CricketCollingwood believes England will not be intimidated by the target India sets
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England captain Ben Stokes did not make any changes to his team. The team, which had last month whitewashed world champions New Zealand 3-0, once again dominated hosts India when James Anderson and Matthew Potts took India to 98 for five.

But Pant hit a century in 89 balls, which is the fastest century ever in a Test at Birmingham. The England bowlers were not looking ineffective in front of Pant. Eventually Joe Root, who is a part time bowler, carried Pant for 146 runs.

His 222-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja (83 not out) took India’s run rate to an England-esque 4.63 as India rescheduled the opening day of last summer’s fifth Test to 338 for seven.

India are currently leading the Test series 2-1, with the fifth Test finally suspended last year. But England assistant coach Collingwood hit back and said: “I don’t think our backs will go against the wall for too long. It’s a really good wicket and the batsmen should be excited to bat on it. If we put them down to 360-370 it will be a very good result.

Salute to the way Pant played. When you play against world-class players, they can do world-class things.”

“The way we have played the three matches against New Zealand, however, we are not too intimidated by what the opposition is going to achieve in our first innings, and what we need to chase in the fourth innings We are not afraid of him.

Collingwood believes England will not be ‘overly intimidated’ by the target India has set. We have been very successful in those games, we are not playing traditional test match cricket, we are trying to be as aggressive as possible, always trying to take wickets with the grounds we have, always trying to keep the flow. Not trying to stop the runs scored or keep the run rate down.

While England are determined to stick to Brendon McCullum’s mantra of making Test cricket a recreational sport, they will have to win the competition to share the series suspended last September when the Indians took the Manchester Test citing the Covid scare, refused to play the match.

But Twenty20 poster boy Pant kept one thing at the wheel with his afternoon blitz and later said it was up to others whether his fifth Test century is his best century so far.

After hitting four sixes, including three from Headingley hero Jack Leach last week, the 24-year-old said, “Yes, I can play a few different shots sometimes, but I try to play percentage cricket.”