Yashasvi Jaiswal hits sublime century but England chip away at India in second Test

Opener ends Day 1 unbeaten on 179 as home side reach 336-6 at stumps in Visakhapatnam

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India's Yashasvi Jaiswal scored a magnificent unbeaten 179 but the second Test against England remains nicely poised after the opening day in Visakhapatnam.

The opener's sublime knock – that came off 257 balls, containing 17 fours and five sixes – was the lone bright spot India who will be disappointed not have capitalised on winning the toss and batting first on a good pitch.

Rohit Sharma's side, who lost a thrilling first Test by 28 runs in Hyderabad, reached 336-6 stumps, with all of their top order – bar Jaiswal – failing to kick on after making promising starts.

The six men dismissed were all out for between 14 and 34 while Jaiswal shared in three separate partnerships in excess of 50.

“I had in my mind that I had to play session by session and if they are bowling well that I play that spell and that was how I went about it,” said left-hander Jaiswal.

“Initially the wicket was a little damp and there was spin and bounce and the ball was seaming a bit but I was thinking about getting through and then converting the loose ball at the moment.

“The pitch played differently throughout the day, as the ball got older and older there was spin and bounce.

“I would love to double it up and I'll be trying to just keep going and play till the end for my team. I will go and recover properly for tomorrow.”

England, meanwhile, will be delighted with their efforts which saw debutant Shoaib Bashir claim captain Rohit as an impressive first scalp in Test cricket. Bashir and fellow spinner Rehan Ahmed took two wickets each.

The 20-year-old off-spinner – who had only made six first-class appearances going into the game – repaid the faith shown in him by the England selectors as he went on to claim the wicket of Axar Patel and finish with 2-100 in 28 overs.

“That [Sharma wicket] was the highlight – he’s such a good player of spin and for me to get his wicket as my first is very, very awesome,” said Bashir.

“It was a tough pitch to bowl on, it didn’t offer too much, but I thought the way the boys went about it was awesome and for us to pick up six wickets puts us in a good position going into tomorrow.

“It was a tough pitch to bowl on. It didn't offer too much. I thought the way the boys went about it was awesome and for us to pick up six wickets and to pick up that late wicket of KS Bharat was massive.”

India had started the day cautiously, with the hosts reaching 40-0 in the first hour of play before Bashir broke through in the second over after the drinks break. He had Rohit caught out for 14 at leg-slip on a delivery that turned sharply into the right-hander.

James Anderson, who bowled superbly after replacing Mark Wood as England's sole pace-bowler in the attack, had Shubman Gill caught behind for 34 as the 41-year-old veteran moved to 691 Test wickets.

Jaiswal then took on the England spinners to smash Tom Hartley for three successive boundaries and set the pace.

He reached his second Test ton with a six off Hartley and removed his helmet, raised his arms and blew a kiss to the cheering crowd. It was India's first century of the series, with England's Ollie Pope hitting 196 in the opening Test.

Jaiswal kept up the attack and India dominated the final hour of play despite losing Axar Patel (27) and hometown hero KS Bharat (17).

The 22-year-old Jaiswal, playing his sixth Test, surpassed his previous Test best of 171 on debut in the West Indies last year.

Debutant Rajat Patidar made 32 before being bowled by Ahmed as the batsman's forward defensive stroke saw the ball, with backspin, roll on to the stumps.

Hartley, who returned figures of 7-62 in England's win in Hyderabad, had sent back Shreyas Iyer for 27 against the run of play in the second session.

Bashir had Axar caught at backward point for his second wicket, as he bowled disciplined spells to showcase his variety and guile, then Ahmed did the same to KS Bharat to leave England with real hope of limiting India to a manageable score.

Updated: February 02, 2024, 12:45 PM