Rahul, Jadeja put India on top in first England Test

Published January 27, 2024
INDIAN batters Ravindra Jadeja (L) and KL Rahul run between the wickets during the first Test against England at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Friday.—AFP
INDIAN batters Ravindra Jadeja (L) and KL Rahul run between the wickets during the first Test against England at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Friday.—AFP

HYDERABAD: Fluent half-centuries by KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja earned India a sizeable first-innings lead of 175 and control of the opening Test against England on Friday.

India, who have not lost a home Test series since 2012, finished day two on a commanding 421-7 in their robust reply to England’s modest first innings of 246.

Jadeja was on 81 at stumps having added 63 runs with Axar Patel who was on 35.

After India resumed day two on 119-1, England opened with part-time spinner Joe Root who dismissed the dangerous-looking Yashasvi Jaiswal (80) in his first over.

Jaiswal hit Root’s second ball for a four but, two balls later, offered a high return catch to Root, who leapt to pouch the ball.

“It would have been amazing to get a hundred here,” Jaiswal said though he did not regret playing that shot against Root. “This is my first Test in India and I was just thinking how can I contribute and do well for the team.”

Jadeja’s fifth-wicket stand of 65 with Rahul, who looked assured in his knock laced with eight fours and two sixes, stood out in a dominant day for India.

The world’s top-ranked Test all-rounder then kept up the charge with wicket-keeper-batsman K.S. Bharat, who made 41 before being dismissed by Root.

Root and debutant Tom Hartley have taken two wickets each on a grinding day for the tourists, who bowled 87 overs after an extended final session.

Jadeja reached his fifty after tea and waved the bat in his trademark sword celebration in front of a cheering crowd of more than 25,000, boosted by the Republic Day holiday.

India lost two wickets in the final session of play including Ravic­handran Ashwin run out for one after a mix-up which saw the two batsmen at one end.

Rahul anchored the innings in the first two sessions but was denied a ton when his big heave on a long-hop from Hartley landed in the palms of Rehan Ahmed at deep mid-wicket.

England kept rotating their bowling options and struck in the third over after lunch when Shreyas Iyer holed out to deep mid-wicket for 35 off leg-spinner Ahmed.

Scoreboard

ENGLAND (1st Innings) 246 (B. Stokes 70, J. Bairstow 37, B. Duckett 35; R. Ashwin 3-68, R. Jadeja 3-88)

INDIA (1st innings, overnight 119-1):

Y. Jaiswal c&b Root 80

R. Sharma c Stokes b Leach 24

S. Gill c Duckett b Hartley 23

K.L. Rahul c Ahmed b Hartley 86

S. Iyer c Hartley b Ahmed 35

R. Jadeja not out 81

K.S. Bharat lbw b Root 41

R. Ashwin run out (Hartley) 1

A. Patel not out 35

EXTRAS (B-5, LB-6, W-2, NB-2) 15

TOTAL (for seven wkts, 110 overs) 421

STILL TO BAT: J. Bumrah, M. Siraj

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-80 (Rohit), 2-123 (Jaiswal), 3-159 (Gill), 4-223 (Iyer), 5-288 (Rahul), 6-356 (Bharat), 7-358 (Ashwin)

BOWLING: Wood 13-0-43-0 (2w), Hartley 25-0-131-2 (2nb), Leach

25-6-54-1, Ahmed 23-3-105-1, Root 24-2-77-2

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2024

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