U.K. Nottingham: India were 52 for one at stumps on day four, chasing a 209-run target in the opening test against England here on Saturday. England scored 303 in their second innings with skipper Joel Root (109) leading from the front to score his 21st hundred. For India, Jasprit Bumrah picked up a five-wicket haul. India got off to a good start in the run chase despite losing the wicket of K.L. Rahul for 26. India needs 157 more runs on Day 5 with nine wickets in hand.
Arriving at the crease when England was 46 for 2, Joe Root showed his exemplary class where he negotiated top class Indian pace attack with elan. His soft hand defence made sure that nicks didn’t carry to the slips. Some of the cover drives were an absolute treat to watch. He looked beautifully balanced in the crease and coming to the close to the pitch of the balls were hallmarks of his stay on the wicket. His 172 balls hundred was studded with 14 fours with an impressive strike rate of 63 per 100 balls. His innings made sure that Indian batters have to toil hard if India wants to win the match.
Boom- boom Bumrah
If Joe Root was England saviour, Jasprit Bumrah was India’s spearhead to make sure that India shouldn’t chase the total that would be very difficult for their batsmen. With Bumrah in action, the Indian pace attack looks altogether different. His awkward action, his swinging ability and straightening the ball after pitching makes him deadlier in English condition. The ball that took the wicket of well-settled Root was classic to watch. It straightened after pitching and took the edge of Root’s bat only to land in the gloves of Rishabh Pant. He polished the tail of England innings in a jiffy. His 5 for 64 stole the show for India.
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With 9 wickets in hand, India needs to bat very doggedly to win the test match on the wicket which is now playing tricks on the batsmen. The fifth day will be the acid test for Indian batsmen if weather permits.