It was a tiring day for the English bowlers on day four as the sun beat down and Indian batsmen piled on the runs. The only ones to miss out on this pitch were Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja and to some extent Virat Kohli as well. However, Shardul Thakur had a memorable Test with the bat. A century run stand for the seventh wicket ensured India with a big second innings lead.
In reply, England openers have started the innings well and have batted through the day unseparated. On the last day of the Test England need 291 runs to win. There were some records in India’s marathon innings, here are a few notable ones:
Ajinkya hits an all-time low
It has been a series of agony for Rahane. In fact, the whole year has been one. In an innings in which six of the top eight registered scores of over 40, he was the only one to suffer a duck. That’s not the only factor. Rahane has been awful against England in Tests. He has an average of 22.7 against them, which is the lowest for an Indian top-order batsman (1-7) who has batted in 25+ innings against an opponent.
Virat notches up another milestone
Kohli on his route to a 44 in the second innings, registered 1000 runs on English soil. He became the fourth Indian after Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sunil Gavaskar to achieve the record. This is the third country where Kohli has registered 1000+ runs and only Tendulkar, Dravid and Gavaskar are ahead of him. Tendulkar has hit 1000+ runs in five countries and Dravid and Gavaskar in four.
Moeen gobbles Kohli once again
Off spinners have the tendency to dismiss Kohli often. In the fourth Test as well, when Kohli was looking solid against the pacers, Moeen Ali provided the breakthrough. The second innings dismissal against Moeen Ali was the sixth instance of Kohli getting out to Moeen in Tests. Only James Anderson and Nathan Lyon have bagged him more times (7).
Shardul shines with twin fifties
More than any batsmen, Thakur would have enjoyed this pitch like anything. The fastest ever Test fifty on English soil in the first innings and a sedate half-century in the second innings is proof of it. He became the sixth player overall and third Indian to smash twin fifties batting at number eight. Last three batsmen to achieve this feat have all been Indians in this list. Harbhajan Singh against New Zealand in 2010 and Wriddhiman Saha against the same opposition in 2016.
Most 50+ scores in first four matches batting 8 or lower
It's not only this match, Shardul has been handy with the bat in all his attempts barring the first Test in whites for India. In a grave situation at the Gabba, he smashed a 67 and parried India out of danger. In the first innings, his brisk knock propelled India to 191 and in the second he contributed once again with a 60. He is now leveled with four other players who scored three 50+ scores batting at number 8 or lower in their first four matches (in all innings batted at 8 or lower).
A long wait
After scoring back-to-back 400+ scores against Bangladesh in 2019, India had a barren streak of 29 innings without one. This is the joint second longest gap without one for India in Tests. The other 29 innings streak was between 1932 to 1948. The longest of them all came in between 1967 till 1971, which was for 44.
India’s second highest second innings score
A contribution from almost every batsman in the line-up saw India post a mammoth total of 466. This is the highest total they have posted in the last three tours, regardless of innings. However, to enhance more about the record, this was the second highest total in the second innings in England. That’s not it, in this century, only three other teams have made England field for more overs than India’s 148.2. Sri Lanka (199) in 2006 at Lord’s, South Africa (167) in 2008 at Lord’s and West Indies (155) in 2000 at Old Trafford.
A fifty-run opening partnership after nine years at home
Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed utilized the excellent batting conditions to bat out day four unseparated. With no lateral movement or spin or seam movement, the openers latched on to loose balls and bettered their first innings debacle. They put on an unbeaten 77-run partnership and broke a nine-year drought. The last time England openers posted a 50+ runs stand in the fourth innings at home was in 2012 at Nottingham. Sir Alastair Cook and Sir Andrew Strauss were the pair to achieve that.