It was a day of excellence for the precocious talent Yashasvi Jaiswal. The 22 year old scored almost half of the total runs amassed by India on a gripping day of Test cricket at Visakhapatnam. England kept picking up wickets at regular junctions to keep themselves alive in the contest. None of the other batters except Jaiswal hit the 40 run mark for the host team. The spin attack of England toiled hard and bowled impressively on a flat pitch in Vizag.
India was forced to make a couple of changes from the last Test due to injuries to key players KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja. The alarm bells have been ringing for these two for a long time now, they have suffered 11 separate injuries over the last three years. Jadeja is ruled out with a hamstring injury while Rahul is out with a right quadriceps injury.
30 year old batter from Madhya Pradesh, Rajat Patidar came in to replace KL Rahul. Kuldeep Yadav was chosen for a Test match for the fourth time in the last five years for India. Mohammed Siraj was given a rest after heavy workload over the last few months. 30 year old pacer from Bihar Mukesh Kumar was selected in his place. Virat Kohli is still unavailable for selection due to personal reasons.
After missing the first Test due to a controversial visa issue, Shoaib Bashir finally made his debut in the second Test. The 20 year old off spinner has played only six first class games before this one. The other change in the Indian team was the inclusion of James Anderson in place of misfiring Mark Wood. Anderson is just 10 wickets away from reaching the milestone of 700 wickets; he will be the first pace bowler to achieve this feat. India is playing with a relatively inexperienced squad after a long time. The time looks to be over for two middle stalwarts Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara. The aggregate of Test career runs of all the Indian batsmen is less than of Joe Root alone.
1. Zak Crawley 2. Ben Duckett 3. Ollie Pope 4. Joe Root 5. Jonny Bairstow 6. Ben Stokes (Cap.) 7. Ben Foakes (WK) 8. Rehan Ahmed 9. Tom Hartley 10. Shoaib Bashie 11. James Anderson
1. Rohit Sharma (Cap.) 2. Yashasvi Jaiswal 3. Shubman Gill 4. Shreyas Iyer 5. Rajat Patidar 6. Axar Patel 7. Srikar Bharat (WK) 8. Ravichandran Ashwin 9. Mukesh Kumar 10. Jasprit Bumrah 11. Kuldeep Yadav
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to bat first. The playing surface of YS Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium looked brown and sturdy in the beginning, but it can deteriorate swiftly. The pace will eventually become slower with not a lot of bounce on the surface.
There would be enough carry and bounce during the initial phases of the Test match. The ideal scenario would be bat first and post a score over 450 runs to put the opponents under pressure. India have recorded the previous two Test matches by choosing to bat first. The average first innings in Tests is 476. With the absence of several key figures in the batting lineup, India would rely on the younger members of the squad to deliver in this crucial second Test match.
India had won both of their Tests at Visakhapatnam prior to this game. The most recent Test match at this ground saw India beat South Africa by 203 runs. India and England have met on 132 occasions prior to this Test match. The visitors have the upper hand with 51 wins. The other 50 Test matches ended in a draw. India has emerged victorious on 31 occasions. In Tests in India, the hosts have won 22 games. Two of England’s 15 Test wins came in 2012, the last time a visiting side had toppled the Indians in their own backyard in a series. The first Test match in India’s history was played against England at Lord’s in June. 1932.
|The first day of the second Test match between India and England was played at YS Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium in Visakhapatnam.
|The game started on Friday, February 2, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. local time.
Captaincy & Tactics
England has chosen to go with three spinners in their team for the second Test. After seeing the damp pitch of Vizag, the management continued their ploy of using three spinners with different actions. Shoaib Bashir has only ten wickets in his first career, but the right arm off spinner was chosen due to his height.
The six foot four inch spinner can extract extra bounce from the wicket. He was finally included in the team after a visa debacle which forced him to be sidelined for the first Test in Hyderabad. Tom Hartley is also one who can take advantage of his tall frame. The decision to choose a bowler who was relatively unknown even in the domestic circuit. But the 24 year old orthodox spinner spinned a web of trouble for the Indian batters to take nine wickets in the game.
With Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Ravindra missing from the team for various reasons, the Indian middle order is not looking as sturdy as it should be. Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill are out of form and Srikar Bharat does not possess the batting qualities of Rishabh Pant.
