Tom Hartley is England's hero in dramatic Hyderabad Test win over India

Left-arm spinner picks up 7-62 to seal 28-run win on Sunday

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England showed that "Bazball" cricket is here to stay as they pulled off one of the greatest Test wins in modern times in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Ben Stokes's team were behind India in the opening match of the five-Test series for most parts but a sensational second-innings 196 from Ollie Pope breathed life into the team, presenting India with a dangerous target of 231.

It did not seem much at the time, but debutant spinner Tom Hartley made sure it was more than enough as the tourists dismissed the Indians for 202 in the penultimate over of the day to secure a famous 28-run win that will go down as one of the most stunning comebacks in Test cricket.

Hartley had been taken to task in the first innings by India's batsmen, hoping to bat England out the match and apply pressure on them with their spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.

But it was Hartley (7-62) who trumped them all, even without full-fledged support from senior spinner Jack Leach, who played most of the match with an injured knee.

England had fallen so far behind around the halfway mark, only the margin of defeat seemed to be up for debate.

But "Bazball" was not going to give up, showing even greater intent in the face of sustained pressure from India and a 190-run deficit in the second innings.

England began the day on 316-6 and overnight centurion Pope two away from his 150. India were still on control as the lead was just a little over 100.

But from there, England began the counter attack. Rehan Ahmed (28) and debutant Hartley (34) showed remarkable application as they gave Pope company and put the pressure back on a dishevelled Indian attack.

Pope blunted India's spinners with an array of sweeps and reverse sweeps. While he was dropped twice on 110 and 184, his partnerships with Ahmed and Hartley after a 112-run stand with Ben Foakes (34) on Saturday made the difference as England's lead stretched beyond 200 and pushed India firmly on the back foot.

He finally went for a reverse scoop as he approached a double ton with England nine down. But fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (4-41) rattled the stumps and to hand India a target of 231.

As clear as England were in their batting approach, India were equally listless, unsure whether to play normally or attack.

The uncertainty was all that Hartley needed to run through India's line-up.

Opening batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal (15) flicked one to short leg. Two balls later, Shubman Gill fell at silly point with Pope taking both catches.

Captain Rohit Sharma is the most accomplished player of spin in the team but he fell on 39, dismissed lbw by Hartley as India were 63-3.

The home team even promoted left-handed all-rounder Axar Patel to counter the left-arm angle of Hartley. KL Rahul (22) and Patel (17) briefly resisted, but the latter spooned a simple catch back to Hartley to put the visitors back in control.

KL Rahul was trapped lbw by the off spin of the vastly improved Joe Root and England then took complete control after a tumbling Stokes ran out Ravindra Jadeja. When Leach had Shreyas Iyer – the last recognised batsman – India were 119-7 and on the brink of a swift defeat.

But wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat (28) and Ashwin (28) added 57 runs for the eighth wicket to add another twist to the tale.

Hartley then landed the decisive blow as he rattled the stumps of Bharat past his forward defence as India were 176-8.

Pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj tried to hit their way out of trouble after England requested the additional half hour to secure victory. That was done when Hartley fittingly sealed England's win when he had Siraj stumped.

Updated: January 28, 2024, 1:27 PM