All told, that’s a pretty decent morning for England. They still have some extremely hard yakka to do, but two wickets is a good effort on such a flat pitch. Shoaib Bashir took his first Test wicket when a strokeless Rohit Sharma caught at leg slip, and Jimmy Anderson took his 691st when Shubman Gill wandered fatally into the corridor of uncertainty.
Yashasvi Jaiswal punished the bad ball ruthlessly en route to an impressive half-century. He’ll resume on 51 not out, with Shreyas Iyer on 4.
31st over: India 103-2 (Jaiswal 51, Iyer 4) Shreyas Iyer gets off the mark from the last ball before lunch, driving Anderson handsomely through mid-on for four. A very classy way to end an intriguing first session.
30th over: India 99-2 (Jaiswal 51, Iyer 0) A full toss from Bashir is smeared into the crowd by Jaiswal, a huge six just before lunch. He cuts the next ball for four, aided by a misfield from Rehan Ahmed, to bring up a very assured fifty from 89 balls. At 22 he is the youngest batter in the Indian team; at this precise moment in time he looks like the best as well.
29th over: India 89-2 (Jaiswal 41, Iyer 0) Anderson has become he first fast bowler aged 41 and over to take a Test wicket since Gubby Allen in 1948 (I think).
“Good morning from Pondicherry, a few hundred miles down the coast from Vizag,” writes Martin Wright. “It’s pretty unseasonally steamy here and I can’t believe it’s a whole lot more temperate up there. What possesses a 41-year old to toil in the heat on a flat track when he could be putting his feet up on comms next to his old mate Broady I’ve no idea, but you can’t but help but admire him for it.”
The man’s an animal. But I suppose he was never going to retire after such a statistically disappointing underwhelming Ashes.
Gill edges Anderson for four more, not far wide of the diving Root at slip. Anderson has bowled beautifully this morning; his line to Gill has been immaculate.
And now he’s got him for the fifth time in Test cricket! Gill edged a slightly wider delivery – deliberately so, I suspect – to the right of Foakes, who took the catch without fuss. Brilliant captaincy, brilliant bowling.
28th over: India 85-1 (Jaiswal 41, Gill 30) Shubman Gill goes after Bashir for the first time, sweeping and driving successive boundaries. He looks good, ominously so for England because the pitch remains a belter.
“The opposition becoming conservative in response to England doing something extraordinary is something we saw in the Ashes,” says Felix Wood. “I do fear for these youngsters’ fingers – I doubt any have had to bowl as many overs as they will in the next few days. Winning the toss will help, which got me to thinking: why aren’t captains allowed to pick their teams after the toss is made? Might go some way to balance out the luck of flipping the coin.”
That’s a nice idea in theory, though I’m not sure whether it would work in practice. Players prefer certainty, and you can just imagine the affronted coupon of a bowler left out at the last minute.
27th over: India 75-1 (Jaiswal 40, Gill 21) Ben Stokes reads the OBO! He has brought Anderson back to replace Hartley (7-1-24-0), and Jaiswal obligingly takes a single off the first ball to allow Anderson a crack at Gill. He hits a fourth-stump line straight away; Gill defends a few and then thick-edges a boundary wide of slip.
“Umm, she’s tall for her age and would have paperwork nightmares if she tried to go to India,” says Kat Petersen. “Does that count?”
26th over: India 70-1 (Jaiswal 39, Gill 17) The timing isn’t ideal but I’d be tempted to give Anderson a spell before lunch. He has troubled Gill in the past, dismissing him four times in Tests for very few runs. Gill, for all his poor form, could be devastating if he gets his eye in.
25th over: India 68-1 (Jaiswal 38, Gill 16) Apart from one poor over that included a couple of full tosses, Hartley has bowled pretty well this morning. India are dealing mainly in singles, with three more in that over. The tempo has been better in this partnership.
“Good morning from a wet and windy Irish west coast,” writes Dean Kinsella. “I’m wondering who the selectors are going to find for the debutant role in the next Test? I don’t think the kitman has much first-class experience and could be ideal. Might head out to India misself, see if I can get a game!”
If you’re a spin bowler, there’s a five-for with your name on it.
