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India vs England 1st Test, Day 4 - Root’s ton revives England, India need 157 runs on Day 5

India 278 and 52-1 (Rahul 26, Rohit 12*) require 157 runs to beat England 183 & 303 (Root 109, Curran 32, Bumrah 5-64, Thakur 2-37)

England vs India 2021, 1st Test Day 4 Highlights: Joe Root scored 109 runs and set 209 run target for India. Jasprit Bumrah takes 5 wicket haul.
Joe Root has scored most Test runs (8834 runs @49.07) since the start of 2010. (Image: ©WisdenIndia)

Out of all the insurmountable cricket played during a year, a close fought away Test tour is undoubtedly the pinnacle of the game. Coming into Day 4, India sat comfortably ahead, nurturing a lead of 70 runs and seeming to dictate the business ahead.

England’s Test team, one of the better ones in world cricket, have been going through a tricky phase when it comes to their batting, with their top order not performing up to expectation and an unstable middle order.

India went into the fourth day, confident on the back of their 1st innings restrictive effort, hoping to get the opposition out quickly. But good batting conditions, inaccurate loose bowling and a brilliant ton by Joe Root savaged the game in the England’s favour.

England Captain Joe Root shines with a belated ton

Joe Root was undoubtedly the star of the day, batting with panache for his 109 of 172 balls, stringing the team together and holding up one end for most of the innings. It is noteworthy that Root has become the highest run-scorer for England in international cricket across formats, a feat which he achieved in the first innings itself when he made 64 valuable runs. He has now piled up 15,889 runs in international cricket to break the record of former opener Alastair Cook who had amassed 15,737 runs across formats.

For all the criticism he has faced, Root successfully converted his start to a strong 100 in an otherwise low scoring matchup, displaying his class and temperament towards the game.

Read More: Ind vs Eng 1st Test, Day 3 Highlights- India take 95-run lead

England compile 303 runs, India set target of 209

England put up 303 runs for their second innings giving India a target of 209 to win. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma got off to a good start, but the changing English skies favoured the home team during the end of play resulting in Rahul’s wicket off Stuart Broad.

Looking back at the day, England started off in the morning at 25-0. They lost their first two wickets as Burns and Crawley went back to the dressing room in consecutive overs. England who were still trailing by 49 runs, sat awkwardly when their captain, Joe Root, arrived at the crease.

Heroes are what heroes do. The captain while leading the team from the front put up an 89-run partnership along with Dom Sibley, playing out 174 balls and scoring the bulk of the runs (71) to get the team to lunch at 119-2 along with winning the crucial 1st session of play on Day 4.