The Indian batters apart from Jaiswal took a rather cautious approach. 67% of their shots were played on the back foot. But each of the batsmen got out after making decent starts. James Anderson was producing another mind boggling performance at the ripe age of 41. The pace bowler was pitching the ball on a tight line just outside the off stump.
Jaiswal was reluctant to hold it back throughout the draw.
The Uttar Pradesh batter has scored at least one century in each of the three formats and in the IPL as well. He was solid in the front foot and used his feet well against the spinners. The left hander looks to be the favourite to take an opening slot in the upcoming 2024 T20 World Cup and his current batting form is the most impressive among all the batters.
Rohit Sharma is out of form in the red ball format and the Indian skipper changed his natural game to score some runs in this game. He tried to play himself in after playing 41 boundaryless deliveries during the early exchanges. But the right hander eventually became the first victim of Shoaib Bashir when he attempted a tame shot with the spin. Shubman Gill is also a man whose place in the team has been called into question.
The right hander from Punjab also adopted a cautious approach, scoring 17 runs from the first 36 deliveries. Then he shifted to his natural strokemaking game. There were two fine cover drives off Bashir, a touch of class from the immensely talented right hander. However, the next two boundaries were streaky edges from Anderson’s bowling. Gill eventually departed after scoring 34, becoming the 691st victim of James Anderson’s fantastic Test career.
In the absence of Kohli and Rahul, a lot of responsibility fell on the shoulders of Shreyas Iyer. But the 29 year old batter from Mumbai did not feel comfortable and lost his wicket to Hartley. Ben Foakes produced a fine catch to dismiss Iyer. But by then Jaiswal was playing an innings of statement.
Yashasvi Jaiswal had played only five previous tests, but this was an innings that belongs to the upper echelon of Test cricket. After narrowly missing out on a century in the first Test, this time Jaiswal was determined to touch the three figures. The 22 year old smashed five sixes and 17 fours in his unbeaten innings. The wicket looked slow and dump in the earlier parts of the game. So, Jaiswal took his time in the middle to get accustomed to the pitch and then launched an assault on the English bowlers. Tom Hartley was humbled on the first day of the last Test match at the hands of Jaiswal, the same thing repeated on the first day of the second Test match. The left arm orthodox bowler was hit for three consecutive boundaries as Jaiswal started taking off the brakes. He was pouncing on anything that was loose and started using his feet to get to the pitch of the ball.
Jaiswal remained unbeaten on 51 before the lunch break, when Gill fell to the craftsmanship of James Anderson. The left hander dialled up the intensity in the afternoon session. Joe Root was lifted over the extra cover region for a six with an effortless lofted drive. Tom Hartley was punished regularly for his overpitched deliveries. The left arm orthodox spinner would vividly remember the first ball of his Test career being hit for a six by Jaiswal. This time it was the drives that were on show, giving little chance for the fielders to intercept.
Jaiswal survived one scare in his rather immaculate innings. Joe Root got his fingertips to the thick edge off Tom Hartley. But the left hander sailed smoothly towards three figures, reaching the milestone with a six.
The English bowlers showed courage and resilience to keep their side firmly in the game. The three pronged spin attack was led by the youngest of them all, Rehan Ahmed put on a fine display of spin bowling before the Vizag crowd. However, it was another day of top class bowling by James Anderson. The 41 year old was back in action after his lacklustre display in the Ashes last year. He bowled 18 overs throughout the day, giving away under two runs per over. Shubman Gill was prompted to play one outside the off stump and only managed to get an edge to the ball.
James Anderson allowed his captain, Stokes to have a greater degree of control over the proceedings which was absent during the first Test. Anderson produced swing in both ways, offering little room for the batters to manoeuvre. His economy of 1.76 runs is less than half of any of his teammates. But the headline in the bowling department fell to another Englishman who was 21 years his junior.
Shoaib Bashir hadn’t even been born when James Anderson made his Test debut back in May, 2003. But the off spinner bowled with a level of maturity that felt unreal for a man playing in his Test match on Indian soil. Bashir’s first test scalp will live long in the memory as he dismissed Rohit Sharma to claim the first wicket of his international career. Rohit Sharma tried to flick the ball down his pads and Ollie Pope completed a sharp catch for the visitors.
Rehan Ahmed bowled fantastically, displaying a wide range of deliveries in his arsenal. The 19 year old picked up two wickets before the day came to a close. He was held back till the 60th over of the match and then bowled incessantly till the end of the day’s play.
