IND vs ENG: 1st Test, Day 1 Talking Points – Jaiswal, spinners take centre stage as Bazball stumbles

The highly-anticipated five-match Test series between India and England got underway on Thursday, January 25, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. On expected lines, spin played a major part as both teams fielded three spinners each.

England won the toss and opted to bat first. The English opening duo of Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley stitched a 55-run partnership inside 12 overs. The former was quite aggressive, as he hit seven fours during his innings of 35 off 39 balls. England slipped from 55/0 to 60/3 as the Indian spinners pegged them back.

Jonny Bairstow played a handy knock of 37 but was dismissed by a peach of a delivery from Axar Patel. Ben Stokes top-scored with an 88-ball 70 as England were eventually dismissed for 246. India got off to a flying start thanks to Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma. They amassed 80 runs inside 13 overs before the Indian captain departed for 24. The hosts ended the day on 119/1 in 23 overs, as Jaiswal remained unbeaten on 76 off 70 balls, with Shubman Gill (14 off 43 balls) for company.

Talking Points from Day 1:

1. Ben Stokes plays another blinder

The England captain led from the front with the bat. His team was staring down the barrel at 155/7. However, Stokes showed his class and batted impressively with the tailenders, something he has done successfully umpteen times in the past. He scored 70 off just 88 balls, belting six fours and three sixes, including some severe assault on the left-arm spin of Ravindra Jadeja. He was eventually dismissed by an excellent delivery from Jasprit Bumrah.

2. Yashasvi Jaiswal gives England taste of their own medicine

The young Mumbai batter didn’t allow the English bowlers to settle down, as he played aggressively from the get-go. He clipped Mark Wood for a boundary off the first ball of India’s innings to make his intentions clear. The southpaw didn’t allow debutant Tom Hartley to get into his rhythm. The left-arm spinner was hit for a couple of sixes in his first over and he just didn’t seem to recover from that initial assault. Jaiswal would look to register his second Test century on Day 2.

3. 9 wickets fall to spin on Day 1

11 wickets fell on Day 1 and nine of those fell to spinners. Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja bagged three wickets each, while Axar chipped in with a couple. For England, the experienced Jack Leach was the only wicket-taker. While the pitch can’t be called a rank-turner as yet, there is enough assistance for the tweakers and they will enjoy bowling on this surface as the game goes on.