Five face-saving partnerships which rescued England after batting failure
Batting first at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, England found themselves in trouble against India’s vigorous bowling attack on the opening day of the ongoing fourth Test.
With Indian pace bowlers bowling at their prime, England was already tottering at 86/6 with a grave danger of being bowled out cheaply. The brave rearguard action then displayed by the returning duo of Sam Curran and Moeen Ali carried England to safer shores with their 81-run partnership for the seventh wicket.
Such partnerships by the middle order batsmen after the failure of the batsmen at the top is not a new phenomenon for England. Here are five such instances from the recent past where the English middle order rushed to save the scene after the initial debacle.
#1 Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow (127 against Bangladesh, October 2016)
The English team arrived in Bangladesh to participate in a two-match Test series in October 2016. Playing on the subcontinental dust bowls was never a cheerful scenario for the England batting line-up and it did not take much time for the nightmare to realize.
In the second innings of the first Test at Chittagong, England plummetted to 62/5 with Bangladeshi spinners grinning at England’s inability to play the spinning cherry. However, English ace all-rounder Ben Stokes and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow combined their powers for a stirring reply.
The pair encountered the spin menace successfully for the next 34 overs while adding 127 runs for the sixth wicket. Stokes top-scored the innings with 85 on his name while Bairstow added 47. The remaining tail added 50 more runs to help England register a close 22-run win over the hosts.