An uphill task but not an impossible one for England

back icon
safari
06 Sep 2021 | 04:13 AM
authorAnirudh Kasargod

An uphill task but not an impossible one for England

England, in pursuit of 368, have cut down the target by 77 runs without losing a wicket

Throughout this series, sans the third Test, there hasn’t really been a dull moment. If not for a wash-out on the fifth day at Trent Bridge, the first Test had also spiced up well for the fifth day. The following match at the Lord’s showed why Test cricket is still the pinnacle. This match, at The Oval, as well is in perfect balance, probably a bit tilted towards India because of the huge task ahead for the English team. However, a chase can’t be ruled out.

Though a target of over 275 has never been chased at The Oval, there are significant matches where teams have scored big on the fifth day. The best example of it is the 1979 match between England and India. Even though the match ended in a draw, India had almost chased the target by scoring over 353 runs on the fifth day of the Test and fell short by nine runs. If that is way too long ago, another example was in 2007. England were chasing an unassailable target of 500. However, they managed to score 313 on the fifth day. As recently as in 2018, India lost that match while chasing 464 runs, but had scored 277 runs on the fifth day. These are evident enough to rule out a guaranteed win for India despite having the ball in their court.

It's not only The Oval, England has seen a few encounters where 270 runs have been scored in the fourth innings on the fifth day. In This century, there have been seven instances on English soil and three since 2010. The most number of runs scored in the final day (fifth) in the aforementioned time is 347 by Australia in 2005 in Manchester. England’s most runs tally on the fifth day came against India in the 2007 Oval match (313). But West Indies, in 2017 at Oval, smashed 317 runs, which is the most runs scored by a team in this century on the fifth day to win. Overall, Australia in 1948 at the same venue had hit all their 404 runs on the fifth day of the Test to win.

AN UPHILL TASK 

There is enough support in the pitch to do the unachievable, but it is certainly not an easy route for England. If they are to reach it and go 2-1 up in the series they have to bring in their best. England’s biggest chase came against Australia in the most famous Ashes matches of all in 2019. Ben Stokes was the hero of that match. England have chased 300+ targets four times but this will be their highest if they achieve it. 

Also, they have to keep in mind that, no matter how good the conditions are to bat, never has there been a target of 265+ been chased at the Oval. They needed to score 28 more runs on the last day than the highest target chased – 263 vs Australia in 1902. A target of 200+ has never been chased in this century.

With all three possibilities achievable, the fifth day at the Oval will see a full house on an absolutely dry and sunny day. It is predicted to remain as sunny as it was on the fourth day. This means, more sun beating on the pitch and easier batting. This also suggests Virat Kohli will be looking towards Ravindra Jadeja for wickets.

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
England vs IndiaIndia tour of England, 2021IndiaEnglandRory BurnsHaseeb HameedRavichandran AshwinJasprit Bumrah

Related Articles

safari
FANTASY
England vs India, fifth Test, Old Trafford: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips that might help you in creating your fantasy team that could earn points from the fifth fixture of the series
usercricket.com staff
09 Sep 2021
safari
NEWS
Woakes sure of England pulling off Oval heist
Woakes said England can draw on their monumental 2019 Ashes win and last year's successful chase of 277 against Pakistan for inspiration
usercricket.com staff
06 Sep 2021
safari
OPINION
Best of Team India at The Oval
Can India go 2-1 up? History is certainly not on their side
usercricket.com staff
01 Sep 2021
safari
OPINION
When Headingley infused new life to the great game
The northernmost Test venue in the world has witnessed some of the all-time classics
userAnirudh Kasargod
23 Aug 2021
safari
OPINION
All three results possible as we await a mouth-watering fifth day
191 is the highest total chased at Lord’s in the last decade. India currently lead by 154
usercricket.com staff
16 Aug 2021
safari
NEWS
England v India at Lord's in the 21st century
The epic moments that defined the five Tests at the home of cricket since 2000
usercricket.com staff
11 Aug 2021
safari
OPINION
History beckons as India aim to take an early advantage in the series
Barring a collapse, India are well placed to complete their highest-ever chase on the English soil
usercricket.com staff
08 Aug 2021
safari
OPINION
Day-5, What to expect: Can New Zealand push for a win? Will the weather play a part?
New Zealand is leading by a huge margin of 165 runs heading into the last day of the first Test at Lord’s
userAnirudh Kasargod
06 Jun 2021
safari
STATS NUGGETS
Australia vs India, 4th Test, Brisbane: Statistical highlights
India created history at The Gabba by becoming the first team to win a Test there in 32 years. A look at all the major statistical milestones from the game
userAnirudh Kasargod
20 Jan 2021
safari
ANALYSIS
Conquerors of The Oval
Here's a look at three greats of the game who performed superbly at The Oval.
userPramod Ananth
12 Sep 2019
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved