Going into Day 5 of The Oval Test all three results are possible. England need 291 runs while India must claim all 10 wickets.
However, England will have to rewrite history to win The Oval Test. The highest successful run chase in Test cricket at The Oval is 263 for 9. England achieved this way back in 1902 against Australia.
Apart from that, there have only been four other instances of teams successfully chasing more than 200 in the fourth innings at The Oval - 255/2 (West Indies vs England, 1963), 242/5 (Australia vs England, 1972), 226/2 (West Indies vs England, 1988) and 205/2 (England vs South Africa, 1994).
Having said that, the pitch at The Oval for the ongoing Test is a really flat one. Apart from some balls, which jumped from the rough off Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling, England’s openers not were troubled at all by India’s bowlers.
If Rory Burns (31 not out off 109 balls) and Haseeb Hameed (43 not out off 85 balls) get England off to an assured start on the final day at The Oval, the hosts could start having hopes of chasing down the total.
Pant, Thakur lift India on Day 4 of The Oval Test
Earlier, India recovered from a jittery start on Day 4 of The Oval Test to post an impressive 466 on the board. Resuming their innings at 270 for 3, they lost Ravindra Jadeja (17), Ajinkya Rahane (0) and Virat Kohli (44) without adding too many to the total.
When Shardul Thakur (60) joined Rishabh Pant (50) out in the middle, India’s lead was 213 and only the tail was to follow. However, the duo added exactly 100 runs for the seventh wicket to put India in command of The Oval Test.
Umesh Yadav (25) and Jasprit Bumrah (24) also chipped in with crucial contributions as India extended their lead beyond 350. They were eventually all out for 466 in the 149th over.
India would have wanted to claim a couple of English wickets before close of play on Day 4 at The Oval. However, that wasn’t to be as Hameed and Burns were resolute in defence.
India and England thus have everything to play for on the final day at The Oval.