24th over: India 65-1 (Jaiswal 37, Gill 14) One more wicket would make this an excellent morning for England, having lost the toss on a flat pitch. India are starting to play more with more intent, though, and have added 24 in 6.3 overs since the loss of Rohit.
23rd over: India 61-1 (Jaiswal 35, Gill 12) Ben Stokes is tinkering with his field as always: silly point for Gill one over, silly mid-off the next. As I type, he moves silly mid-off slightly wider in the middle of Hartley’s over. His imagination is limitless.
22nd over: India 59-1 (Jaiswal 35, Gill 10) Jaiswal top-edges a sweep that loops not far wide of short fine leg. Bashir has been England’s most dangerous bowler so far, mainly because of extra bounce. He’s also taken the only wicket to fall, and it was a biggie.
21st over: India 56-1 (Jaiswal 34, Gill 8) “Professional sports people are too young,” writes Kat Petersen. “Never mind comparing them all to Jimmy’s debut – I have a 3.5 month old kitten and Shoaib Bashir is closer in age to her than to me. (She’s so young she doesn’t even have the patience for Test cricket yet.)”
Is she tall? Does she drive it into the pitch? Have you got a video of her bowling to Alastair Cook?
20th over: India 55-1 (Jaiswal 34, Gill 7) Jaiswal tries to cut Bashir and slices the ball on the bounce to short third man. In the circumstances this has been a fine start from Bashir: 5-0-10-1. But it may be about to get more challenging, as Jaiswal and Gill are beginning to show a bit of intent.
19th over: India 53-1 (Jaiswal 33, Gill 6) There’s a fair bit of pressure on Shubman Gill, who has an unfathomably modest Test average of 29.52. He takes a single off Hartley before Jaiswal, who looks the most relaxed of the Indian batters right now, sweeps consecutive deliveries for four (off a full toss) and three.
A poor over from Hartley ends with a full toss that Gill whips for four.
18th over: India 41-1 (Jaiswal 26, Gill 1) Interesting, very interesting.
Shoaib Bashir has taken a gem of a first Test wicket! Rohit Sharma turned a nice off-break round the corner, and Ollie Pope took a smart catch at leg slip. Bashir celebrates by
whipping his visa out of his pocket and waving it too all four corners of the ground punching the air and roaring with delight. Rohit walks off after a passive, boundaryless innings of 14 from 41 balls.
17th over: India 40-0 (Jaiswal 26, Rohit 14) Hartley goes round the wicket to Jaiswal, who jabs a yorker into the ground and over the top of the stumps. Foakes takes the bails off just in case but there was no appeal for a stumping.
A good over from Hartley also includes an LBW appeal when Jaiswal pushes defensively outside the line. It was bouncing over the top, though not by much.
16th over: India 40-0 (Jaiswal 26, Rohit 14) Bashir is bowling with nice flight and decent control. India’s passive approach is probably helping him to settle; even so, figures are 3-0-7-0 represent a good start. After a quiet opening round in which both teams hid behind their jab, it’s time for drinks.
15th over: India 39-0 (Jaiswal 25, Rohit 14) Root off, Hartley back on. Rohit shows the first sign of intent by walking down the track; Hartley sees him coming and pushes it wider, but Rohit has plenty of time to defend. This looks such a good pitch. You’d still expect it to deteriorate in the second half of the game, but for now it’s a shirtfront.
14th over: India 37-0 (Jaiswal 24, Rohit 13) Bashir gets his firsat bowl at Rohit Sharma, with a slip and leg slip in place. Rohit works another easy single into the leg side, then Jaiswal back cuts another boundary. It was only slightly short form Bashir but Jaiswal jumped all over it.
Jaiswal looks such a good player. It’s worth repeating that, at the age of 22, he has a first-class average in excess of 70.
13th over: India 32-0 (Jaiswal 20, Rohit 12) Ben Stokes tinkers by bringing Root back after only one over from Hartley. Jaiswal back cuts his first ball for four, the first since the second over; the rest is dot balls.
12th over: India 28-0 (Jaiswal 16, Rohit 12) Eight days ago Jaiswal hit Hartley’s first ball in Test cricket for six, but those were more innocent times. Here he plays carefully, which allows Bashir to start with a promising over – just a single from the last ball. There was a bit of turn, albeit very slow.
