Follow live coverage as England take on India eyeing what would be a remarkable win on the final day at Edgbaston.
Unbeaten knocks from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have Brendon McCullum’s thrillseekers daring to dream of a record chase of 378 in what is sure to be a grandstand finish to this series decider. No England side has ever hunted down more than 359 – Ben Stokes’ Ashes miracle at Headingley three years ago – but the new spirit of adventure which has engulfed the team this summer looks set to raise the bar in Birmingham.
An intrepid century stand between openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley carved a huge chunk of the target, before Root (76 not out) and Bairstow (72no) continued their magnificent form to leave the hosts 259-3 at the end of day four. Follow all the latest from day five in the live blog below:
Edgbaston lets fans in for free
Edgbaston have allowed fans into the final day’s play for free as has been the case at every test match ground except Lord’s this summer.
Warwickshire Courty Cricket Club are asking anyone in attendance if they would make a donation to the Bob Willis Fund which is a charity raising money for prostate cancer research and awareness, with the aim of achieving a national screening program in the next 3-5 years.
Remarkably England will start the day’s play as favorites to win the test match and level the series 2-2.
If England do chase this successfully, it will be the record highest run chase for England in Test matches and the ninth-highest in the history of the game.
Michael Jones5 July 2022 10:22
Bazball working it’s magic again?
The turn around in England’s form since Brendon McCullum was appointed head coach of the men’s test team has been incredible.
Beforehand, England had won just one test in their last 1 but since they’ve beaten the World Test Champions, New Zealand, in a 3-0 whitewash and are on the verge of another historic victory over India.
The biggest change has been the belief that McCullum, and new captain Ben Stokes, have instilled in the players. They’re playing with freedom, backing their own ability and taking the attack to the opposition.
Jonny Bairstow has best epitomized this change in mindset. He’s leaned into his naturally aggressive game when batting and has scored three centuries in three test matches helping the team to counter attack in times of trouble and leading them to some brilliant final innings victories.
He start’s today on 72* alongside fellow Yorkshireman Joe Root (76*) and will have another century in sight. The personal landmark will be secondary though with the main focus on the 119 more runs England need to win.
India need to take seven wickets and if Bairstow and Root fall early things could get very tense indeed. How will this final day play out?
Michael Jones5 July 2022 10:14
Two early wickets would open the game up: India batting coach.
Here’s a bit more from India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour, who certainly isn’t conceding victory with 119 runs still needed for England.
“Two wickets in the morning early and again the game will open up,” he said. “We know that, we understand the game, it is a big target still. It’s still more than 100 runs. We take two wickets early and the game can still open up.
“The kind of bowling Shami and Bumrah are doing, it’s not beyond them that they get one wicket, then one, two, three can fall. And that can bring us back in the game.”
Luke Baker5 July 2022 10:09
‘Ordinary day ‘ with the bat may have cost India this Test match – India batting coach
While an England perspective on day four rightly focused on efficient bowling in the morning and explosive batting thereafter to give them a shot at winning this Test, there’s also no doubt that India made a mess of things when they should have put this game to bed.
And India batting coach Vikram Rathour acknowledged that an ‘ordinary’ day with the bat may have cost them dearly.
“The plans didn’t work out,” Rathour said. “I’ll agree that we had a pretty ordinary day as far as batting is concerned. We were ahead in the game. We were in a position where we really could’ve beaten them out of the game. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.
“A lot of people got starts but really couldn’t convert. We were expecting one of them to play a big knock and have a big partnership but unfortunately it didn’t happen like that.
“Yes, they used a short-ball plan against us in the field. We had to show a little better, not intent, but strategy. We could’ve handled it slightly differently. People tried to play shots but didn’t really convert or execute them well enough. They got out of that. We will have to rethink how we handle that next time in a similar situation, against similar bowlers who keep similar fields. We will need to have a better strategy against them.”
