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The baseball flew away, leaving only the lightning

by Afonso
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As tough as the pitch was expected to be, it didn’t turn out to be that tough at least for the batsmen on the first day. But the difference in the quality of the bowlers of the two teams must be seen! Where India landed with two of the best spinners in their history and arguably the best pacer, what did England have? Of the three spinners who have gone down, apart from Jack Leach, the other two have a combined experience of one Test.

England felt the result of such a polar difference in bowling today. Those who spend the first day in Hyderabad are miserable. The English who talked so much about the baseball, its power or strength was not seen today, the ‘buzz’ is the essence!

India bowled out England for 246 runs in the third session and played 23 more overs on the day. In those 23 overs, it was India who showed the reverse baseball – more specifically, Yasswi Jaiswal. Such is the case that cricket website Cricinfo has jokingly named Joyswal’s batting as ‘Joys-Ball!’

At the end of the day, Jaiswal’s unbeaten 76 with 9 fours and 3 sixes from 70 balls, India has already accounted for almost half of England’s runs. Finished the day with 119 runs for 1 wicket. Rohit Sharma returned with a catch as he bowled Leach for 24 runs, with Shubman Gill (14*) remaining unbeaten at the end of the day as Jaiswal’s partner.

While England have averaged 3.5 runs per over since the start of the day, India’s innings so far has a run rate of 5.17! Is baseball not a fast-paced game? India has shown that today.

England got only one win today – the toss. Other than that, the rest of the day is just lost. Lost wickets one after another in batting, lost opportunities to build pairs. England have lost the allotted three reviews per innings within a couple of hours of the day in bowling to lose.
! That too within 14 overs!

All but one Jack Leach bowled in between. Jaiswal welcomed the anointed Tom Hartley to Test cricket by hitting a six off the first ball! At the end of the day, India scored 63 runs in Hartley’s 9 overs! Apart from Leach, the other two spinners, Rihan Ahmed, scored more than 7 runs per over in 3 overs (22 runs). Only Rohit was dismissed by Leach who gave 24 runs in 9 overs. Oh, pace bowling? There, England ended the day’s pace after getting 2 overs to Mark Wood.

Due to such sloppy bowling, England’s fielders also had to run again and again – to collect the ball from the boundary. Jaiswal didn’t let it feel like a Test, picking up a 47-ball fifty (7 fours and 2 sixes). Rohit, however, could not open his hands that much. Leach was setting up Murray’s inviting field and snaring it here and there with length and speed, Rohit scored 24 runs off 3 fours in 27 balls before being caught. After the opening pair fell for 80 runs in the 13th over, Gill Neme, however, batted well – scoring 14 runs off 43 balls. On the other hand, due to Joyce-ball, however, the run rate remained above 5.

Earlier, after scoring 55 runs in the opening pair of Jack Crawley (0) and Ben Duckett (35), England did not get a run and lost a wicket. Duckett, Pope, Crowley saw off within 6 runs England went to lunch with 108 for 3 wickets. After Joe Root (29) and Jonny Bairstow (37) put on a 61-run partnership for the fourth wicket, the two came back with a gap of 5 runs.

England also saw the fall of the seventh wicket without reaching a hundred and a half (155 runs). Even though England scored two hundreds, got close to two and a half hundred…all credit goes to Ben Stokes’ 88-ball innings of 70 runs with 6 fours and 3 sixes. Stokes, returning from injury for this series, has retained his old habit of lighting up when England are in danger.

He made a partnership of 38 runs with Hartley (23) for the eighth wicket. England went into the tea break with 215 runs for 8 wickets. Stokes picked up his fifty after tea, 69 balls, 5 fours and 1 six. When his 41-run partnership with Mark Wood (11) was broken for the ninth wicket, England were 234. After that, however, Stokes did not last long, getting out as the tenth batsman.


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