India vs England Highlights today. 1st Test, Sunday 28-1-2024. England tour of India 2024, Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad.
In front of a surprised home crowd in Hyderabad and the boisterous Barmy Army, England pulled off one of their greatest Test victories less than two days after completely screwing up many a travel schedule. Falling down by 190 in the first innings—a deficit that has never been overcome by a visiting side in India—is hardly one of the ways you envision winning a Test match in India. Even though an entertaining last-wicket partnership had brought India to within 29 runs of their objective, England accomplished the unthinkable with their most experienced spinner hurt and half their side gone before scores were leveled. What’s more, they did it decisively.
The greatest lead India has ever lost is 192, against Galle in 2015. Dinesh Chandimal delivered a sweep-filled, daring, once-in-a-generation innings that helped Sri Lanka win. For England, Ollie Pope filled that role, amassing 196 runs with a variety of sweeps, reverse sweeps, and reverse Dilscoops. He also caused havoc with the Indian spinners’ lengths, mispredicting matches based on two days of cricket play. The other star was Tom Hartley, the left-arm spinner making his Test debut. He was hammered for two sixes in his opening over and was given one of the most expensive analyses for a rookie, taking seven wickets in the second innings.
With only four wickets
remaining in the morning, Pope began the day 126 ahead. With vital support from Rehan Ahmed and Hartley, he added 48 to his overnight total of 148. In India, 230 or more had only been successfully tracked down five times, but the hosts would have had hope. The seasoned spinner Jack Leach was limping at best. The other left-arm spinner, Hartley, had conceded 63 runs in his first nine-over overs of the first innings. Joe Root had been their greatest bowler up until then, with Ahmed being so erratic and Mark Wood so out of form.
Chases in the fourth inning, however, have their own beats. Ben Stokes knew he just needed in-out fields here after captaining like a billionaire in the first innings to acquire wickets. Despite evident limits, Root, Hartley, and Leach performed admirably. Additionally, India gave them a fixed target—something England did not give their spinners—allowing them to repeatedly bowl at a fair length.
It’s conceivable that Pope, Ben Duckett, and Zak Crawley focused more on honing their different sweeps over their two weeks in Abu Dhabi than on improving their front-foot defense against spin. After being outplayed in the first inning for their defensive performance, they took those chances in the second. Pope’s was the longest to execute. Sensational shots included his reenactment of Saturday’s reverse Dilscoop off Ravindra Jadeja.
The fact that
Jasprit Bumrah was India’s top bowler is a testament to the spinners, two of the finest of all time and world beaters. With an outswinger that swung in reverse to get Ahmed early, he also terminated Pope’s innings with a slower ball. But in between, Pope and Hartley put up 80 runs for the eighth wicket. India found it difficult to maintain their lengths when Ashwin and Jadeja bowled together, as the field conditions encouraged singles all around.
To suggest that India lacked a reaction for the times when nontraditional approaches backfired on them would not be entirely inaccurate. Pope did his part to remove catching men, which lessens the potency of mistakes bowlers inflict. Still, he required some luck, as seen by his 72 incorrect responses—the second-highest for any innings since 2003.
Pope was able to act as he did because the Bazball mentality is to go out reverse-scooping rather than defending, as he had done in the first inning. He is playing what he has practiced and prepared for if he reverse-sweeps. He was further liberated by the fact that England, down by 190, had nothing to lose. None of these freedoms existed in India. They are not inherently good sweepers, much alone reverse sweepers. They also had a home test to lose, which is something they don’t often do, especially after building such a big lead in the first innings.
Toss: England chose to bat.
India team: Rohit, Jaiswal, Gill, Rahul, Iyer, Jadeja, Bharat, Axar, Ashwin, Siraj, Bumrah.
England team: Crawley, Duckett, Pope, Root, Bairstow, Stokes, Foakes, Ahmed, Wood, Hartley, Leach.
Head to Head In Test’s: 131
India Won: 31
England Won: 50
India Test Rankings: 2nd
England Test Rankings: 3rd
(last five completed Tests, most recent first)
Match Timings: 4:00 AM | 9:30 AM Local
Umpires – Chris Gaffaney, Paul Reiffel
TV Umpire – Marais Erasmus
Match Referee – Richie Richardson
Reserve Umpire – Rohan Pandit
Match number – Test no. 2525
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