Opposition Brilliance Overshadows Team India

Opposition Brilliance Overshadows Team India


England won the 1st test match against India of the 5-match series by 28 runs on their tour of India. It’s too shocking on India’s behalf as they had a 190-run lead in their 1st innings and also 231 target in their 2nd innings is not too big to get but all their efforts went in vain.

This is only the 4th loss for India at home after 47 tests since 2013.

Earlier on day 1 at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, England won the toss and decided to bat. Tom Hartley made his debut for England. Both the teams went with three spinners based on the conditions.

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Bazball Got Started

Ben Duckett and Zack Crawley opened the innings for England. It was a good attacking start which they are infamous for. They put up a 50-run stand for the 1st wicket and Ashwin drew the first blood. Ollie Pope went quickly in courtesy of Jadeja. Zack Crawley too went within minutes for Ashwin. They lost 3 wickets from 55 – 60 in a span of 5 runs.

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Then Bairstow and Root put on a 61-run partnership for the 4th wicket. They stopped the wicket flow and managed till lunch. Post lunch the wickets started to fall as cards. Bairstow went for 37 and Root for 29. They were 155/7. Then the skipper did some damage control over their innings even though the wickets were falling at the other end. Stokes scored a brilliant 70 off 80 balls and fell for an extraordinary delivery from Bumrah.

England scored 246 in their first innings. Stokes and Bairstow topped their scorecard. From the Indian side, Ashwin and Jadeja duo picked 3 wickets each, and Axar and Bumrah picked 2 wickets each.

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Flamboyant Start From the Young Gun

Jaiswal and Rohit opened the innings for India. Both of them gave the taste of their own medicine to England by attacking each and every bowler from their side.

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Especially Jaiswal, he started off the innings with a boundary and no stopping him earlier in the day. India reached 50 runs within 6.3 overs. Rohit too accompanied him on the way and scored a handful of 24. India scored 80 runs as their first wicket partnership. Rohit fell for Leach’s spin. At the end of day 1 India was well and truly in the driver’s seat and ended at 119/1.

Rahul, Jadeja’s Dominance 

Earlier on Day 2, Jaiswal and Gill continued. Jaiswal missed out on a century chance and fell for a well-made 80 of 74 balls. Gill scored 23 and went to the pavilion. Then Rahul and Shreyas Iyer put on a decent partnership. They kept the scoreboard ticking. Shreyas Iyer fell for 35 in the attempt of a big shot. 

Then Jadeja and Rahul joined hands in the middle. They both played exceptionally well. Rahul scored a fifty in his 50th test match. Both of them made sure to get India the lead. After an extraordinary batting display, Rahul fell for 86 runs by Hartley.

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Bharath and Jadeja paired up and started exactly where they left when Rahul fell. They put a 68-run stand for the 6th wicket. Bharath played a decent knock and went for 41. Axar and Jadeja played till the end of the day and scored 421/7 at the end of day 2. Jadeja did a rocking performance and scored his 20th half-century in his test career.

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At the start of day 3, India lost all its wickets and scored 436. India got a lead of 190 runs as Jadeja and Rahul scored 86, 87 respectively which aided the lead.

Indian Bowlers Bowed Down to Pope

England were off to a shaky start. Crawley and Duckett gave 45 for 1st wicket. He scored 31 and fell for Ashwin’s spin. Duckett and Pope played well and tested the patience of Indian bowlers. They outsmarted the Indian spinners by playing the sweeps and reverse sweeps often and negated the chance of getting out. Duckett missed a half-century chance and went for 47. Root, Bairstow, and Stokes were sent to the pavilion in a short period. England were 163/5 and India had a good chance to take the remaining half of the team.

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From this point in time, Pope started to take the game away from the Indian team. He and Foakes played exceptionally well and gave hope to their team. Pope went on and played the sweeps, reverse sweeps, and reverse dilscoops, and frustrated the Indian team and fans. He scored his 5th century in his test career. Foakes scored 36 and fell for Axar Patel. They were 163/5 at one stage and at the end of day 4 they were 316/6 thanks to Pope’s century. They went past the trail and got a 126-run lead at the end of day 3.

Hartley’s Magical Spell Took England Past the Line

Earlier the day 4, England was still on the course of setting a major target for India. Pope continued his excellence which troubled India even more. Hartley and Rehan aided a bit in the process. They scored 34 and 28 respectively. At last, Pope fell for Bumrah’s slower one and missed a double-hundred. He scored a brilliant 196. England set a target of 231 for India which is not a huge one but a challenging one.

India was totally baffled by Hartley’s brilliance. At 11.4th over Jaiswal was caught by Pope’s lovely catch at short-leg. Not later than a ball at 11.6th over he took another stunner at a silly point to dismiss Gill. Rohit played some good shots over the rope but he too got out for a decent 39. After that England’s morale was higher and India started to feel the pressure.

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They came at team India with all they got. Stokes placed his fielders at the right spot, and Hartley and the rest bowlers bowled the right length. Once they stopped the boundary flow the wickets just started to fall. India sent Axar up the order to maintain the left-right combination. Even though he scored 17 it wasn’t enough and it didn’t give as much of a result as they expected. Rahul looked good at the start. He played some nice shots over square-leg and fine-leg. But he made a silly error of playing a full ball at backfoot and it cost his wicket. He scored 22.

In recent times during a crisis, Shreyas Iyer had become a liability. He fails to score frequently and plays an irresponsible shot when the team needs him the most. He or Gill will be the one who will sacrifice their place when Kohli returns.

Frame 344

Jadeja got out by a run-out. Those who scored a half-century in the 1st innings didn’t score much in this innings. Bharat and Ashwin played a circumspect partnership which eventually was broken by Hartley by an extraordinary delivery. They scored 57 runs for the 8th wicket. At last Siraj and Bumrah put on a 25-run stand for the last wicket. Siraj got out on the last over of the day 4.

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Hartley took a seven-wicket haul and also played a handy knock in his debut match on Indian soil. Sure he’ll be seen often from now on.

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India had a good chance of winning this match and they gave away their opportunity to the visitors. They must definitely regroup and find where they slipped the game. From England’s perspective, they just need to take on the momentum and try to win the remaining games so as to be alive in the WTC race.
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