England looking to Bairstow again as Bumrah's India pummel hosts at Edgbaston

By Sports Desk July 02, 2022

England might need another act of Jonny Bairstow heroism to dig them out of a deep hole at Edgbaston after India made the home side suffer on a rain-hit second day of the fifth Test.

In a wild morning session, India went from 338-7 to 416 all out, Ravindra Jadeja completing a century by moving from 83 to 104 before being bowled by James Anderson.

India scored a world-record 35 runs from one Stuart Broad over as captain Jasprit Bumrah took centre stage with the bat. Bumrah is better known for his work with the ball, and the skipper then reduced England to 44-3 when he sent back Alex Lees, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope.

After a two-hour rain break, the third such interruption of the innings, England lost former skipper Joe Root for 31, and nightwatchman Jack Leach followed, with Bairstow (12 not out) and captain Ben Stokes (0 no) together at the close. England were 84-5 at stumps, nowhere near where they hoped to be in the contest.

India are 2-1 ahead in this series, one that began last year but had to be curtailed before the fifth Test got under way due to COVID-19 concerns in the tourists' ranks. This long-delayed match is therefore decisive, with England needing a victory to force a drawn series.

Rather than go after the win, avoiding a heavy defeat could become the priority, but at this stage the hosts will still believe they can salvage this situation, given positivity is flowing through the team after the recent 3-0 rout of New Zealand.

Broad had a rotten morning, entering the record books in unwanted fashion when Bumrah set about his bowling. The previous Test record of 28 runs from an over was obliterated, aided by Broad bowling a high wide that raced to the boundary before being clubbed for six off a no-ball.

Bumrah finished on 31 not out when Broad held a catch off James Anderson (5-60) to remove Mohammed Siraj in the next over.

Three rain delays affected England's reply, but the batting was not up to scratch. The most damaging dismissal was surely that of Root to a snorter of a delivery that climbed rapidly into the batsman, drawing a thin edge to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant. Now Bairstow, whose past three Test scores have been 136, 162 and 71 not out, will aim to lead a recovery effort alongside the skipper.


Anderson at it again

It still defies belief that England's previous regime looked ready to discard Anderson. He might turn 40 later this month, but few seamers in world cricket can rival his skill, and India again found him so difficult to play. A 32nd five-wicket haul of his Test career was his sixth against India.

England have done it before, so can they do it again?

England hardly need to look far back in the history books for inspiration. In the third Test against New Zealand, they were 55-6 in their first innings but rallied to post 360 all out. The seventh-wicket stand of 241 runs between Bairstow and Jamie Overton saved the day that time, and something special is required again here.

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