Alex Lees, England opener revealed that he looked to attack spinner Ravindra Jadeja on Day 4 of the first Test against India at Edgbaston on Monday, July 4. Opener Alex Lees, who scored a 46-ball 56 to spearhead England’s run-chase of 378, said he only tried to hit the balls where there were no fielders.
Alex Lees greeted spinner Ravindra Jadeja with a boundary by stepping down the track and a reverse sweep for another on the final ball of the over. The southpaw, who perished for a single-figure score in the first innings, reached his fifty off 44 deliveries. He stitched a 107-run opening stand with Zak Crawley.
Alex Lees Wanted To Hit Ravindra Jadeja For A Six First Ball
Speaking after the day’s play, he revealed that the word from their camp for left-handed batters was to attack Ravindra Jadeja. Hence, the southpaw intended to hit the left-arm spinner for a maximum from the onset.
He said: “For the left-handers in this team, I think is for us to have a go at the left-arm spinner. If I am honest, I wanted to hit him for six first ball but yorked myself! There is no great science. I just tried to hit the ball where the fielders weren’t.”
The 29-year-old departed in an unfortunate manner as he was involved in a terrible mix-up with Joe Root. His wicket followed that of Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope as England began losing the plot after a strong start.
Alex Lees: Backing From Ben Stokes And Brendon McCullum Accelerated The Aggressive Intent
The Yorkshire batter credited Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum for giving him the freedom to play aggressively; however, his aim is to score big hundreds.
He said: “I just wanted to try and give it a good whack, to be honest. The backing from Ben [Stokes] and Baz [McCullum] has accelerated that aggressive intent and the manner in which I am playing. The numbers are still not where I would like them to be. I want to score big hundreds – that is my role as an opening batter.”
England is on the cusp of pulling off a record chase at the venue as they finished 259-3 at stumps and need 119 more for a win on Day 5. Jonny Bairstow, who scored a blistering hundred in the first innings, is in the scheme of things again, adding an unbeaten 150 with Joe Root. The pair are unbeaten on 72 and 76, respectively. An England victory would deny India their first series win on English soil since 2007.
England’s dream run in fourth-innings chases this summer continued as they got to 259 for 3 in pursuit of 378, a record chase for them if it comes off. Alex Lees and Zak Crawley put together their quickest hundred-run opening stand in Test cricket before Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow repaired a collapse of three wickets for two runs.
However, to have that half-chance at the target England needed the bowlers to do their job, which they did by taking India’s seven standing wickets for an addition of 120 runs to the overnight lead of 257 runs.
England 284 and 259 for 3 (Root 76*, Bairstow 72*) need another 119 runs to beat India 416 and 245 (Pujara 66, Pant 57, Stokes 4-33)