There have been no boundaries in the last 10 overs. India are playing with almost exaggerated care.
11th over: India 27-0 (Jaiswal 15, Rohit 12) Tom Hartley replaces Anderson. How will India play him this time? Cautiously for now, with four low-risk singles and a bat-pad shot from Rohit that loops towards the vacant short-leg region.
And now it’s time for Shoaib Bashir.
10th over: India 23-0 (Jaiswal 13, Rohit 10) Deep midwicket saves three more runs when Rohit whips Root to leg. No spin yet, though England wouldn’t have expected any after seeing the pitch. They’d have like an early wicket but keeping control of the scoreboard is the next best thing.
9th over: India 20-0 (Jaiswal 12, Rohit 8) Lovely from Anderson, who angles another excellent delivery past Jaiswal’s outside edge. On a flat pitch in India, a 41-year-old fast bowler has bowled a spell of 5-1-6-0.
8th over: India 19-0 (Jaiswal 12, Rohit 7) Jaiswal back cuts Root towards backward point, where a rare misfield from Anderson gives him two runs. Those two Jaiswal boundaries in Root’s first over are the only ones we’ve had so far. India look like they want to bat time as well as runs.
7th over: India 15-0 (Jaiswal 9, Rohit 6) Anderson hits Rohit on the pad with a lovely nipbacker. England go up for LBW but it’s too high and Anderson isn’t interested in a review. The ball also deflected to slip, though there was no inside edge.
That’s another pretty good over from Anderson, the first maiden of the match. It means the first half of his figures are also his age: 4-1-5-0. He couldn’t be expensive if he tried.
6th over: India 15-0 (Jaiswal 9, Rohit 6) Rohit fails to punish a Root full toss, cracking it straight to deep midwicket for a single, and then Jaiswal cloths a long hop straight to mid-off. Just three runs off the last three overs, though there are no signs of India’s openers getting frustrated. They know there should beheaps of runs out there in the first half of the game.
Just one more thing before we leave England’s match in Vizag in 2016. This story, from Vic Marks’ preview, bears repetition.
Inside the ground the players’ dressing rooms are at the Vizzy End, a name that stems from the Maharajah of Vizianagram; he was a multimillionaire and a very poor player, which did not prevent him from captaining India in England in 1936.
Five years earlier Vizzy’s vast wealth had persuaded Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe to go to India to play for his team. In England he averaged eight in the three Test matches of 1936 – and he was not a bowler; the series was lost after he had sent home one of the most gifted players, Lala Amarnath, for “disciplinary reasons”. If he had kept himself off the pitch he might have been remembered as one of the great benefactors of Indian cricket.
In later life he joined the BBC commentary team as a guest for one series, without gaining universal approval. He had a passion for hunting tigers and on air he spoke at length of how he snared his victims. “Really,” said Rohan Kanhai, the great West Indies batsman, “I thought you just left a transistor radio on when you were commentating and bored them to death.”
5th over: India 14-0 (Jaiswal 9, Rohit 5) I’d need to double check, but I think the last time a quick bowler aged 41 and over took a Test wicket was on 29 March 1948, when Gubby Allen (aged 45!) trapped Frank Worrell LBW in Jamaica.
England need to strike early or it could be a very long day. Anderson has started pretty well and is getting a little bit from the pitch, mainly bounce actually. Rohit feels for a lifting outswinger and is beaten, and it’s another quiet over. Wickets or not, Anderson pretty much always give England control.
4th over: India 13-0 (Jaiswal 9, Rohit 4) Root starts around the wicket to the right-hander Rohit, with a slip and short leg in place. Just a single from the over. Rohit was the pacemaker in the World Cup, but in the Test team that’s Jaiswal’s job.
3rd over: India 12-0 (Jaiswal 9, Rohit 3) This is the Vizag Test of 2016 that Ali Martin mentioned. We may get a repeat this time, but one thing’s for sure: Ben Duckett won’t be getting a 16-ball duck.
Anderson continues. Imagine being 41 and wanting to bowl in India. His second over is much better, with both batters beaten outside off stump. Inbetween, Rohit times a nice square drive for three. There was some encouraging bounce as well.
