1st Test: Rahul, Jadeja, Axar help India grab first-innings lead of 175, end day two at 421/7

K.L. Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel stole the show with impactful knocks in a high-scoring day to help India grab the first innings lead of 175 runs

Hyderabad, Jan 26 (IANS) K.L. Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel stole the show with impactful knocks in a high-scoring day to help India grab the first innings lead of 175 runs after ending day two at 421/7 in 110 overs. At the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, India began Day Two with 127 runs behind and lost Yashasvi Jaiswal in the opening over. Rahul slammed his 14th Test fifty to top-score with 86 off 123 balls, combining patience, poise and good-looking ten boundaries while keeping the scoreboard moving.

Jadeja then took over the scoring mantle to be 81 not out off 155 balls, hitting nine boundaries, while stitching an unbroken partnership of 63 off 117 balls for the eighth wicket with Axar Patel (35 not out off 62 balls) to extend India’s lead well beyond 150.

The pitch offered some turn throughout the day, but England’s spinners weren’t consistent enough in line and length to build pressure. After Rahul fell, they got some control, but Jadeja and Axar being resilient meant Friday became a dominating day for India.

In the final session, Joe Root had some really close LBW shouts against Jadeja and K.S. Bharat being turned down. Bharat overcame an iffy start to take boundaries on short balls from Root and Rehan Ahmed.

Elsewhere, Jadeja got his 20th Test fifty after playing ten dot balls on 49 while Bharat slog-swept Root for four after England took the second new ball.

But Bharat fell nine runs short of fifty as he was trapped lbw on the sweep against Root. England got another wicket when Ravichandran Ashwin had a mix-up with Jadeja and was run out for one. Jadeja and Axar took boundaries off the bad balls, with the latter taking Tom Hartley for two fours and a six on the last three balls to end the day where India had all but batted England out of the game.

With three wickets still in hand, India will be aiming to stretch the lead as much as possible with Jadeja and Axar at the crease and pile on the misery on England’s indifferent bowling attack.

Brief scores:

England 246 trail India 421/7 in 110 overs (K.L. Rahul 86, Ravindra Jadeja 81 not out; Joe Root 2-77, Tom Hartley 2-131) by 175 runs

–IANS

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