'We are just very optimistic' - Alex Lees exudes confidence as England on the verge of a famous win in Edgbaston Test

Alex Lees scored a counter-attacking 56 against India in the second innings.

Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root
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Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root. (Photo by Gareth Copley – ECB/ECB via Getty Images)

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England opener Alex Lees has confidently said that England are optimistic about coming out on top against India in the rescheduled fifth Test match at Edgbaston on the final day. Explaining the same he has said that all the hosts need to do is bat well for the first 30-40 minutes on the fifth day which could put them in a pretty strong position to win the contest.

Lees showed fearless intent while chasing a stiff target of 378 as he scored a morale-boosting 56 and was involved in a 107-run opening stand with Zak Crawley (46). The opening partnership broke the rhythm of the Indian bowlers on what seemed to be a perfect batting track and the match has tilted towards England as they need just 119 runs on the final day.

 We should be in a pretty strong position to win the match: Alex Lees

“If we bat well for the first 30-40 minutes tomorrow (Tuesday) morning we should be in a pretty strong position (to win the match). We are just very optimistic”, said Lees during a post-match media conference. “There is an ultimate belief that from one to 11 we can do it. My role was to put some pressure on the Indian bowlers”, he added.

India squandered a perfect chance after having England on the mat at 109/3 when Lees was run out due to a huge confusion while running between the wickets. Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were watchful in the beginning before cutting loose. When their partnership was flourishing Hanuma Vihari dropped a sitter of Bairstow at the score of 14 when he was still struggling to find his feet.

The missed opportunity did go on to haunt India throughout the day as the duo tormented their bowlers with some smart batting tactics to register their respective half-centuries. The duo has succeeded in adding an unbeaten 150-run stand for the fourth wicket. Root remained unbeaten on 76 while Bairstow was not out on 72.