Yashasvi Jaiswal batted with supreme confidence for an unbeaten 179 off 257 balls that single-handedly drove India to 336 for six on day one of the second Test against England here on Friday and secured his place at the top of the order for the foreseeable future. Unlike the series opener, Jaiswal made sure he converted his strong start into a big hundred but the other Indian batters failed to make the most of batting friendly conditions. The 22-year-old now has two hundreds and as many fifties to his name in only his 10th Test innings. His Test ton — a 387-ball 171 — came against the West Indies last year.
“I wanted to play it session by session. When they were bowling well, I just wanted to get through that spell. However, I wanted to convert the loose balls, and play till the end,” Jaiswal said after the day’s play.
Jaiswal, whose special effort comprised 17 boundaries and five sixes, had R Ashwin (5) by his side at stumps.
India made 111 runs in the final session for the loss of three wickets including Axar Patel (27 off 51) and K S Bharat (17 off 23). For England, debutant Shoaib Bashir and Rehan Ahmed picked up two wickets apiece.
Debutant Rajat Patidar (32 off 72) played one on to his stumps while offering a forward defence to leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed. A total of 93 overs were bowled with four spinners in operation.
Trailing 0-1 in the five-match series, India would like to get to at least 500 on day two and then put pressure on the England batters on a pitch where variable bounce is expected to come into play from day three.
The odd ball kept low even on the opening day but conditions remained favourable of the batters. However, the injury to Ravindra Jadeja has resulted in a longer tail, which will need to wag for India to get anywhere close to 500.
Veteran James Anderson, playing his first game since July last year, was the most economical and effective bowler for England, returning figures of 17-3-30-1.
However, England’s inexperienced spin attack, including debutant Shoaib Bashir, Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Joe Root, could not extract much out of the surface.
The 20-year-old Bashir was the pick of the spinners as he was able to generate more bounce due to his tall structure. The 6’4″ tall off-spinner got the prized wicket of Rohit Sharma in the first session before he had Axar caught at backward point towards the end of the day.
Jaiswal changed the tempo of the innings with his attractive strokeplay in the second session in which India collected 122 runs in 32 overs to reach 225 for three.
The youngster, who took 89 balls to reach his half-century in the morning, took another 62 deliveries to complete his second Test century.
The standout feature of Jaiswal’s innings was his ability to hit the ground and strike aerial shots with equal ease.
His fearless approach was best summed up when he stepped out to smash let-arm spinner Tom Hartley for a six over long on to get to three figures.
He raised his arms in celebration and the Vizag crowd along with his teammates duly applauded his special feat.
Jaiswal played a lot of cuts off the spinners in the early part of his innings but turned to drives and lofted drives against them in the second session.
He mainly attacked Hartley, collecting three straight fours in the 45th over, including drives past the bowler and through extra cover. His inside out shots were also a treat to watch, especially the six off Joe Root.
Jaiswal shared a 90-run stand with Shreyas Iyer (27 off 59 balls), who once again failed to capitalise on a start.
It came as no surprise that Anderson employed the short ball tactic against Iyer, who was up to the task on the day.
However, he tried to cut one off Hartley and ended up under-edging to Ben Foakes, who took a sharp catch behind the stumps.
In the morning, Bashir had Rohit Sharma caught at leg slip as the cautious hosts reached 103 for two at lunch.
Shubman Gill (34 off 46) looked good before James Anderson had him caught behind with a beauty. The failure to convert the good start is set to add more pressure on the talented youngster.
India expectedly decided to bat first on a flat surface and made three changes to their playing eleven, bringing in Patidar, Kuldeep Yadav and Mukesh Kumar for K L Rahul, Jadeja and Mohammed Siraj respectively.
Openers Rohit and Jaiswal batted in a sedate fashion especially in the first hour of play, collecting only 40 runs in 16 overs.
England opened the bowling with their lone pacer in the playing eleven, Anderson, and off-spinner Root. Anderson was accurate and frugal in his opening spell, giving away only six runs in five overs.
The surface had minimal help for him but the 41-year-old still made life tough for Rohit by targeting his stumps. It was very unlike Rohit to not to go for his shots and his innings ended without a boundary.
The India captain eventually fell in the 18th over when off-spinner Bashir got one to turn sharply and Rohit flicked it straight to Ollie Pope at leg-slip.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)