Duckett, Crawley come out attacking as England cut deficit to 101 after bowling out India for 436

Hyderabad : First day of the first Test cricket match between India and England. Image Source: IANS News

Hyderabad, Jan 27 : Openers Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett survived early bat-pad chances and came out attacking with their repertoire of sweeps and reverse-sweeps to garner quick runs as England came out attacking to cut the deficit to 101 against India on day three of first Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Saturday.

At lunch, England are 89/1 in 15 overs, getting runs at a quick pace in their second innings despite the pitch considerably slowing down. In the morning, India were all out for 436 after adding just 15 runs to their overnight total and gained a healthy lead of 190 runs.

Joe Root dismissed top run-scorer Ravindra Jadeja for 87, before he and Rehan Ahmed took the remaining two wickets. Root was the pick of bowlers for England, taking 4-79, while Rehan and debutant Tom Hartley took two wickets each.

In England’s second innings, Crawley took the positive route early on, reverse-sweeping Ashwin twice, while square-driving off Jasprit Bumrah for a boundary. Crawley’s positive strokeplay continued by lofting Axar Patel for a six down the ground and took a four off Ashwin via a classy cover drive.

But Ashwin eventually got the right-handed Crawley out by drifting in one from round the wicket and took the outside edge on his forward defence to Rohit Sharma at slip, ending the 45-run opening stand. From the other end, Duckett unfurled his sweeps to superb effect, taking three fours off Ashwin and Axar.

Duckett’s attacking effect rubbed off well on Ollie Pope (16 not out), who had looked better and more assured than his confused first innings outing, seen from his cracking square-drive past point off Axar. Duckett then brought out the conventional sweep against Axar for a boundary and was unbeaten on 38 at lunch, throwing the Indian spinners off their lengths.

With England challenging India by their Bazball style of play, it will be interesting to see how the hosts’ respond back in the second session, as the visitors’ aim to rapidly cut the deficit more after lunch.

Previously, Root and Mark Wood began the morning with eight sedate overs to keep Jadeja and Axar in check. As soon as Leach, nursing a left knee injury, entered the attack, Axar feasted on his overpitched deliveries by striking back-to-back cover drives for boundaries.

But Root came back to trap Jadeja lbw with an off-break delivery which didn’t turn much, making the left-handed the third Indian batter in the innings to be out in the 80s. On the very next ball, Root got an off-break delivery from around the wicket to turn in and castled Bumrah through the gate.

Axar went on the backfoot to cut off Rehan, but the leg-break delivery kept low to beat the batter on the inside edge and it crashed into the stumps, ending India’s innings.

Brief scores: England 246 and 89/1 in 15 overs (Ben Duckett 38 not out; Ravichandran Ashwin 1-36) trail India 436 in 121 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 87, KL Rahul 86; Joe Root 4-79, Rehan Ahmed 2-105) by 101 runs