Joe Root-Jonny Bairstow Master-Classes vs India Help England Register Their Highest Successful Chase, Break Other Records

Joe Root celebrates after the win.© AFP

When India set England a 378-run target in the fourth innings of the fifth rescheduled Test in Edgbaston, few would have believed that it was possible. There were several reasons behind the thought. England had never chased down anything over 360 in the fourth innings of a Test before. But as things turned out, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow scored unbeaten centuries to take England to a seven-wicket win with more than two sessions to spare on the fifth day of the Test match.

With the win, England set quite a few new records. England’s chase of 378 runs against India is now their highest successful chase ever. It surpassed their previous highest chase of 359 runs against Australia in 2019. This is also the highest chase by any team against India.

This is the second highest chase on English soil and the eighth highest chase in Tests ever. This is also the first time that a team has chased down 250-plus total in four consecutive Tests.

In the match, England overhauled the 378-run target in the morning session of the fifth and final day with Root and Bairstow remaining unbeaten on 142 and 114 respectively.

England’s win meant that the five-match Test series, which spilled over to this year due to COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp last year, ended in 2-2 draw. This was the fourth time England chased down a target of over 250 in the fourth innings, the earlier three being against New Zealand — 277, 299, 296 — in their 3-0 home Test series win last month. Resuming the day at 259 for 3, England hit the required 119 runs in 19.4 overs.

Root’s 173-ball innings was decorated with 19 fours and one six while Bairstow struck 15 boundaries and hit once over the ropes in his 145 ball innings.

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It was Bairstow’s second ton of the match as he had made 106 off 140 balls in the England first innings.

With PTI inputs

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