HYDERABAD: In the first Test on Saturday, England’s batsmen faltered against a relentless Indian attack, but Ollie Pope’s valiant century helped them recover and take a 126-run lead. Day three in Hyderabad saw England’s second innings reach 316-6 at stumps with Pope (148) and Rehan Ahmed (16) at the crease.
India had a 190-run lead at 436 after their first innings, and when Pope and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes combined for 112 runs at 163-5, England was in serious trouble. Pope took off his helmet and raised his bat to enjoy the cheers as he reached his fifth Test century and first against India with three runs off Ravindra Jadeja.
A veteran batsman named Joe Root told reporters it was “a brilliant day for a number of reasons.” “To be honest, Popey’s performance today is a complete masterclass on how to bat in these conditions as an overseas player,” the player continued.
“We’ve set some solid benchmarks and demonstrated that we have the resources and abilities to truly compete in these circumstances.” Pope applied pressure while skillfully using back-and-forth sweeps to offset India’s potent spin attack.
When Axar Patel mishandled the reverse sweep to backward point on 110 and dropped the catch off Jadeja, he managed to survive. Foakes was dismissed by Axar’s left-arm spin to end the partnership, but Pope claimed the day with a 17-bout marathon knock. Jasprit Bumrah, the pace leader, and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin each claimed two wickets.
Stokes, Ashwin’s rabbit
After Ben Duckett’s sweep shots held off the Indian attack and kept the scoring rate above five per over, England stormed to an early 89-1 lead at lunchtime, despite Zak Crawley falling to Ashwin’s off-spin. After lunch, Duckett was bowled out for 47 by Bumrah, who had bowled a sensational spell that left the batsman untouched after an LBW call that could have been upheld on review. The weekend crowd was loud, so he got Root to come in for a double.
Ashwin claimed his second wicket after dismissing Stokes on six off a skillfully timed flighted ball that deceived the captain and rattled his off-stump. Jadeja had already removed Jonny Bairstow for ten. In Test matches, Ashwin had dismissed left-hander Stokes for the twelfth time.
On the field, India’s bowling coach Paras Mhambrey remarked, “It still has something for the bowlers.” “There is still a turn, but it’s not the typical turn on the Indian subcontinent, where there is a sharp turn as the game goes on. But first things first, we need to remove them as soon as we can. After England’s first innings total of 246 runs, India resumed the day on 421-7. Jadeja and Axar, the overnighters, got off to a cautious start, scoring just six runs in the first thirty minutes. With Jadeja out of the way, Root (4-79) bowled Bumrah the next ball, but Mohammed Siraj saved a hat-trick.
Jadeja top-scored for the hosts with 87. Leg-spinner Ahmed cleaned up Axar on 44 to end the innings inside the first hour. Spinner Jack Leach, who injured his knee while fielding on day one and again on day two, took the field heavily bandaged and bowled just one over in the morning. — AFP