Tests between England and India are always highly contested any some of the most exciting matchups in the world of cricket, and the first 2024 test between the two cricketing giants certainly didn’t disappoint.
England Look Dead & Buried After First 2 Days
After the first two days in the test, the England cricket team was seemingly dead and buried. The first day of the test had seen India finish on 119 for 1, and leading into the second day, the side would only compound on top of their consistent batting figures, with their lead swelling to 175 runs, ending the day on 421/7.
Batters KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja were at the heart of these efforts, with them finishing the second day of the test on 81 and 86 runs respectively. Jadeja himself was superb in his risk management, with him combining with Axar Patel impressively to add another 63 runs to the total in the unbroken eight wicket stand at the crease.
With such consistency from the Indian national cricket team, England looked all but out, with a monumental target to chase in the final day of the first test However, Ollie Pope was a controlling force in his stints at the stumps scoring an impressive 196 runs from 278 balls, merely missing out on 200. This left England all out for 420 after 102.1 overs, ended by two clinical back to back wickets by Jasprit Bumra.
Remarkable Debut From Tom Hartley
With India having 230 as a target, it was down to the England bowlers to see the series off after seeing some hope revived in their batting stints. Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal would be the first batting partnership of the day, however, it would just take 12 overs before Jaiswal would be leaving the field, being caught out by the on-fire Ollie Pope for 15 runs after Tom Hartley forced a flick straight into his teammates hands.
His replacement Shubman Gill would meet the exact same fate in the same over after just two balls, once again being caught by Pope after Hartley drew a loose prod from the new entrant to the field. In came captain Rohit Sharma who managed to remain for 6 overs, scoring 39 runs from 58 balls before Tom Hrltely once again claimed a wicket, with Sharma falling to a LBW. Rahul and Axar Patel would be the duo until the 30th over, being bowled and caught by Hartley who hit a weak shot straight back at the bowler.
Just 3 overs later, it was Joe Root’s turn to claim a wicket, with KL Rahul falling to another LBW, claiming 22 runs from the 48 balls he faced. The low scores from the Indian batters would only persist though, with Jedeja being the next to be ruled out following a magical moment from Ben Stokes. After some astonishing fielding from the England captain, he provided a magnificent throw to run out Jadeja for just 2 runs.
The Wickets Keep Coming For England
KS Bharat and Ravichandran Ashwin would be the duo all the way until the 61st over until Hartley yet again claimed another wicket, seeing Bharat bowled for 28 runs after the wide ball turned to clip off the stump. Just 2 overs later, his batting partner would be stumped by Ben Foakes after Harley yet again provides a menacing ball that sees Ashwin caught miles away from his crease.
Following this, England just required a singular wicket, whilst India still needed 43 runs to reach their target. Although playing cautiously over the next 5 overs though, a repeat of the last wicket would occur, seeing Mohammed Siraj stumped by Ben Foakes again after debutant Hartley claimed his 7th wicket of the day, seeing England win by 28 runs to claim the first test of the series.
Few would have expected the output Tom Hartley would have had in this dismantling performance from England, with his 7 wickets from 62 overs being nothing short of special. After only making his ODI debut back in September 2023 against the Ireland cricket team, the Lancashire bowler has quickly made a clinical name for himself.
Historic Victory For England
This defeat is only the 5th occasion where India have lost a test in one of their home grounds since 2012! What’s more, it is only the first time ever in which they have lost at home following on from such a significant lead in the first innings. The home side had never lost after holding a 190 lead, but with Tom Hartleys breathtaking debut, that record has now been shattered.
India will hope to bounce back from their defeat and replicate their ICC ODI World Cup performances in the second test that begins on the 2nd February in Visakhapatnam. Rahul and Jadeja have already been ruled out of the second test with injuries however, and with the fine bowling form of England, there is no reason why their devastating ‘Bazball’ approach will not continue to provide problems for their opposition in the following tests.
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