Edgbaston| The Indian team has had this habit of shifting the momentum towards the opposition when they are in the driving seat. At the start of day 4, Pant and Pujara were at the crease, and India looked all set to put a big total for England to chase. However, England was ambitious enough to contain the Indian team as they struck in the very first hour of the day's play by dismissing the calm and composed Cheteshwar Pujara.
Skipper Ben Stokes was the wrecker-in-chief as he brought his best to the table and claimed 4 Indian wickets which halted India's innings. Before this England has chased 359 against the Aussies at Headingley, Leeds which remains their highest chase in the longest format of the game. India had to bat out the entire day and give the English batsmen only a day to chase the target down. Since the English are 2-1 down in the series, they have no option other than going for a win. A draw will not serve England's purpose and a defeat definitely will increase the margin of the series loss with WTC points that are up for grabs.
The tactics of the Indian team were complicated to understand as they lacked intent. At any given point in time, it was unclear if they were going to attack or defend. Middle-order batsman and India's number five for this match Shreyas Iyer looked in loads of difficulty with a barrage of bouncers being thrown at him. He soon fell prey to the English short bowling plan and was followed by Rishabh Pant shortly who was trapped by Jack Leack while he tried to play a reverse sweep. India bundled out for 245 and England now has to chase 378 to win.
When the duo of Alex Lees and Zack Crawley walked in, everybody felt that they are just meager walkovers and will be very easy to dismiss. But little did anyone know what Lees and Crawley were looking to do, the English batsmen were quick to attack and did not give any kind of respite to India's dominant pace battery. Both of them put a 100-run stand.
With Brendon McCullum at the helm of the English Test side, it was always expected that England will come out with an attacking mindset, but executing the game plans almost perfectly on the cricket field is something that sets the tone for the entire team.