1st Test: Jaiswal leads India’s response with blazing fifty after Stokes’ 70 takes England to 246

January 25, 2024
Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal led India’s response with a blazing unbeaten 76 off 70 balls as the hosts ended Day One of the first Test

Hyderabad, Jan 25 (IANS) Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal led India’s response with a blazing unbeaten 76 off 70 balls as the hosts ended Day One of the first Test at 119/1 in 23 overs, trailing England by 127 runs after captain Ben Stokes smashed 70 and took the visitors’ to 246 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday.

England had won the toss and elected to bat first, with many fans waiting with bated breath to see their attacking style of playing Test cricket. England were great in patches -– the opening partnership yielded 55 runs while Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow had a stand of 61 runs for the fourth wicket.

Stokes, the England skipper, brought up his 31st Test fifty after lunch while making precious runs with the lower order to take England past 200. England’s first challenge of fronting up to Indian spinners in their Bazball era ended in favour of the visitors’. Eight England wickets fell to spin as they were left in a spot of bother twice at 60-3 and 155-7.

Three wickets each were taken by Jadeja and Ashwin respectively, though the former was expensive due to coming in line for the Stokes onslaught. Axar Patel took two wickets, while fast-bowler Jasprit Bumrah also had two scalps.

Stokes, coming back to action after left knee surgery last year, proved that he still possesses his famed fighting qualities, seen by hitting six fours and three sixes to hit 70 off 88 balls and lead a late counterattack for England.

He followed his all-familiar pattern of starting slow, before pressing the accelerator to enter a higher gear and clearing the boundary ropes with aggressive stroke play, seen from him getting his last 53 runs off his final 36 deliveries.

Post lunch, Stokes smashed Jadeja for two back-to-back enormous leg-side sixes to bring up his fifty after being given a reprieve by KS Bharat on the first ball of the third session. After Mark Wood was castled by Ashwin for 11 while attempting a big heave, Stokes lofted the off-spinner for six and then got a four off Bumrah.

Eventually, Bumrah beat Stokes comprehensively on the outside edge and rattled his off stump to wrap England’s innings in 64.3 overs. Jaiswal started India’s innings with a first-ball boundary flicked off Mark Wood. He then welcomed Tom Hartley into Test cricket with two slog-swept sixes and then pulled followed by driving twice to pick three fours.

Combining powerful strokeplay and impeccable timing, Jaiswal would again drive twice off Hartley and reached his fifty in 47 balls with a pull past mid-wicket for four. Captain Rohit Sharma was a mere spectator in an 80-run opening stand dominated by Jaiswal, though he hit three boundaries.

He fell for 24 after being deceived in flight by left-arm spinner Jack Leach and his lofted drive was caught by Stokes at mid-on. Jaiswal continued to hammer boundaries off Hartley and Rehan Ahmed till stumps were called. With a strong final session on Day One, India would be hoping that Jaiswal converts his blazing knock into a big innings on day two.

Brief scores:

England 246 all out in 64.3 overs (Ben Stokes 70, Ben Duckett 35; Ravichandran Ashwin 3-68, Ravindra Jadeja 3-88) lead India 119/1 in 23 overs (Yashasvi Jaiswal 76 not out, Rohit Sharma 24; Jack Leach 1-24) by 127 runs

–IANS

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