India vs England, 1st Test: 'We can chase this down if we get good start tomorrow,' says Ishant Sharma

India vs England, 1st Test: ‘We can chase this down if we get good start tomorrow,’ says Ishant Sharma
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India vs England, 1st Test: ‘We can chase this down if we get good start tomorrow,’ says Ishant Sharma

Highlights

Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma said the hosts can chase down 381 on fifth and final day of the ongoing first Test against England in Chennai if they “get a good start” on Tuesday.

Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma said the hosts can chase down 381 on fifth and final day of the ongoing first Test against England in Chennai if they "get a good start" on Tuesday.

England set India a target of 420 runs and at the end of day's play at the MA Chidambaram on Monday, India were 39 for 1 with opening batsman Rohit Sharma out for 12 off 20 in the sixth over of India's final innings.

Earlier in the day, Ishant became only the third Indian pacer to take 300 wickets in Test cricket after legendary duo of Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan. Overall, Ishant was the sixth Indian bowler to end the elite 300 club in the longest format. He claimed the record in England's second innings on Monday with the wicket of the Daniel Lawrence, who had come in to bat at No. 3.

"It's been quite a roller-coaster life. I've had a lot of experience, a lot of mentors who taught me how to bowl in the subcontinent and how to bowl abroad. I'm a bit sore, after bowling 4-over bursts in domestic cricket, and then bowling 35 overs within a gap of just 3-4 days. If we get a good start tomorrow, we can chase this down, because we have a batting line-up that is fearless and can chase this down, and it's important to look at 381 runs and not 9 wickets.

On the first two days, the pitch was not assisting us and the spinners, it felt like we played on a road, but it started turning later on in Day 4 and it was a lot more responsive then," Ishant told Star Sports in an interview after stumps of Day four on Monday.

After winning the toss, Joe Root opted to bat and England ended up scoring 578 runs in 190.1 overs. Root led from the front as he registered his fifth Test double century, while opener Dom Sibley scored a crucial 87 off 286 and Ben Stokes contributed with an 118-ball 82. In reply to that, Team India only managed 337 runs, handing the visiting side a lead of 241 runs. Instead of enforcing a follow on, England batted again and scored 179 runs before getting bowled out in 46.3 overs.

In England's second innings, apart from Ishant, even Ravichandran Ashwin attracted some attention as he claimed an unique feat. When Virat Kohli handed Ashwin the new ball, the local bowler became only the third spinner in the history of Test cricket to pick a wicket off the very first ball of a Test innings. The first time such an instance took place was back in 1888 when England's left-arm spinner Bobby Peel had dismissed Australia's Alex Bannerman off the first ball of the second innings in the third Test at the Old Trafford during the Ashes.

The last time a spinner bagged a wicket off the first ball of a Test innings was 114 years ago, in 1907 when South Africa's Bert Vogler had dismissed England's Tom Hayward at the Ovall. Ashwin replicated the incredible feat by dismissing England opener Rory Burns on the first ball of the visitors' second innings on Monday.

India will resume their play on Day five at 39 for 1, with Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill batting at 12 off 23 and 15 off 35 respectively.

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