The teenager took two valuable wickets to keep his side in the game. Rajat Patidar fell after trying to steer a delivery that was moving away from him. KS Bharat tried to play a cut shot against the leg spinner and lost his wicket in the process. Axar Patel also lost his wicket by playing a careless shot against Shoaib Bashir.
Ben Foakes might not be the best option with the bat, but the wicketkeeper has reiterated his importance behind the stumps. On a day where chances for wickets were few and far between, the Surrey wicketkeeper took two important catches to give his side important breakthroughs.
The first catch was to dismiss Shubman Gill. Foakes dived full length in front of the slip fielder to pouch the ball safely. The next one was even better, he showed the presence of mind and athleticism to cling on to the under edge of Shreyas Iyer’s bat. The ball could have easily gone under his gloves. But the wicketkeeper moved sharply to catch it.
Stokes had a frustrating first half of the day and it went from bad to worse after missing a sharp opportunity at slip. The delivery from Tom Hartley skidded through to Jaiswal who punched it late. The ball flew off the edge to the left of Ben Stokes at slip. The English captain could barely get his fingertips on the ball but it did not stick. Jaiswal looked relentless after this reprieve at 73.
Ollie Pope was the hero with the bat in Hyderabad. But this time the 26 year old batter came up with a brilliant performance in the fielding department. Rohit Sharma was not looking confident out in the middle and played an uncharacteristic knock of 14. The Indian skipper tried to nudge a ball down the leg side. Ollie Pope was fielding at backward point at that moment and took an instinctive catch to send Sharma back to the pavilion.
Yashasvi Jaiswal was the sole warrior for India as he scored the second century of his Test career. The 22 year old played with maturity that belied his age, remaining unbeaten at the score of 178 runs from 257 balls. But none of the other Indian batters offered him enough support. Four of India’s middle order batsmen fell in the range of 25 to 35 runs. Shubman Gill looked good, but the Punjab batter fell to James Anderson for the fifth time in his career. Rajat Patidar had a pretty forgettable first day in Test cricket, scoring 27 before getting bowled by a fantastic delivery of Rehan Ahmed. Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel also threw away decent starts.
Rehan Ahmed was the pick of English bowlers during the first day in Vizag. The teenager from Somerset showed a wide range of deliveries to create constant troubles for the batters. Rehan picked up two wickets for 61 runs. He was greatly supported by another spinner with South Asian origin. Shoaib Bashir used his tall frame to produce extra bounce off the surface. The debutant claimed the scalps of Axar Patel and Rohit Sharma to cap off a fine display. James Anderson will turn 42 this July, but the English legend is still going strong with 1 wicket from his 17 overs. The hero of Hyderabad, Tom Hartley, finished the day with the wicket of Shreyas Iyer.
The turning point came on the third ball of the 86th over. India was looking solid with a score of 301 for four wickets. Yashasvi Jaiswal was batting at 161 at the crease with Axar Patel as his partner. Axar has performed solidly with the bat in the last twelve months, scoring four fifties in his last seven Test innings. But the Gujarat all-rounder made an error of judgement.
Shoaib Bashir dropped the ball short. Axar stayed on his crease and tried to cut it through the square region. However, the ball rose on him and took an outside edge. Rehan Ahmed took a simple catch at backward point. It was a reward for Bashir, who persistently pitched the ball on the right channels throughout the first day of his Test career. This wicket took Srikar Bharat to the crease who later fell to Rehan Ahmed. Two wickets in the final half an hour of play made sure England would be alive and fighting in the contest.
India are 336 runs ahead after the completion of 93 overs on the first day.
|India First Innings: 336/6 (93 overs)
|England First Innings: Yet to bat
|Yashasvi Jaiswal 179 (257)
|Shubman Gill 34 (46)
|Rehan Ahmed 2/61 (16 overs)
|Shoaib Bashir 2/100 (28 overs)
It was a day that belonged to Yashasvi Jaiswal. The young batter fought valiantly and remained unbeaten after 93 overs of play. The left hander is the only reason for India eyeing a target over 450. The spin bowling department kept the English in the game with resilient bowling throughout the three sessions. Young slow bowling duo of Shoaib Bashir and Rehan Ahmed showed their potential on a tough pitch. England would look to dismiss Jaiswal as early as possible with the fate of the game nicely hanging in the balance.