Woakes optimistic ahead of final-day showdown

06 September 2021 06:20:57 GMTPlus11
Woakes happy with England start

England all-rounder Chris Woakes believes his side can mount a comeback against India on the final day of their fourth Test at the Oval.

The hosts require a further 291 runs following an unbeaten opening stand of 77 from Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed at the end of day four and they can be backed at 1501.00 to win the Test with India priced at 1.001 and the draw at 51.00.

To-and-fro tussle

It was certainly a fluctuating day at the Oval with England starting the day in excellent form with the ball.

They grabbed three wickets for 16 runs with India skipper Virat Kohli among the casualties.

England looked to be in a promising position to halt India's progress but the measured approach from middle-order batsmen Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant frustrated Joe Root's men.

Thakur was eventually gone for 60 and Pant 50 as India ended their second innings on 466, setting England a target of 368 to win.

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Only nine teams in the history of Test cricket have ever chased a run deficit that big and England will have to summon the strength and courage they showed against Australia in the 2019 Ashes when Ben Stokes was the hero of the day.

Encouraging start

Thye can take heart from Burns and Haseeb's opening stand as the duo looked rarely troubled at the crease.

"There is enough time in the game to get the runs," Woakes said. "After that session we feel more pleased than at the start of our innings. We know it is a good pitch. You reassess at tea and see if you can win from there.

"To get to the close none down is a huge boost for us."

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