England leveled the Test series 2-2 with a seven-wicket win at Edgbaston.
England registered a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over India in the rescheduled fifth Test match at Edgbaston. By the virtue of this win, the series is tied at 2-2, and India’s wait to register a Test series triumph on English soil prolongs. The final day of the contest started with the Three Lions needing 119 more runs and they got the job done in style without even breaking a sweat.
India have only themselves to blame for squandering a perfect opportunity having reduced England to 109/3. However, the turning point of the fourth innings was Hanuma Vihari dropping a sitter of Jonny Bairstow when the latter was on 14. Not only was Vihari missed an opportunity but the ball also went to the boundary adding salt to injury.
Both Bairstow and Root punished the Indian bowling attack thereafter and got the job done for their side.
Root, Bairstow power England to a series-leveling win over India
When the fifth day’s play began, the Indian bowlers had the daunting task of picking the remaining seven English wickets on a surface that seemingly assisted bowlers in the morning. Unfortunately for them, they could not get any rhythm and failed to make an impact with the new ball as the bowlers were taken to the cleaners at regular intervals.
The top-ranked Test batter Joe Root continued his purple patch and went on to register yet another century which also happened to be his fourth one in this series and the 28th one in the longest format. Meanwhile, this was Root’s fifth Test century in 2022.
Even Jonny Bairstow registered a consecutive century in this Test match and worked in tandem with Root to complete the formalities for England well before lunch. Bairstow was not out on 114 while Root remained unbeaten on 142. For India stand-in captain Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of the bowlers in the second innings with figures of 2/74.
Player of the Match, Jonny Bairstow said:
It is great fun at the moment. The last month has been fantastic for the lads and the smiles on their faces when everyone does well is a massive part of it. I am stripping it back to the basics. The last few years have been tough on me but the last few months have been fantastic. Fair play to everyone who went to that. To the crowd as well: Day five was over in 90 minutes. I just have an enjoyment factor now. I am not afraid of failing and just want to put the pressure on the opposition. We are going to lose games with the approach we have, but it is a positive fun brand of cricket to play. The chase was all under control (laughs). They have some world-class bowlers and you just have to soak the pressure. They try to intimidate, they have some fantastic players and it was about trying to shift the pressure to them. There are going to be phases when they are going to play really well. There was a period when it started reversing as well. And today morning was a different morning. Root and me are just two lads from Yorkshire. We have grown up playing together and spent a lot of time together from the Yorkshire academy days to the Test team now. Special to play with him. ”
England’s Player of the Series, Joe Root said:
“Love playing. It’s as simple as that. The environment has been great and the guys are having fun in the last four weeks. There is absolute clarity that we were chasing it down and there was total belief. Absolutely didn’t think of stepping away from the game. There are a bunch of lovely lads and Stokes has the backing of everyone. Our responsibility is to keep everyone entertained and keep it fun. [On his form] It is something you are constantly searching for and something you rarely find. You want to keep it as fun as possible. Still watching Jonny bat is great, I just wanted to give him strike. I have accepted that you aren’t going to have success all the time. As a 5-10 year old kid, having fun is what you want and that is what is the most enjoyable part of the career. We have been riding a brilliant wave of confidence after brilliant performances against NZ. The start the two openers got us off to was superb and they put the pressure back on. It made it a lot more easier for us and those scores were a lot more than what was seen on the scoresheet. It was great fun doing it. “
Losing captain and India’s Player of the Series, Jasprit Bumrah said:
“ I won’t go that far ahead (of calling himself an all-rounder). That’s the beauty of Test cricket, even if you have three good days. We fell short with the bat yesterday and that is where we let the opposition in to let the match slip away from us. Ifs and buts can always be there. If you go back, if there was no rain in the first match, we could have won the series. But England played really well. We have drawn the series and both teams played very good cricket and it was a fair result. Pant takes his chances. He and Jaddu got us back into the game with their counter-attack. We were ahead in the game. He takes his chances, backs himself, and very happy for him. Dravid is always there to guide us and back us. We could have been a little straighter in our bowling lines and use the variable bounce. The captaincy is not what I decide. I like the responsibility. It was a good challenge, a new challenge. It was an honor to lead the team and a great experience. “
Winning skipper Ben Stokes said:
“ When the lads play like this, it makes my job easier. When you have clarity like we have in the dressing room, it makes chasing totals like this easier. 378 would have been scary five weeks ago, but now it’s all good. Jonny and Root will get all the credit, but the precedent was set up by the way the openers played against Bumrah and Shami with the new ball. It is all about taking wickets and taking ten wickets. There are no complaints. Sometimes, teams will be better than us, but no one will be braver than us, quote by Jack Leach. We are trying to rewrite how Test cricket is played in England. All our plans from the last four-five weeks is what we want to take forward. Bowling on the top of off isn’t important, it’s all about taking ten wickets. We know that we want to give some new life to Test cricket. The support we received has been fantastic in the short time that we’ve been around. Inspiring the next generation is what we want to do. We want to bring in new fans and want to leave a mark on Test cricket. ”