London: A batting collapse saw India reeling at 58/3 at stumps after England set them a victory target of 464 courtesy superlative centuries from Alastair Cook and Joe Root, on day 4 of the fifth and final Test here on Monday. K.L. Rahul was batting on 46 while Ajinkya Rahane was on 10 after James Anderson scalped Shikhar Dhawan (1) and Cheteshwar Pujara (0). India captain Virat Kohli was sent back for a golden duck by Stuart Broad.
With seven wickets remaining, India still need 406 more runs for a win. Earlier, Cook, playing his final match, cracked 147 while Root made 125 to help England declare on 423/8. For the tourists, Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari grabbed three wickets apiece.
Cook took 286 balls for a patient 147 while Root roared back with 125, his first hundred in 28 innings, as the duo put on a 259-run stand. Toiling for 112 overs, India’s jittery top order once again flopped as Dhawan (1), Pujara (0) and Kohli (0) were dismissed in quick succession.
Anderson (2/23) equalled Glenn McGrath’s 563 Test wickets and is expected to break the record on Tuesday while Broad (1/17) with 433 wickets is just one short of Kapil Dev’s 434-wicket haul. Dhawan’s poor run continued as he was adjudged plumb leg before to an incoming delivery from Anderson.
Pujara too fell in similar fashion as a sharp incutter breached his defence. He wanted a DRS but was late in appealing for one. Kohli, after a tremendous English summer where he scored 593 runs, finally got out for a duck as he nicked one off Broad to Jonny Bairstow, leaving India in tatters.
The day, though, belonged to Cook. After remaining wicketless in the morning session of the fourth day, the visitors finally got a bit of respite as debutant Hanuma Vihari struck twice in consecutive deliveries to dismiss Cook and Root, leaving the hosts at 321/4.
The English duo, however, helped their team get a firm grip on the match before their dismissal. Cook smashed many records en route to his 286-ball knock, laced with 14 boundaries. The 33-year-old England opener on Monday became the fifth batsman in the history of the game to hit a ton both on debut and final game as Cook had also smashed a century in the second innings of his maiden Test — against India in Nagpur in 2006.
The England opener also became the highest Test run scorer among left-handed batsmen as he went past Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara (12,400), adding another achievement to his illustrious Test career with 12,472 runs. Resuming the post-lunch session at 243/2, Cook and Root took England past the 300-run mark before getting dismissed on successive deliveries in the 95th over.
Incoming batsmen Jonny Bairstow (18) fell cheaply as a Mohammed Shami delivery took an inside edge and went on to hit the stumps. Bairstow was followed by Jos Buttler, who departed without contributing. While looking for some quick runs, Buttler went down the track but offered a thick edge to Shami at backward point.
Ben Stokes and Sam Curran were unbeaten on 13 and 7 runs respectively at the time of tea break. In the morning session, resuming at 114/2, both the English batsmen looked in solid control, making the visitors struggle for a breakthrough. Brief scores: England 332 & 423/8 d (Alastair Cook 147, Joe Root 125; R. Jadeja 3/179, Hanuma Vihari 3/37); India 292 & 58/3 (K.L. Rahul 46 batting, Ajinkya Rahane 10; James Anderson 2/23).