The ninth and tenth wickets have contributed more to the team totals in this series than almost any other. The last two wickets have scored 446 runs at average of 22.27 in this series and have contributed 13.87% to the team totals. In last 50 years of Test cricket, there have been only two Test series of four or more matches that have had higher run-sharing from the last two wickets to the team scores. Incidentally, one of them was the last tour of India to England, in 2014, in which those two wickets contributed 15.63%. The 1983-84 series between India and West Indies in India had the highest such percentage in last 50 years in series of four or more matches - 15.74%. The average contribution by last two wickets to team totals in last 50 years has been about 8%.
The last two wickets in this Pataudi Trophy have been almost par with the first two wickets. The first and second wickets have added 574 runs contributed 17.85% to the team totals. The last two wickets have managed to put on 30-plus run stands eight times so far whereas the top two wickets have done it only seven times. Both India and England have had four 30-plus stands for the last two wickets. The last two wickets contributed 28.57% to India's total in this innings.
Cheteshwar Pujara found form in away conditions after a long time. His superb unbeaten knock of 132 runs was just his second century in Tests outside Asia in40 innings. The first one he scored was in South Africa in 2013-14. Since that tour of South Africa, he had got to fifty only four times in 32 innings before this knock. This is also the first time since the South Africa tour of 2013-14 he has managed more than one fifty-plus score in a series outside Asia.
Pujara's patience played the important role when wickets kept falling at the other end. After sharing a 92-run stand with Virat Kohli for the third wicket, none of his partners settled for a long time until the eighth wicket fell. India were eight down at score of 195 and were on the verge of conceding lead to England. But crucial stands of 32 and 46 runs for the last two wickets with Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah saw India take a 27-run lead. Pujara scored nearly 70% of the runs in those two stands and also scored runs at a quicker pace than he was doing earlier. Until eighth wicket fell he was striking at less than 48 whereas with the last two wickets he scored at rate of nearly 60.
Moeen's India repeat
Moeen Ali did not find place in the playing XI for the first three Tests. But after a double-century and a six-wicket haul in the last county game, and concerns over Ben Stokes' fitness, he came into the side and continued his all-round show. He struck an important 40 and shared an 81-run stand with Sam Curran in the first innings and then picked up five wickets when bowling. It was his second five-wicket haul against India and both came in the two meetings in Southampton. In the 2014 series, he took 6 for 67 in the fourth innings to seal the victory. In six Tests against India at home, he has earned 24 wickets at an average of 20.83 whereas in five Tests against India in India he claimed only 10 wickets at 64.90. He is only the second England spinner after Ray Illingworth to take two five-fors against India at home.