157 runs – 9 wickets in hand, India will definitely start Day 5 of the first Test as favourites. The visitors had dominated England from Day 1 but a scintillating hundred from Joe Root in the second innings put England in front. However, little to no contributions from other batters meant that England could only give a target of 209 runs to India. The Virat Kohli-led side had already knocked off 52 runs at the loss of KL Rahul.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan admitted that India will go into Day 5 as favourites but feels that quick wickets may make things interesting. Given the conditions and history of India in chasing totals in away matches, the possibility of a collapse cannot be counted out.
“India are on top. They are the favorites, but you just never know. We have seen this England team before, we have seen this Indian team in English conditions, chasing down this kind of number and losing a few wickets and they start to panic,” Vaughan said on BBC’s Test Match Special podcast.
“You say the pitch has to deteriorate so much and it can. Sometimes it can happen. The clouds might roll in. The ball starts hooping around,” he added.
Vaughan further highlighted how Chesteshwar Pujara looked uncomfortable at the crease on Day 4, adding that he was surprised that Pujara returned unbeaten. India are not chasing a huge target thus Pujara can play his natural game and take time to get set. His performance has been under the scanner for a while now and it’s a great opportunity for him to silence his critics.