India showcased multiple strategies for success in their dominant performance against England in the first Test on Friday. While Yashavi Jaiswal’s impressive innings of 76 stole the show on the opening day, India took a more traditional approach to batting as the pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium began to slow down and offer more turn. Although Jaiswal only added 4 runs to his overnight score, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja both scored over fifty runs, with support from players like Shreyas Iyer, wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat, and Axar Patel. India reached a commanding total of 421 for 7, leading England’s first innings total by 175 runs.
Some pundits believed that England’s score of 246 was competitive, and India’s unexpectedly aggressive approach on Day 1 was seen as a calculated move to accumulate as many runs as possible before the pitch became difficult to play on. However, India’s batsmen once again proved that there are opportunities to score on spin-friendly pitches, as long as they are willing to adapt to the conditions.
With the exception of Shubman Gill, every other Indian batsman looked comfortable and refused to give an inch to England’s bowlers. Jadeja and Axar Patel provided an exhilarating display of batting prowess, extending the play by an additional half-hour and establishing a seemingly insurmountable lead of 171 runs. As the late afternoon approached and the umpires called for Stumps, the English bowlers and fielders wore expressions of exhaustion, well aware that even a target of 171 would be an arduous challenge to overcome.