England’s streak of successful fourth-inning comebacks this summer continued as they reached 259 for 3 in their quest of 378, which would be a record for them if it succeeded.
Prior to Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow repairing a collapse of three wickets for two runs, Alex Lees and Zak Crawley set up their quickest hundred-run opening stand in Test cricket.
England Bowling This Morning Biggest Turning Point: Alex Lees
At a post-game press conference on the fourth day, Alex Lees, the England opener who was run out after scoring 56 in England’s second innings run chase said: “If we bat well for the first 30-40 minutes tomorrow (Tuesday) morning we should be in a pretty strong position (to win the match). We are just very optimistic.”
“(Ben) Stokes’ spell turned the game on its head. The (England) bowling this morning was the biggest turning point,” In a stretch full of short-pitched bowlers, England skipper and all-rounder Stokes took four wickets for 33 runs, which paid off for the home team as Indian batters complied with careless hooks.
Before the start of England’s second innings, Lees made the following observation regarding the mood in the England locker room: “There is an ultimate belief that from one to 11 that we can do it. My role was to put some pressure on the Indian bowlers,” he added.
Had A Pretty Ordinary Day With The Bat: Vikram Rathour
“We had a pretty ordinary day with our batting. We could not convert starts.”
“If two wickets fall early tomorrow morning, the game can still open up. It’s not beyond (Mohammed) Shami and (Jasprit) Bumrah. We needed to bowl better, in better areas; a couple of dropped catches also made a difference,” Vikram Rathour, India’s batting coach, also spoke to the media.
He said Cheteshwar Pujara “gave his best” as he reached a half-century before going to an unusual uppish square cut.
India’s rollercoaster day saw them go from being in control to perhaps losing the test. Their second innings ended with them being knocked out for 245. With Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow still undefeated at 76 and 72, respectively, and England at 259 for three, they needed to win by 378 runs.