England's entertainers complete record chase to draw India series

Ben Spratt
Stats Perform
Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root celebrate another epic win
Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root celebrate another epic win

Centuries from Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow carried England to a historic seven-wicket win over India, completing their record-breaking 378-run chase in the first session of day five.

After successful fourth-innings pursuits of 277, 299 and 296 in the whitewash of New Zealand, England required their highest such recovery in Tests to take this rearranged fifth match against India.

But Root (142 not out) and Bairstow (114 no) had done much of the heavy lifting late on Monday at Edgbaston, allowing the home side's imperious duo to charge through Tuesday morning and improve their unbeaten partnership to an outstanding 269.

The successful chase meant England claimed a draw from the delayed 2021 series and won a fourth consecutive Test match since the new Ben Stokes-Brendon McCullum regime took charge of the team.

A night's sleep appeared to have done little to rejuvenate India, who continued the previous evening's themes of rash bowling, poor field placement and regular appeals for a change of ball.

One of those early appeals was successful, but England bludgeoned on regardless, even aided by four leg byes in consecutive Mohammed Shami overs.

A flurry of Root fours brought up his hundred, reaching three figures with a stab at a Mohammed Siraj delivery that skipped over second slip to the boundary.

Root initially maintained control of the strike and the scoring, making Bairstow wait until the 18th over of the day for his century. A single did the job, with Root making his ground in time before a direct hit to celebrate with his team-mate.

And another single, this time from Root, concluded a chase that ultimately became a saunter, cementing England's ability to seemingly match any target with the bat in this thrilling new era.

Bairstow matches Root record – with time for both to break it

'Bazball' has been the making of Bairstow, who now has four centuries in his past five innings – the other an unbeaten 71. That means half of Bairstow's 12 Test hundreds have come in 2022 alone.

That ties the record for the most England Test tons in a calendar year, with Root having matched the six-century achievements of Denis Compton and Michael Vaughan just last year.

With three Tests to come against South Africa next month and more against Pakistan later in the year, Bairstow is well placed to move past six – as is Root, who has five this year.

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