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Saturday, March 02, 2024  
20 Shaban 1445  

Jaiswal leads India’s reply after attacking 70 from Stokes

Hosts were 119-1 at stumps in Hyderabad and trailing England by 127 runs
India’s Yashasvi Jaiswal (R) made 76 off 70 balls at the close of play, leading his side’s response. AFP
India’s Yashasvi Jaiswal (R) made 76 off 70 balls at the close of play, leading his side’s response. AFP

Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal led India’s charging reply to England’s 246, which had been driven by captain Ben Stokes’s half-century on an all-attacking opening day of the first Test on Thursday.

The hosts were 119-1 at stumps in Hyderabad and trailing England by 127 runs, with skipper Rohit Sharma (24) the sole wicket.

Jaiswal, on 76 off 70 balls, and Shubman Gill, on 14, were batting at the close of play.

Left-hander Jaiswal reached his fifty in 47 balls with a boundary off debutant Tom Hartley, whose bruising introduction to Test cricket saw him leak 63 runs from nine overs.

Rohit walked back dejected after mistiming a shot off left-arm spinner Jack Leach, with Stokes completing the catch in the deep.

Stokes top-scored with 70 after the visitors opted to bat first, sticking to their ultra-attacking “Bazball” strategy to counter India’s renowned home-turf spin prowess.

“Stokesy’s knock, to get us to where we were, was fantastic,” opener Ben Duckett told reporters.

He added that the visitors had finished their innings “over par” on a difficult pitch that was likely to get more unruly.

“Come day three, day four that could be a match-winning knock if the pitch keeps getting harder to bat on,” he said.

England had lost regular wickets until Stokes took charge and lifted the total, smashing six fours and three sixes.

The skipper put together key lower-order stands with Hartley (23) and Mark Wood (11) before he was finally bowled by paceman Jasprit Bumrah after tea in the final wicket.

‘A bit challenging’

India spinner Axar Patel said his side were happy to hold the tourists to their total, adding that the pitch had yet to turn in favour of bowlers.

“It’s a bit challenging for the batsman, but if you play well, you can score runs,” he said.

“For bowlers it’s a challenge,” he added. “If you miss your line and length then runs will come easy.”

England had started the day briskly, with Duckett (35) and Zak Crawley (20) putting on an opening stand of 55, with regular boundaries off Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj.

England reached 41-0 in eight overs before spin was introduced, with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin eventually taking three apiece.

Duckett fell lbw to Ashwin, who broke the tourists’ breezy opening stand.

Crawley gifted Ashwin a second wicket when the tall opener hit the ball to mid-off and Siraj took a low catch.

Jonny Bairstow hit 37 in a partnership of 61 with Joe Root, who made 29.

Axar, a left-arm spinner, bowled Bairstow with a delivery that spun away from the batsman soon after lunch, to elicit roaring cheers from the home crowd.

Jadeja got Root caught at short fine-leg after the veteran batsman mistimed a sweep and trudged back to the pavilion.

The start of India’s innings witnessed a security breach when a fan barged onto the pitch to touch Rohit’s feet before being hauled away by security.

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