2nd over: India 9-0 (Jaiswal 9, Rohit 0) Joe Root takes the new ball for the second consecutive innings. Jaiswal makes a statement by clubbing his first and fourth balls to the cover boundary. The first was a bit risky, slapped in the air, but the second was a fine shot.
1st over: India 1-0 (Jaiswal 1, Rohit 0) Jimmy Anderson, 41 and with a fresh bit of juice in his hair, has three slips for Yashasvi Jaiswal. He starts with a couple of balls down the leg side, and most of the over is slightly too straight.
Looks a good toss to have won, this one. Can’t help thinking back to 2016 when India did the same, Virat Kohli made 248 runs in the match and they won by 246. Gulp. No Kohli here, of course, but a big chance for India to get themselves back into the series. Will be interesting to see their approach, mind you … a lot of sweeping/reverse sweeping in the nets before one, which is not a shot they typically go to … has Bazball got in their heads?
I personally don’t see why it should have; hold their catches in Hyderabad, bat a bit better on the third morning, and they would have cruised to 1-0. Other memories of 2016 include a dog running on to the outfield, ahem, fertilising a spot by mid-wicket and an early tea being called with both Chesteshwar Pujara and Kohli in the nineties. Tried to find said pooch for an interview this week but no joy.
It feels like a 320 for three kind of day, doesn’t it. First-innings runs will be vital. Mind you, I said that last week.
This is a cracking stat from our
sworn enemies friends at Cricinfo Joe Root (11,447) has more Test runs than the entire Indian team (10,336).
Ben Stokes said England would have batted as well. “New game, new week: we know India will come back hard.
India have made three changes: Rajat Patadar and Kuldeep Yadav come in for the injured KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja, while Mukesh Kumar replaces Mohammed Siraj. It sounds like Siraj has been rested rather than dropped.
India Jaiswal, Rohit (c), Gill, Iyer, Patidar, Patel, Bharat (wk), Ashwin, Kuldeep, Bumrah, Kumar.
England Crawley, Duckett, Pope, Root, Bairstow, Stokes (c), Foakes (wk), Ahmed, Hartley, Bashir, Anderson.
And why not.
“Looks a good pitch,” says Rohit Sharma. “The pitch is gonna do its thing, we have to playh good cricket to win the game. We need to move on from Hyderabad – we’ve spoken about certain things, we batted well in the first innings but didn’t show the same intent in the second innings. We understand what went wrong and hopefully we can correct those mistakes.”
So, will it be 2-0 or 1-1 after this Test? Well, it might be 1-0: the consensus in Vizag is that
Dinesh Karthik is one handsome m- the pitch looks like a belter.
Rajat Patidar has been handed his Test cap by Zaheer Khan, so he will replace KL Rahul in the Indian side. He’s 30 years old, naturally aggressive – particularly against spin – and recently scored a mighty 151 against England A. In short, he can really play. Of course he can, he’s been picked by India FFS.
I remember being in Brisbane once during the Ashes… when Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen were about to resume England’s innings. Cook was in the zone and not really talking to anyone, but KP came over and we chatted for a couple of minutes. I told him I was about to go to Sri Lanka with England Lions and he said: “Oh, spin. You’ve just got to pick the length and that’s it.” And with that he put on his helmet and his gloves and went out to face Mitchell Johnson. I loved the certainty of that statement, and it has always stuck with me.
Sir Alastair Cook on England’s Hyderabad victory
England announced their team yesterday, with Jimmy Anderson and Shoaib Bashir, 20, replacing Mark Wood and the injured Jack Leach. England’s four specialist bowlers have 186 Test caps between them:
183 Jimmy Anderson
2 Rehan Ahmed
1 Tom Hartley
0 Shoaib Bashir
Before the series Brendon McCullum called India “the land of opportunity”, and England have given themselves a helluvan opportunity to do something extraordinary. Even so early in a five-match series, this match feels like a biggie. Either England will go 2-0 up, something no team has done in India since Australia in 2004-05, or India will level the series and grab the momentum ahead of the return of Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja and KL Rahul.
England may yet lose this series 4-1, and Hyderabad 2024 might be another red herring like Chennai 2021. Such trepidation is natural, given India’s irresistible brilliance at home over the past decade, but it’s mixed with tentative optimism that England could actually… no, we’re not ready to say it yet. Maybe if they go 2-0 up.