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India v England: Alastair Cook and Michael Vaughan’s day five predictions

England are in a strong position ahead of the fifth day of the opening Test against India (Picture: BCCI)

Alastair Cook and Michael Vaughan would be ‘shocked’ if India clinched a record-breaking victory in the first Test in Chennai but admit England could have been in an even stronger position going into day five.

Joe Root’s side will need nine wickets on the final day to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series, with India still requiring a further 381 runs in a record chase after they reached the close on 39-1.

England have been on top for most of the Test – Root’s incredible double century saw them post a massive 578 in their first innings – but the decision not to declare on day four has received criticism.

The tourists’ insistence on batting on until they were bowled out for 178 left only 13 overs remaining and England could take just one wicket – Rohit Sharma was bowled by a superb Jack Leach delivery – before the close.

Former England captain Cook told Sky Sports: ‘You can never rule it out [an Indian victory]. The modern way is that bigger chases have occurred. It will be a shock if India do get there.

‘Someone will have to play a magical innings. But who would have said West Indies would chase 395 against Bangladesh with a guy getting 200 on debut?! Anything can happen in cricket.

‘I hope that doesn’t happen and we want more of those balls that Leach bowled to Rohit Sharma. England have dominated for four days pretty much so to give India a bit of a chance isn’t ideal.’

Joe Root scored a brilliant double century but his decision not to declare was criticised (Picture: BCCI)

Vaughan added: ‘It’s a great position India have found themselves in after playing so poorly for three days. They’ve now got a sniff of getting out of the Test match. Virat Kohli will be quietly delighted.

‘I’d say that England have won every single session barring that last one. They’ve played incredible cricket to get themselves in a position of dominance.

‘That last session they seemed to get confused about the way they wanted to play. Someone’s said that India can still win this game and that’s feared them.

‘I can’t see India getting the runs. It’s going to be so hard for a batsman to start on this surface. They’ll need a big, big partnership because I think there will be wickets that fall in clusters.’

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