the world, was emphatic. It was awesome to watch. Root and Bairstow continued with the momentum provided by them,” he added.

Stokes also admitted that watching Rishabh Pant score his century was amazing though even though his side was on the receiving end.

“He has got his criticism all over the years, but he is getting applauded now. The negativity around that way of Test cricket will soon die out because it is exciting to watch. Cricket is entertainment at the end of the day. You want results, but also want the crowd to enjoy,” he added.

The captain said that the side has had unbelievable support from the fans no matter what the team is going through. “It has been thrilling to watch with both bat in hand or ball in hand,” he added.

Coming to the match, England started off things on the final day at 259/3, with Joe Root (76*) and Jonny Bairstow (72*).

The duo’s strokeplay and determination did not change on the final day as they continued punishing the Indian bowlers from the start. They completed their 200-run and 250-run partnership without breaking a sweat. Bairstow and Root continued their purple patch with the bat, reaching their 12th and 28th Test tons respectively. It was Root who hit Jadeja for the winning single in the 78th over of the game.

England finished off at 378/3, with Root (142*) and Bairstow (114*) standing tall.

A 150-run stand between Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root helped turn things in favour of England at the end of the final session of Day Four of the ongoing fifth and final Test against India at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Monday.

At the end of the day’s play, England’s score read 259/3, with Root (76*) and Bairstow (72*) standing tall. Indians were left clueless by the determination and strokeplay of both in-form batters.

England resumed things off after Tea at 107/1, with opener Alex Lees (56*) and Ollie Pope (0*) standing unbeaten at the crease.

India got an early wicket in the first over after Tea as Jasprit Bumrah sent back Pope to the pavilion for a three-ball duck after wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant successfully caught the ball which hit the edge of his bat.

In the next over, Lees was run out by the pair of Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja. England lost their third wicket at a score of 109 runs. After this, the in-form duo of Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow resumed the chase for their side. The duo formed a fifty-run partnership. Root-Bairstow continued to inflict punishment on Indian bowlers, suddenly shifting things more in England’s favour.

A hundred-run stand was up between Bairstow and Root in 141 balls. Indian bowlers could find no answer to the batting of these two as they kept piling up runs. Both brought up their half-centuries and also completed their 150-run stand in 196 balls.

Root-Bairstow made sure that their team walked out of the final session without any further damage, needing 119 runs to win and level the series.

Earlier before Tea, England openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley struck a century partnership after captain Ben Stokes led from the front taking four wickets to bowl out India for 245 in the second innings as the visitors set a 378-run target for the hosts.

Resuming the post-lunch session at 229/7 India lost Mohammed Shami in the fourth ball of the Tea session as English captain Ben Stokes dismissed him for 13. From there on there was no looking back for the skipper as he also went on to dismiss first-innings centurion Ravindra Jadeja who chopped the ball onto his stumps for 23 as the hosts lost their ninth wicket for 236.

In his next over Stokes dismissed Indian captain Jasprit Bumrah for seven to bowl out India for 245.

The hosts set visitors a 378-run target. Chasing a big total England needed a solid start and their openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley did exactly that scoring runs at a brisk pace. The duo struck a 50-run partnership with southpaw Lees being the aggressor of the two. Southpaw Lees went on to score his half-century in just 44 balls. The opening pair of Lees-Crawley carried on and they reduced the target to less than 300.

Indian captain Jasprit Bumrah tried all the bowlers Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja but failed to break the opening partnership.

The duo took the team to the triple-figure mark to put pressure back on India. Just when it seemed that the game was going away from India their skipper Bumrah struck cleaning up Zak Crawley for 46. Hosts lost their first wicket for 107 and this score remained till Tea session as they needed 271 more runs to win with nine wickets in hand.

Earlier, for India, superb centuries by Rishabh Pant (146) and Ravindra Jadeja (104) and a late blitz by stand-in captain Jasprit Bumrah took the team to a total of 416 in their first innings. Jadeja and Pant had put on a stand of 222-runs to help India recover from a scary position at 98/5.

Captain Jasprit Bumrah also contributed 31* in just 16 balls consisting of four boundaries and two sixes.

During the 84th over of the first innings, India’s stand-in captain smoked English pacer Stuart Broad for — 4,5w,7nb,4,4,4,6,1 — a total of whooping 35 runs of which 29 runs went to Bumrah’s account. This established world records for most runs conceded by a bowler in an over in Test history and most runs hit by a batter in an over in Test history.

James Anderson was the pick of the bowlers for England in the first innings taking 5/60. Matty Potts also took 2/105.

Virat and Sachin wish MS Dhoni on his 41st birthday

India batter Virat Kohli extended wishes to former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, as he turned 41 on Thursday.

Taking to his Instagram, Virat posted a video with Dhoni and wrote, “A leader like no other. Thanks for everything you have done for Indian cricket. You became more like an elder brother for me. Nothing but love and respect always. Happy birthday skip.” “Very very happy birthday to you @msdhoni. My best wishes are always with you! Have the most wonderful year ahead. Love always,” tweeted former India spinner, Harbhajan Singh.

MS Dhoni needs no introduction in the world of cricket and is famous for his calm and stunning captaincy skills on the field in his international and IPL days.

Legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar extended birthday wishes to former Indian captain MS Dhoni who turned 41 on Thursday.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni during a IPL 2022 (ANI Photo/Chennai Super Kings Twitter)

Taking to Twitter, Tendulkar posted a message for the 2011 World Cup-winning captain. “Wishing a fine leader, teammate and friend a very happy birthday! Have a great one, @msdhoni,” tweeted Tendulkar.

Indian wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik also took to social media to wish the iconic player on his birthday.

“Happy Birthday Legend” MS Dhoni is an idol for everyone! Wishing you a very happy birthday MS #MASSIVERESPECT #HappyBirthdayDhoni,” tweeted Karthik.

Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan also wished his former teammate on Twitter.

“The cricket world is brighter only because of you! Wishing you a very Happy Birthday Mahi Bhai @msdhoni,” he tweeted.

As a captain, he has won ICC World T20 2007, ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy 2013 for India. He is the only captain to have won all three major ICC events. He has also won four Indian Premier League (IPL) titles and two Champions League Twenty20 title for Chennai Super Kings as a captain.

He announced his retirement from Test after playing 90 Tests, in which he scored 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09. He played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs, and 98 T20Is. He is considered one of the best ODI wicketkeeper-batters ever, scoring 10,773 in 350 matches at an average of 50.53, with 10 centuries and 73 half-centuries.

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