Birmingham: Joe Root slammed his 11th Test century since 2021 while Jonny Bairstow hit his second hundred of the rescheduled Edgbaston Test as England defeated India by seven wickets on the fifth day of the match.
Resuming from 259/3, Root (142 not out off 173 balls) and Bairstow (114 not out off 145 balls) achieved the required 119 runs in an hour and a half to tie the series being played for the Pataudi Trophy 2-2 and deny India their first series victory in England since 2007.
The successful chase of 378 is also the highest England have chased ever in Test cricket. After chasing 277, 299 and 296 against New Zealand, England chasing 378 against India also made them the first team in Test cricket to chase four 250+ scores successfully in consecutive matches. Root and Bairstow were efficient, flawless and dominant in their unbeaten stand of 269 as the Bazball winning juggernaut continues for England.
Nine balls into day five in front of a crowd offered free tickets, the ball was changed, not for the first time in the match. The last time ball change happened; India got three quick wickets on day four. But Jonny Bairstow quashed all hopes of an encore, slamming back-to-back boundaries through cover point and backward point.
Root survived chopping onto his stumps off Shami, but apart from this, looked in immaculate control. India were all over the place with the ball, with Shami leaking eight byes and giving England free gifts. Another ball change happened in the 65th over, but it brought no respite for India as Root hit Jasprit Bumrah for successive boundaries — steering through the third man and leaning forward to clip through deep mid-wicket, which also brought the 200 of the partnership.
Root reached his fifth Test century of this year by dabbing a listless Mohammed Siraj past gully. He continued to flow effortlessly, caressing Siraj for a boundary through extra cover and getting a top-edge fly past a sprinting fine leg. But the jaw-dropping shot of the day came when he pre-mediated the reverse scoop over fine leg for a six off Thakur, two balls after he danced down the pitch to hit a boundary over the bowler’s head.
On the other side, Bairstow had to spend a quiet time in the 90s, including playing a maiden over off Ravindra Jadeja. But he reached his century with a single through square leg off Jadeja. He then treated Siraj with absolute disdain — smashing a hat-trick for boundaries through point, down the ground and mid-wicket.
Root nailed a reverse sweep off Jadeja for a boundary before repeating the same shot for the winning run to get the job done easily for England.
India 416 & 245 lost to England 284 & 378/3 in 76.4 overs (Joe Root 142 not out, Jonny Bairstow 114 not out, Alex Lees 56; Jasprit Bumrah 2-74) by 7 wickets