England vs India, 5th Test, Top Performances: Joe Root's 142*, Jonny Bairstow's 114* are top performances. England beat India by 7 wickets and level Pataudi series by 2-2.
Brief Scores: England 284 (Bairstow 106, Siraj 4/66, Bumrah 3/68) & 378/3 (Root 142*, Bairstow 114*, Bumrah 2/74) beat India 416 (Pant 146, Jadeja 104, Anderson 5/60) & 245 (Pujara 66, Pant 57, Stokes 4/33) by seven wickets
Player of the Match: Jonny Bairstow (106 & 114*)
Player of the Series (India): Jasprit Bumrah (23 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 22.47)
Player of the Series (England): Joe Root (737 runs in 5 matches at an average of 105.28)
After strong performances with both bat and ball on the fourth day against some reckless Indian batting and ordinary bowling, England were firm favorites to level the series 2-2, needing just 119 runs with seven wickets in hand.
England recorded their highest successful chase in Tests; 8th highest overall
England began the day with an unbeaten 150-run stand for the fourth wicket between Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow. Both of them never allowed India to put pressure on them as the former reached his 28th Test century before watching his partner joining him in celebrating his 12th Test century.
The 269* run stand between them is also the fourth highest partnership in the fourth innings of a Test match and the second highest unbeaten stand. England’s 378 is now their highest chase in Tests beating the 2019 Leeds Test against Australia. It was also the highest chase against India in Test history and the second highest on English soil.
With this, England became the first side to chase 250+ scores in four consecutive Test matches.
Let’s scan the top performances from the fifth day of the fifth Test between England and India at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
Joe Root smacked his 28th Test hundred to strengthen England
Joe Root was on an overnight score of 76 in an unbeaten 150-run stand with Jonny Bairstow as England required just 119 runs to square the series. And just like what he did on Day 4, Root began the day with a single before getting his first boundary of the fresh day thanks to an inside edge.
Even when he wasn’t getting boundaries, he kept on rotating the strike to keep India’s bowling line-up under constant duress. The shot that Root creamed off Mohammed Shami through covers for a boundary spoke about of the volume of his class.
Then, Root smacked Jasprit Bumrah for two back-to-back boundaries to notch up the 200-run partnership with Bairstow, who was providing him the best support.
At last, with a boundary squeezed past a jumping first slip, Joe Root acknowledged the crowd for his 28th Test century as the whole ground went “Rooooooooot” in cheering. With the century, he went past Steven Smith and Virat Kohli in the ‘Fab Four’, both of whom are locked on 27 centuries and drew level with Hashim Amla and Michael Clarke on 28 centuries.
Before this season, Root had just 1,024 runs in 37 innings at an average of 32 with a highest score 87 during the fourth innings of Tests while he has cracked 115*, 3, 86 and 142* during this ongoing season in the fourth innings. With his ninth Test hundred against India, Root surpassed Ricky Ponting in scoring most Test hundreds against India. It was Root’s fourth century of the series, fifth this year, eight in the last 11 months and 11th since the start of 2021.
Root charged down the ground to smack Shardul Thakur over his head for a boundary before reverse scooping the same bowler for a six two balls later. Root finished the successful chase unbeaten on 142* with 19 boundaries and one six and ended the series with 737 runs in nine innings.
Attacking Bairstow deposited his 12th Test century
Jonny Bairstow, who smashed an entertaining 106 in shouldering England to 284 in the first innings, was on unbeaten 72 overnight and was looking good for consecutive centuries.
Bairstow began the day in an attacking mode with two back-to-back boundaries off Shami, one through point and one through the square leg region. He kept on grilling the indisciplined Indian bowling attack to move on to the 90s.
The England batter did cool down in a phase when his partner Root carried himself to a century but later with a quick single off Ravindra Jadeja, Bairstow reached his 12th Test hundred. It was his sixth century in the last eight Test matches and fourth hundred in the last five innings. With six hundreds so far in 2022, Bairstow now has most centuries in a year batting at No. 5 or below.
Bairstow, after his hundred, took on Mohammed Siraj and cracked him for three successive boundaries to finish the game on an unbeaten 114 with the help of 15 boundaries and one six.
Jonny Bairstow (Player of the Match): It has been great fun. The last month has been fantastic with smiles on the faces of the lads. I am stripping it back on the basics. The last few years have been tough on me with all those bubbles. I just have an enjoyment factor and the fear of failing now has been erased. We are going to lose a few games with this approach but it’s the positive brand of cricket we all want to play. India have some world class bowlers and it’s vital to soak the pressure. I have accepted that I am not going to have success all the time.
Joe Root (England’s Player of the Series): I just love playing and it’s just as simple as that. The environment has been a treat, especially after the wins over New Zealand in the last four weeks. There is clarity about chasing such totals which has helped to rise up the belief. There are so many players and Stokes is giving all of them his backing. The form has been excellent but I want to keep it as fun as possible. We have been riding on a brilliant wave of confidence. The start of the openers put the pressure on India and it made easier for us. It was great fun doing it.
Jasprit Bumrah (India’s Player of the Series & Captain): I am not going to call myself an all-rounder, still the beauty of this format is that even after having three good days, we fell short with the bat yesterday and that’s where as a team we let the game slip towards the opponents. There can be some ifs and buts and going back in the series, if there was no rain in the first game, we could have won the series. We have drawn the series and both teams have played good cricket all around. Dravid is always there to guide us and back us. The captaincy is not something I decide but it was a new challenge that made me more involved in the game. It was an honour to lead the team and a great experience.
Ben Stokes (England Captain): When the boys play like that, the job gets easier. The clarity in the dressing room is making it comfortable. (A chase of) 378 would be scary five days ago but now it’s all good. Jonny and Root will get the credit but the way the openers have played against the new ball was a treat to watch. There are no complains. Sometimes, teams will get the better of us but no one will be braver than us, according to Jack Leach. We are rewriting how Test cricket can be played. It’s about taking ten wickets, no matter how they come. The support has been excellent and it will inspire the future generation. We want to leave a mark on Test cricket.
Two days later, England will take on India for the first of the three match T20I series starting on July 7 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Southampton.