England will begin the final day of the fourth LV= Insurance Test against India with a mountain to climb but every reason to believe they can plant their flag at the summit.
Left chasing a record 368 at the Kia Oval, openers Haseeb Hameed (43no) and Rory Burns (31no) made sizeable inroads as they chalked off 77 runs in 32 wicketless overs on the fourth evening.
With the tourists having just posted a mammoth 466 all out and no sign of menace from a pitch that has gradually fallen dormant since 13 wickets tumbled on day one, the idea of scoring another 291 with a full batting card appears far from impossible. It is only two years since England pulled off two of the most daring raids in their history in the space of six weeks, winning the World Cup against New Zealand and then reeling in a target of 359 to seal an all-time Ashes classic at Headingley.
Woakes appeared in both games and is keeping the memories alive.
“This team has done some special things over the last few years in different formats and these are the times you want to be part of it, a day five chase trying to do something special,” he said.
“It’s a great place to be. There is a lot of hard work still to be done but you can draw on those past experiences I think, look back on what we’ve done in the past and what we’re capable of as a team.
“I’m sure that the backroom staff and the coaches will certainly be mentioning those past experiences, just to remind people what we can do as a team.
“You always try and look at it from a sensible point of view, and we’ve done some hard yards, but we felt like it was a good enough wicket to be able to chase any score.”
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