Edgbaston Test: Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow rain on India's parade on Day 4
- Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow put England on track for their most successful run chase in Test history
- They compiled an unbeaten 150-run stand for the fourth wicket
- England is now just 119 runs shy of India's mark
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow put England on track for their most successful run chase in Test history, as the hosts finished Day 4 just 119 runs shy of India's mark. On a magnificent batting day, the two produced fifties and compiled an unbeaten 150-run stand for the fourth wicket to help England reach 259 for 3 at Stumps.
Through Rishabh Pant's half-century, India gained early control of the proceedings on a crucial day's play, even as England whittled away in the morning session.
Before Ben Stokes demolished the tail after lunch, India had added 120 to their overnight lead of 257. England's most successful run-chase in Tests, the historic Leeds Test in 2019, saw them achieve a target of 378, 19 runs less than what India had set them today.
But England appeared undeterred in their early efforts to turn the tables on India in the middle session, with Alex Lees and Zak Crawley scoring 100 runs between them in the 20th over. Jasprit Bumrah switched his bowlers and even sent in Ravindra Jadeja early on, but that was met with some daring from Lees, who took on the spinner in a 10-run over. The opener snubbed Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur on his way to a 44-ball half-century that contained eight fours.
India needed Bumrah's intervention to keep the game from sliding away too rapidly, as he returned at the conclusion of the second session and cleaned up Crawley with a nip backer. It provided India a late boost in what had been a mainly dismal session of cricket.
Bumrah's brilliance continued on the opposite side of the break, as he got Ollie Pope to nick off on the opening ball of the fourth session. The tide appeared to be changing again when England lost Lees' to a run out shortly after, owing to Joe Root's poor call for a run. It ended Lees' magnificent knock on 56 and offered India an opportunity to reclaim control of the game.
Bumrah used Jadeja to add pressure, bowling from over the stumps to right-handers and operating with lines outside the leg stump. As India successfully limited England's scoring rate, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root began by padding balls away.
However, this did not result in a continuous stretch of bowling domination for India, as the England combination continued to take their toll on Siraj and Shardul.
After a while, Root even tried paddle sweeps against Jadeja in an attempt to derail India's preparations and compel Bumrah to use pace from both ends on the flat pitch.
It didn't get there until the final half-hour, but England kept chipping away at the enormous target. Bumrah's hopes of bringing an end to a poor day on the field were dashed as he, Shami, and Siraj conceded 45 runs in the final eight overs.