In a remarkable showcase of resilience and strategic brilliance, England, under the leadership of Ben Stokes, clinched a historic triumph against India in Hyderabad last Sunday. This victory not only underscored England’s alternative and aggressive approach to Test cricket but also marked a significant milestone in the team’s journey.
The intensity of the series opener reached its peak as England successfully overturned a daunting first-innings deficit of 190 runs. This achievement now ranks second on the list of the biggest deficits ever reversed to win a Test in India, only trailing behind India’s famous victory over Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001.
India’s fourth defeat in 47 home Tests over the past 12 years emphasizes the magnitude of England’s accomplishment in the series opener. The final session was nothing short of a cricketing spectacle, with the eighth-wicket duo of R Ashwin and KS Bharat threatening to turn the game in India’s favor.
However, it was Tom Hartley who emerged as the hero in the dying moments of the final session, securing a seven-wicket haul. His crucial breakthroughs included dismantling the Ashwin-Bharat stand and cleaning up Bharat, ultimately tilting the game in England’s favor.
A strategic move by Ben Stokes to extend play by half an hour showcased England’s determination to secure the win. Hartley, once again, rose to the occasion, claiming his sixth wicket as Ashwin attempted a charge and got stumped. The tense final overs saw Hartley luring Mohammed Siraj into a costly mistake, sealing the victory with a 28-run lead.
Life post-Tea for India began on a cautious note, with Axar Patel falling early to a caught and bowled dismissal by Hartley. Joe Root then trapped KL Rahul leg before, further denting India’s hopes of a recovery.
The morning session witnessed England’s commendable effort to consolidate their position, led by Ollie Pope, who played a pivotal role in igniting the fire on Day 3. His partnership with Hartley not only pushed England to a total of 420 but also set a challenging target of 231 for India.
The match unfolded as a testament to England’s proactive bowling changes and aggressive fields, creating a game for the ages. Tom Hartley‘s dream debut, overcoming initial challenges, and finishing with figures of 7 for 62, played a crucial role in England’s triumph.
In the face of adversity, England’s unconventional methods proved effective, while India struggled to respond to the unorthodox tactics. Stokes’s captaincy, characterized by attacking with the ball and defending with strategic fields, guided England to a historic victory.
As England celebrated one of their greatest Test wins, the thrilling match in Hyderabad captivated fans, leaving the Barmy Army in jubilation and the home crowd in awe. The exceptional performance by England, overcoming a significant deficit, will undoubtedly be remembered as a defining moment in Test cricket history.
- England 246 & 420 (Ollie Pope 196, Ben Duckett 47; Jasprit Bumrah 4-41, R Ashwin 3-126) beat India 436 & 202 (Rohit Sharma 39; Tom Hartley 7-62) by 28 runs.