• Monday, February 26, 2024

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Big Jaiswal hundred steers India to 336-6 against England

By: Pramod Thomas

OPENER Yashasvi Jaiswal produced a gladiatorial 179 not out to steer India to a commanding 336 for six on day one of the second test against England in Visakhapatnam on Friday (2).

The 22-year-old smacked five sixes and 17 fours in his career-best knock, seemingly unfazed by his batting partners’ poor shot selection.

Ravichandran Ashwin, who has five test hundreds, was keeping Jaiswal company on five when stumps were drawn.

“I wanted to play it session by session. When they were bowling well, I just wanted to get through that spell,” Jaiswal told broadcasters.

“Initially, the wicket was damp and there was spin and bounce, with a bit of seam.

“I wanted to convert the loose balls, and play till the end.”

On a day when India’s other frontline batters frittered away good starts, Jaiswal – playing only his sixth test – batted aggressively without being reckless.

Rohit Sharma’s decision to bat left England with the daunting task of batting fourth on a wicket, which promises runs on the first couple of days before spinners start dictating terms.

Rohit himself could not capitalise on the perfect batting conditions though and fell cheaply to debutant off-spinner Shoaib Bashir.

Bashir, who missed the series opener in Hyderabad because of a visa delay, struck in his fourth over when Rohit (14) nudged the ball to Ollie Pope at leg slip.

Shubman Gill struck five fours in his breezy 34 looking to the turn the pressure back on England but James Anderson returned to cut short his fluent knock.

The 41-year-old, who replaced Mark Wood as England’s lone fast bowler in the match, had Gill caught behind close to the lunch break.

Jaiswal combined with Shreyas Iyer in a 90-run stand to steady the innings. The left-hander hit Tom Hartley for three successive fours and brought up his second test hundred with a huge six off the spinner.

Jaiswal dropped his bat and raised his arms, soaking in the applause, but Iyer (27) could not convert his start and fell caught behind to Hartley.

With batter KL Rahul and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja sidelined by injuries, Rajat Patidar earned his maiden test cap and the 30-year-looked determined to make it count.

Patidar made 32 before defending a ball from Rehan Ahmed, which bounced and went on to the hit the stump.

Axar Patel (27) also gifted his wicket away, cutting Bashir straight to Ahmed at point.

The English duo swapped positions to remove Srikar Bharat (17) whose dismissal was almost identical.

(Reuters)

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