Luke Baker5 July 2022 10:01
England vs India: Allegations of racist abuse among the crowd at Edgbaston being investigated
Officials at the Birmingham venue have confirmed they are looking into social media claims, highlighted by former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq, of discriminatory language by spectators on Monday.
Stuart Cain, chief executive at Edgbaston, said: “I’m gutted by these reports as we’re working hard to make Edgbaston a safe, welcoming environment for all.
“Having seen the initial tweets, I’ve spoken personally to the gentleman who raised them and we’re now speaking to the stewards in this area to establish what happened.
“Nobody should be subject to any form of abuse at Edgbaston. So, once we’ve got all the facts, we will make sure this issue is addressed swiftly.”
Luke Baker5 July 2022 09:54
England have ultimate belief they can complete chase against India, insists Alex Lees
Alex Lees claimed England’s “ultimate belief” in each other helped drive them towards a history-making chase against India at Edgbaston.
England have already pulled off some superb fourth-innings efforts this summer, thriving in the heat of battle to pull in targets of 277, 299 and 296 against New Zealand, but if everything goes to plan on day five at Edgbaston they will have set a new high watermark.
India set the winning line at 378, higher than any England side has ever managed and worthy of a place in the top 10 chases ever completed in Test cricket, and somehow enter the final day as underdogs. England need just 119 more with seven wickets in hand to complete a stunning achievement, with form pair Joe Root (76no) and Jonny Bairstow (72no) ready to build on an unbroken stand of 150 and Ben Stokes waiting in the pavilion.
Considerable credit must also go to the opening pair of Alex Lees (56) and Zak Crawley (46), who raised the roof with an agenda-setting century stand. And Lees spoke for the whole team when he claimed that breaking an English record of 359, set by Stokes’ ‘miracle of Headingley’ during the 2019 Ashes, never came close to daunting them.
“I just think there is ultimate belief in one another, from one to 11, that we could do this,” he said. “I think we’re just very optimistic about it. You know the target is there but you just try and put it into the background. It’s not something we necessarily spoke about.
“As a unit our batters are getting runs, they’re confident, it’s a pretty good wicket and a good outfield. So, obviously, we just want to take the game to the opposition.”
Luke Baker5 July 2022 09:45
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow leave England daring to dream against India
Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were daring to dream about a record chase of 378 against India after they set up another grandstand finish in their Test series decider against India.
No England side has ever hunted down more than 359 – Ben Stokes’ Ashes miracle at Headingley three years ago – but the new spirit of adventure that has engulfed the team this summer looks set to raise the bar at Edgbaston.
An intrepid century stand between openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley carved a huge chunk of the target, before Root (76 not out) and Bairstow (72no) continued their magnificent form to leave the hosts 259 for three at the end of day four.
With 119 needed and belief implausibly high after knocking off 277, 299 and 296 against New Zealand in the last month, England go into the final day as comfortable favorites to take a fresh slice of history and square the ledger at 2-2.
A full house of more than 20,000 will be in attendance to watch the latest unlikely victory charge of the Stokes-Brendon McCullum era after Warwickshire followed the example of Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire by offering free entry for the final day.
Michael Jones5 July 2022 09:34
England v India – Day 5
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of day five of England vs India at Edgbaston and what a conclusion to the Test match we have.
Unbeaten knocks from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow have Brendon McCullum’s thrillseekers daring to dream of a record chase of 378 in what is sure to be a grandstand finish to this series decider.
No England side has ever hunted down more than 359 – Ben Stokes’ Ashes miracle at Headingley three years ago – but the new spirit of adventure which has engulfed the team this summer looks set to raise the bar in Birmingham.
An intrepid century stand between openers Alex Lees and Zak Crawley carved a huge chunk of the target, before Root (76 not out) and Bairstow (72no) continued their magnificent form to leave the hosts 259-3 at the end of day four. ‘Only’ 119 more runs to win…
Luke Baker5 July 2022 09:26