“If we get a good start, we can chase this down” – Ishant Sharma hopeful of India chasing 420

Team India pace bowler Ishant Sharma believes the hosts are not out of the Chennai Test yet. England have set India a target of 420 to win the first Test.According to Ishant Sharma, who completed 300 wickets in Test cricket on Monday, if India get a good start tomorrow, anything is possible with the line-up they possess. Speaking at the end of the fourth day’s play, Ishant Sharma said:”It all depends on how we start tomorrow. If we get a good start I am sure that we can chase this down. We have a fearless batting line-up and we are very positive so it’s about how we start and then we can think about how we go through the game.”Ishant Sharma added that the pitch has been a tough one to bowl on. Describing the surface as a “road”, he continued:”For the first two days I thought we were playing on a road but yesterday it started to spin a bit more. I think we’ve bowled really well, even on day one or two when the pitch was offering nothing.”Ishant Sharma trapped Dan Lawrence lbw to complete 300 Test wickets, while Ravichandran Ashwin ran through the England line-up to finish with figures of 6 for 61. This restricted the visitors to a second-innings score of just 178.Chasing 420, India lost Rohit Sharma cheaply again, bowled by a peach from Jack Leach for 12. The hosts were 39 for 1 at stumps, with Shubman Gill unbeaten on 15 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 12.When India chased down 387 against England in Chennai India’s target is a little more than the 387 they famously chased at this very venue against England back in 2008. That, too, was the first Test of the series, and not many had given India a chance to chase the mammoth total.

However, Virender Sehwag’s spectacular knock of 83 from 68 balls gave India the much-needed impetus. Sehwag’s opening partner, Gautam Gambhir, also made a dogged 66.Sachin Tendulkar (103 not out) and Yuvraj Singh (85 not out) featured in an unbroken 163-run stand for the fourth wicket to seal a famous win for India.The hosts will need to come up with a similar effort to clinch the current Chennai Test on Tuesday. India chased down a record total at the Gabba in their most recent Test. Can they add one more to their kitty at Chepauk?
Published 08 Feb 2021, 18:34 IST


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