India’s fate is hanging in the balance, with hopes of seeing it swing in our favour when umpires call “Play” on the final day of the first Test match in Chennai.
India made a brilliant comeback on Monday, restricting the English batsmen for just 178 in the second innings and will now need 381 more runs to win the match after ending Day 4 on 39-1.
Our talented opener Shubman Gill (15*) and the rock-solid Cheteshwar Pujara (12*) are holding the fort and they will have a crucial role to play to take India to a commanding position tomorrow. Rohit Sharma (12) was the only man to fall, castled by Jack Leach.
Earlier in the day, India got all out for 337 in their first innings, handing England a 241-run lead. Washington Sundar led the recovery with a brilliant 85*, alongside Ravichandran Ashwin who pitched in with a gritty 31.
The Indian bowlers were terrific in the second innings. Captain Virat Kohli opened the innings with spinners and Ashwin became the first spinner in over 100 years to pick up a wicket off the first ball of an innings in Test cricket when he dismissed Rory Burns.
He went on to pick five more wickets, returning a splendid 6-61. Ishant Sharma, too, had his moment of glory as he became the 6th Indian to join the 300-Test-wicket club with the wicket of Dan Lawrence.
India’s highest-ever run chase at home (387 runs) has been at this same venue against the same opposition. Sachin Tendulkar’s 103*, Virendra Sehwag’s blistering 83 and Yuvraj Singh’s unbeaten 85 sealed India’s successful chase in the 2008-09 series. We will have to wait and see who will be our heroes tomorrow, if we manage to create history yet again.
An interesting fact from the 2008-09 chase is that India achieved the 387-run total, scoring at a rate of 3.92 runs per over, much similar to the required run rate that we will need to keep up with tomorrow if we are to win this match.