India set daunting 521-run target for England

India set daunting 521-run target for England

Javier Howell
August 22, 2018

India, though, have plenty of time to pick up the six wickets needed for victory and no shortage of runs to play with as England face an improbable target of 521. It was the first time since 1986 that Indian openers have twice posted half-century partnerships in the same match in England. It was Test batting at its finest, full of poise with England on the ropes.

By mid-session, the third wicket pair had taken England to 62 without serious further alarm.

Chris Woakes dispatched Bumrah's hat-trick ball to the boundary but was caught behind in the seamers next over to leave England teetering on 241 for seven.

The wicket did not stop the onslaught, however, as the in-form Hardik Pandya smashed a brisk 52 not out to back up his five-wicket haul yesterday.

Bumrah's dramatic new-ball burst of three wickets for eight runs in five balls was a reward for his endurance, as well as skill.

Latest Updates: What a roller-coaster of a day.

Rahane had moved to 81 when he edged Stuart Broad behind.

India are also hoping to become just the second team in Test history to win a five-match series from 2-0 down, a feat achieved by a Don Bradman-inspired Australia against England in 1936/37.

As if their insipid batting performance wasn't bad enough, England gifted Virat Kohli a century with a freakish blunder. Broad almost had Kohli leg-before-wicket a la Ben Stokes at Edgbaston, only for Marais Erasmus to turn the hosts' appeal down.

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India's total of 329 was distinctly above par for the bowling conditions.

"It was very important for us to turn up and show a lot of character, a lot of fight and not give it to India easily, make them work hard", he said.

It wasn't until Monday's 41st over that England had their first success of the day, with the recalled Ben Stokes getting Pujara to edge a routine chance to Cook. The tall and lanky fast bowler looked on song from the first ball of the day and it was only coming.

For India it was very much a case of from feast to starvation.

But Anderson didn't get his due with Cheteshwar Pujara dropped on 40 and Virat Kohli on 93. Only four others have done it more times than the Indian skipper.

England is in deep trouble now as India aiming to finish off this game as early as possible. Positivity in defense, positivity in decision making, basically the exact opposite of what transpired over the first two hours at Trent Bridge.

England were bowled out in a session on Sunday despite an opening stand of 54. But whether that should have resulted in four wickets falling is another matter.

India's lead crossed 500 while Mohammed Shami was playing at 3 as he was the last man to be dismissed before the captain declared the innings. Alastair Cook is now in one of his ever more-regular lulls in terms of run scoring. He has only one score of over 50 this year and the knives may well be out for him once this Test is over.

England also have another keeping option in Ollie Pope in their side. That's when Bumrah stepped up and and delivered the spell of the Test. The end seemed near but England have managed to survive, only just.