VISAKHAPATNAM: There was a lot of talk going into the second Test about how England had outsmarted India in Hyderabad.
The first Test of the five-match series was lost in four days with India failing to drive home a first innings advantage of 190 runs and failing to chase down 230 in the fourth innings.Ollie Pope’s 196 and England’s effective use of the sweep and reverse sweep became the flavour of the season.
India had to respond if they were to keep their proud home record intact. That they went into the match at the ACA-VDCA Stadium without Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja made it imperative that they bat big once Rohit Sharma decided to bat first.
India found their man of the hour in Yashasvi Jaiswal. His unbeaten 179 is his first Test ton at home and also his highest as it eclipsed the 171 he scored on debut against West Indies in Dominica last year.
The 22-year-old showed remarkable maturity for someone playing only his sixth Test and his temperament for daddy hundreds saved the day for the hosts. The first-day track was the best time to bat on, but it still needed the batters to buckle down to the task.
England persisted with their attacking tactics but in eschewing risk, Jaiswal’s innings prospered as the day progressed. Barring the one sweep that was uppish and eluded the fielder, Jaiswal hardly put a foot wrong, and all his five sixes were clean hits.
The southpaw was the dominating partner in all the partnerships he had, the most productive being the third-wicket stand of 90 with Shreyas Iyer. Left-arm spinner Tom Hartley was reserved for some special treatment as Jaiswal smacked him for three boundaries in the 45th over and then hoisted him over long-on to reach his century (151b).
India added 122 runs in the session between lunch and tea. “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 loose balls, and play till the end,” Jaiswal told the host broadcaster on Friday.
The left-hander had missed out on a hundred in Hyderabad and wanted to make it count here. “Rahul (Dravid) sir and Rohit bhai kept giving me the confidence and told me to convert this into a big innings and stay till the end,” he said.
Jaiswal needed medical attention towards the end of day’s play as he suffered from cramps but he hoped to build on this knock that saw him pepper the fence on both sides of the wicket. “I would love to double this up,” he said.
James Anderson and the England spin attack was played on merit and the first day juice in the wicket posed no problem either. “The pitch played differently in the morning as it was a bit damp. With the older ball, there was some bounce.”
Rajat Patidar, who got to know of his debut on Thursday, added 70 runs for the fourth wicket with Jaiswal. “The way he takes on the bowlers is his special ability. I’d like to take some of the shots that he has played,” the debutant said of Jaiswal. Personally, it was a dream come true for the Madhya Pradesh player, who made his debut aged 30.