Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow put India to the sword as England beat India to level series

Yorkshire duo's 269-run partnership guides home team to record run chase in seven-wicket win at Edgbaston

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In the end, it was pure carnage. England's record-breaking run chase was achieved with a sensational swagger to the finishing line in the rearranged fifth Test against India at Edgbaston on Tuesday.

Yorkshire duo Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow started the day needing 119 to reach the victory target of 378 looking to build on their magnificent 150-partnership.

Any fears that momentum might be lost and India could launch a fightback and chip away at the remaining seven wickets were soon dispelled.

Root was simply sensational, showing off his full repertoire of attacking strokes and brushing off the world-class Indian attack of Jasprit Bumrah and Co with consummate ease.

His unbeaten 142 off 173 balls was his 28th century in 121 Test matches, 11th since the start of last year and third of the summer. The former captain was top scorer in the series with 737 runs at an average of 105.28.

Player of the match Bairstow, with 404 runs in the series, is currently hitting his own career high and dealt out similar punishment to the opposition bowlers. His undefeated 114 – off 145 balls – was his fourth in five innings and second of the match after a first-innings 106.

Bairstow said: “It’s just about having the enjoyment factor of it, not being afraid of failing, going out and playing in a way that puts the pressure back on the opposition.

“We’re here to win games of cricket, that’s all we want to do. You’re going to lose games along the way if you play in the way in which we are, but hopefully the positive brand that we’re playing is exciting for people to watch."

It was a mere single from Root that secured the seven-wicket win and levelled the delayed series 2-2, handing England their fourth win in a row – all achieved through impressive run chases – under new leadership pair of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.

England's previous highest successful run chase came in 2019 when they reached a 359-run target in the famous Ashes Test against Australia on the back of Stokes's brilliant unbeaten century.

Root admitted he and Bairstow had felt in “full control” once they had established their match-winning 269-run partnership.

He told Sky Sports: “It was pretty fun doing it. To be honest, throughout the whole summer since that first game, we’ve said whatever they get, we’ll chase it down.

“Ben [Stokes] to us in the group before the toss said, ‘We’re not going to bat first, were going to chase’, so it’s sort of that mentality about how we’re going about things at the minute. Once we got that partnership going, we just felt in full control.

"The feeling in the dressing room at the moment is 'whatever you get, we're going for it and we're going to take it down.'"

Stokes himself added: "The change, you know, you're talking about mindset and everything like that, but when you've got real clarity in what you want to achieve as a team and how you want to play it makes things a lot easier.

"We know what we were going to do – we knew we were always going to go out and try and chase that down from the get go. A great way to explain is that teams are perhaps better than us, but teams won't be braver than us."

Updated: July 05, 2022, 5:01 PM
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