India to enter record books if target of 441 is chased down

No Test team has ever scored more than 418 in the fourth innings to win a Test.

Sachin Tendulkar (right) took India to a famous victory over England in Chennai in 2008.   -  K.R. Deepak

The target of 441 for India is a daunting one; if it successfully gets to that mark it will be the highest fourth innings total scored for victory, surpassing West Indies’ 418 for 7 against Australia in Antigua in 2003.

India can, however, take inspiration from its own feat against England in Chennai eight years ago. In the fourth Test of the series, Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh steered India to its target of 387, the highest fourth-innings total ever registered in India.

The top six highest fourth-innings totals in India are all scored by the host. Besides the 387 for 4 at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium, they are: 364 for 6 v Pakistan in Delhi in 1979, 355 for 8 v West Indies in 1949, 347 v Australia in 1986, 325 for 3 v West Indies in 1948, and 289 for 5 v West Indies in 1958. All of these matches were drawn, besides the one against Australia, which was tied.

India’s highest fourth innings total is 445, scored in Adelaide in the 1977-78 season. The spirited effort was not enough for a win, though, as it fell 48 runs short of its target. The series, tied 2-2 before the contest, went in favour of Bob Simpson’s Australia.