Against India, England rode on unbeaten centuries from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow to register their highest successful chase in Tests of 378 runs.
From being in an advantageous position in the fifth rescheduled Test against England in Edgbaston, the Indian cricket team could not hold their nerve and lost the game by seven wickets. England rode on unbeaten centuries from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow to register their highest successful chase in Tests of 378 runs. After the loss, experts have opined that the team composition could have been different. Former Indian cricket team player and ex-national selector Jatin Paranjape said that Ravichandran Ashwin could have been picked in the XI.
“I don’t think so. You can understand why they picked Bumrah as captain; the powers that be must have thought that Bumrah as a captain is a good choice. Sometimes it is better to err on the side of caution, and that in itself turns out to be a better decision,” Jatin Paranjape said in an interview to senior sports journalist Jamie Alter.
“I can understand why they played Shardul, because he had done well in the Test match at The Oval where he could have been the Man of the Match. But here you had R Ashwin in the squad. It is like keeping your Ferrari parked in the garage. The colour of the wicket was not your usual English wicket and Edgbaston is known to turn a little bit, so I thought India could have gone with two spinners. It gives you a little more control on the game if nothing is happening. Also, when you have three seamers and then you play a fourth one, someone gets under-bowled. You cannot use all four; it just doesn’t come into play. But then hindsight is 20/20 vision.”
In the fifth Test, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, who have made chasing tricky targets in Test matches fashionable, put the famed Indian pace attack to sword with imposing hundreds as England recorded their highest ever chase of 378 runs with minimum fuss to level the five-match series 2-2. It is the fourth straight successful chase for England, having breached tricky fourth innings targets of 278, 299 and 296 against New Zealand in the previous series.
When England were rattled on the fourth afternoon by stand-in skipper Jasprit Bumrah, the two star batters didn’t waver from their game plan. The entire Indian attack, except Bumrah, looked pedestrian. All England needed was just under 20 overs to knock off the remaining 119 runs on the fifth day morning.