England opener Alex Lees mentioned his intention to hit Ravindra Jadeja for a six on the fourth day of the fifth and final Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
India were bowled out for 245 in the second innings with the fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara (66) and Rishabh Pant (57) setting England a humungous target of 378.
Alex Lees, Zak Crawley set the tone for England’s big chase
England openers Alex Lees (56) and Zak Crawley (46) laid the foundation for the potential record chase with their opening stand of 107. The duo had a clear intent of scoring runs at pace as England reached 100 in 20 overs.
It took a nip backer from Jasprit Bumrah to crash into Crawley’s defence and break the threatening stand just before the tea break. Bumrah wasn’t done and dismissed Ollie Pope on the first ball of the third session of the day. Pope tickled Bumrah’s angling delivery behind the stumps and departed for a nought. In the next over, Lees was run out in a mix-up with Joe Root, the latter was at the fault for his misjudged call.
It is for us to have a go at the left-arm spinner: Alex Lees on targeting Ravindra Jadeja
Lees was the aggressor in the early part of the chase, carting for boundaries against the likes of Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. Lees smashed a total of three boundaries against Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja, in fact, the southpaw welcomed him with a boundary over mid-off. The England opener later mentioned that he wanted to smack Jadeja for a six on the first ball.
“For the left-handers in this team, I think is for us to have a go at the left-arm spinner. If I am honest, I wanted to hit him for six first ball but yorked myself! There is no great science. I just tried to hit the ball where the fielders weren’t,” Lees told Sky Sports after the fourth day’s play.
“I just wanted to try and give it a good whack, to be honest. The backing from Ben [Stokes] and Baz [McCullum] has accelerated that aggressive intent and the manner in which I am playing. The numbers are still not where I would like them to be. I want to score big hundreds – that is my role as an opening batter,” he added.
Root in alliance with Jonny Bairstow brought the hosts back into the game as England didn’t lose any wicket further in the day. Root and Bairstow held their nerves and played the conventional shots, which wasn’t even relating to the profound Bazball theory. The duo stitched 150 runs for the fourth wicket as England are 119 runs away from breaking numerous records in the red-ball format.