Kohli goes mad, referee intervenes as England on the brink of the unthinkable

Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow took the charge to India as England chased a fourth consecutive winning run under their new Test leadership duo of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

England were 3/259 on punches on the fourth day of the Covid-delayed fifth Test, taking just 119 more runs to reach a 378 goal on Tuesday’s final day at Edgbaston and this five-game streak all the way to close at 2-2 .

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Jonny makes Kohli pay for war of words | 04:42

Former captain Root was 76 not out and Bairstow 72 not out after making 106 – his third hundred in as many Tests – in England’s 284 first innings.

The Yorkshire duo had added an unbroken 150 in 22 overs after coming together at 3/109, with England losing three wickets in quick succession on either side of the tea.

India wasted two of their three ratings this innings when Root was on 11 and 16, with spinner Ravindra Jadeja and pacer Mohammed Shami, the bowlers rightly denied LBW rulings against the world’s top-ranked Test batter.

Bairstow was granted a suspension of payment on 14th when an edge from Mohammed Siraj burst through the hands of Hanuma Vihari on the second slip.

Root, riding stylish, put in his fifty in 71 balls.

The in-form Bairstow took four more deliveries to reach the milestone before cutting Shami for four and pulling Siraj for six.

Joe Root is in good shape. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

There have been only two successful over-200 fourth inning chases in a test at Edgbaston, with South Africa scoring 5/283 in 2008 and England 3/211 against New Zealand in 1999.

No English side have won more in the fourth innings of a Test than 359, when Stokes’ brilliant century led them to a thrilling victory over Australia at Headingley three years ago.

However, England hit seemingly stiff goals of 277, 299 and 296 in a recent 3-0 whitewash of Test world champions New Zealand.

And their new aggressive “Bazball” approach, named in honor of McCullum’s nickname, was evident from the start of their latest pursuit.

A blizzard of boundaries, Alex Lees and Zak Crawley shared a century-long opening score in 19.5 overs – the fastest in English Test history.

But India’s stand-in captain Jasprit Bumrah threw Crawley, arms on shoulders, for 46 with a superb off-cutter.

Ollie Pope was then out on a duck to first ball after tea, caught behind Bumrah, much to the delight of Indian supporters in Edgbaston.

England then took a self-inflicted blow when Lees was held up for 56 from just 60 balls when Root called him for a nonexistent single. So wild were the celebrations of Virat Kohli – die came under fire for his classless antics earlier in the Test — the former India captain was addressed by umpire Aleem Dar.

English cricket writer Lawrence Booth said on Twitter that Kohli “went completely furious” and “got a slap” from Dar.

Kohli tried to rattle Lees. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The Indian star was full of enthusiasm. (Photo by Geoff Caddick/AFP)Source: AFP
Umpire Aleem Dar had to intervene. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

“I just wanted to give it a good whack to be honest!” the 29-year-old southpaw Lees told Sky Sports after being punched.

“We are in an incredible position. Joe is not stopping scoring and Jonny is in the shape of his life.”

India resumed on their overnight 3/125. Cheteshwar Pujara was not out 50 and Rishabh Pant – who made 146 in a total of 416 in the first innings – 30 was not.

Pujara was only recalled to the top of the rankings after Indian captain Rohit Sharma and co-opener KL Rahul were ruled out due to Covid-19 and a groin injury respectively.

It looked like India was going to set a really challenging target of over 400 while Pujara and Pant were close.

But Pujara’s four-hour innings ended when he slashed Stuart Broad to the back mark, with the 34-year-old now having played 50 innings since his last Test century – 193 against Australia in Sydney in January 2019.

The aggressive Pant fell for 57 when a misdirected reverse sweep of left arm spinner Jack Leach was caught by Root slipping, with Stokes then shoving tail on his way to 4/33 in 11.5 overs.

This decision was supposed to be played in Manchester last September but was postponed just hours before the start due to coronavirus concerns at the camp in India.

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