IND vs ENG 5th Test: Alex Lees REVEALS England’s strategy to beat India

Alex Lees, the England opener who was run out after scoring 56 in England’s second innings run chase, told a post-play media conference on the 4th day: “If we bat well for the first 30-40 minutes tomorrow (Tuesday) morning we should be in a pretty strong position (to win the match). We are just very optimistic.”

He said: “(Ben) Stokes’ spell turned the game on its head. The (England) bowling this morning was the biggest turning point.” The England captain and all-rounder Stokes captured four wickets for 33 runs in a spell replete with short pitched bowlers, which fetched dividends for the home side as Indian batsmen obliged with injudicious hooks.

Speaking about the spirit in the England dressing room before the start of their second innings, Lees remarked: “There is ultimate belief that from one to 11 that we can do it.’ He added: ‘My role was to put some pressure on the Indian bowlers.”

Meanwhile, India batting coach Vikram Rathour said that the visitors could have done better as a batting unit and put England out of the game, but failed to do so.

“We had a pretty ordinary day with the bat. We were ahead in the game. We were in a position where we could have batted them (England) out of the game, but we could not. A lot of players got starts but could not convert them into big scores. It was expected that one of them would play a big knock or have a big partnership but we could not. We should have had shown better strategy as a batting unit,” Rathour said at a press conference.

He went on to say: “If two wickets fall early tomorrow morning, the game can still open up. It’s not beyond (Mohammed) Shami and (Jasprit) Bumrah.” However, he admitted: “We needed to bowl better, in better areas; a couple of dropped catches also made a difference.”‘

About Cheteshwar Pujara, who made a half century before departing to an uncharacteristic uppish square cut, he felt he “gave his best”.

“He (Pujara) was told in the last moments of the Test that he is going to open and he did that. He showed his attitude, a lot of character,” Rathour added.

In a dramatic turnaround, India slipped from a dominant position to danger of losing the test. They were bowled out for 245 in their second innings. Thereafter, England were at 259 for three, with Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow unbeaten on 76 and 72 respectively, chasing 378 to win.

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