The imminent fifth day of the ongoing fifth rescheduled Test match between England and India in Birmingham promises to be a record-breaking one irrespective of who wins.
Chasing a 378-run target, England need another 119 runs to win the match and draw the series 2-2. Assuming that they manage to seal their fourth run-chase in a row this summer, it will be the second-highest run-chase in England, England’s highest-ever Test run-chase and the highest-ever run-chase at Edgbaston.
India, on the other hand, need another seven wickets in order to register a rare 3-1 series victory in England. If India win today, England will become the first away country with 10 Indian Test victories. Furthermore, it would be only their fourth Test series victory in England coming on the back of preventing their biggest loss (in terms of defending a target) in this format.
Will India win today?
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that England will start Day 5 as the favourites. In what will be their match to lose from hereon, the hosts will have to put on display a batting collapse for the visitors to stage a victory.
Apart from the number of runs, another aspect which favours England is their recent form. Coming on the back of three consecutive run-chases against New Zealand including a record-breaking one in Nottingham last month, England will be backing themselves to win the match especially with Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Sam Billings in their lineup.
India, whose last Test series was a winning effort against Sri Lanka at home earlier this year, have already failed to defend a couple of 200+ targets in overseas Tests this year. An unwanted knack appears likely to have a third entry unless the Indian bowlers make amends from the word go on Tuesday.