HYDERABAD: England defeated India at home in the first Test match thanks to their attacking “Bazball” style of play, but commentators and cricketers stated on Monday that England is still the favorite in the five-match series. After leading the series for the majority of the first three days, Rohit Sharma’s India lost the thrilling opening day of the Test by 28 runs in Hyderabad on Sunday.
With the help of captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum, England has won 14 of the 19 Test matches with their fearless “Bazball” style of play. The daily headline in the Indian Express read, “Bazball: Believe the hype.” India lost for the first time ever after leading by 190 runs in the first innings of their 47 Test matches played at home since 2013.
According to former England captain Nasser Hussain, “it’s just a wake-up call for India,” he said on Sky Sports. He continued, “England has demonstrated that they are a team not to be trifled with.” This is a self-assured side that believes highly of the way they are handling the game. They wholeheartedly support their captain. They wholeheartedly support their coach.
Ollie Pope’s 196, an innings centered on sweeps and reverse sweeps, demonstrated the opposition’s fearless approach and put the home spinners, led by Ravichandran Ashwin, under pressure. According to former England captain Michael Vaughan, “the India team underachieves more than any team that I’ve seen in sport,” as stated in the Daily Telegraph in London.
He did, however, add that England could not rest on its laurels. India is still my favorite to win the series because of how they’ll respond. However, India will be questioning what pitches they should prepare, he added.
He continued, “I thought India would be better off preparing a flatter wicket than one with more turn. I said that before the series.”
“Hartley and Soul”
India stumbled in their pursuit of 231, and the innings collapsed when Rohit was dismissed for 39 by rookie left-arm spinner Tom Hartley, who returned figures of 7-62. The headline of the Times of India newspaper said, “Hartley and Soul.”
Hyderabad’s pitch wasn’t particularly good, but it did provide assistance to the spinners much like any other subcontinent wicket. Nevertheless, the skilled English spinners—Axar Patel, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ashwin—were able to take advantage of the conditions more than the home team.
In the second innings of England’s innings, off-spinner Ashwin and left-arm orthodox Jadeja shared five wickets between them, but the tourists overcame a significant deficit to post 420. The spin threat was neutralized by Pope’s unconventional strategy, and later on England’s slow bowlers made a big impact. Along with an injured Jack Leach and part-timer Joe Root, Hartley rattled the Indian chase. However, India’s coach Rahul Dravid predicted that his team’s spinners will perform well in the second Test, which gets underway in Visakhapatnam on Friday.
“We need to be more disciplined in where we pitch the ball; we’ll work on it and improve because we have some excellent spinners,” Dravid said to the media. It’s not the first time we’ve faced difficulties. A positive aspect of our spinners is their consistent return rate.
The visitors won the first game of England’s final Test series in India in 2021, but the hosts prevailed 3-1 overall. Since England’s 2-1 victory over India in 2012, India has gone undefeated at home. -AFP