Rahul, Jadeja help India build commanding first-Test lead in Hyderabad

The home side moved to 421-7, 175 ahead of England's 246 all out on a pitch that looks like it will get harder for batting

By Reuters

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Hyderabad: India's Ravindra Jadeja plays a shot on the second day of the first cricket Test match between India and England. - PTI
Hyderabad: India's Ravindra Jadeja plays a shot on the second day of the first cricket Test match between India and England. - PTI

Published: Fri 26 Jan 2024, 6:27 PM

Ravindra Jadeja hit his 20th Test half-century as India took a commanding 175-run lead against England on the second day of the first test.

Jadeja scored 81 not out as India finished on 421-7 at stumps after resuming Friday on 119-1. England scored 246 runs in its first innings.

Jadeja was India’s third batter to score 50-plus runs in the first innings, after Lokesh Rahul was out caught for 86 and opener Yashasvi Jaiswal got 80.

After lunch, India was still trailing by 24 runs and Rahul came out firing. Shreyas Iyer was caught at midwicket off Rehan Ahmed but the dismissal didn’t bother Rahul, who hit another four fours and two sixes, shifting up the gears as he approached a century. But he perished while attacking, caught at midwicket off Tom Hartley. Rahul missed out on what would have been only his second test century in India.

India was in the lead by then as Rahul had added another 65 runs with Jadeja.

“I got confidence from the South Africa tour. There was a bit of turn, and it became slower as the ball went old," Rahul said. "It was a challenge to bat on this pitch, but I waited for the opportunity to play my shots. I am enjoying (being) in the middle order.”

Jadeja anchored India’s innings in the final two sessions.

First, he added 68 runs with Srikar Bharat, who fought his way to 41 runs. The keeper-batter had a tough time against Joe Root’s off spin, but settled down to face 81 balls in all. India went to tea at 309-5.

Root did get reward for his hard work in the final session, finishing the day with 2-77 in 24 overs. He had earlier dismissed Jaiswal in the first over Friday.

Jadeja reached his half-century off 84 balls, and his swordplay celebrations delighted the holiday crowd in Hyderabad.

Fans weren't cheering when both batters ended up at the same end and Ravichandran Ashwin was run out for just one.

Axar Patel (35 not out) joined Jadeja in the middle, and the duo stayed together until stumps, adding 63 runs.

In the morning session, India lost both Jaiswal and Shubman Gill (23) within the first hour. But Rahul’s knock helped calm things down for the hosts.

Brief scores

First Test, Hyderabad (day two of five):

England 246: Stokes 70; Ashwin 3-68, Jadeja 3-88

India 421-7: Rahul 86, Jadeja 81*; Root 2-77, Hartley 2-131

India lead by 175 runs

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