India bowl out England for 246 in first Test

England elected to bat first

Ravindra Jadeja celebrates with his teammates after taking the wicket of Joe Root during the first day of the first Test cricket match against England at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on January 25, 2024. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)

By:
Pramod Thomas

ENGLAND captain Ben Stokes hit a defiant 70 to round out an attacking innings, with India’s spinners holding the tourists to 246 on day one of the opening Test on Thursday (25).

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets apiece after England elected to bat first at the start of the five-match series in Hyderabad.

England lost regular wickets until Stokes took charge and lifted the total, before the skipper was bowled by paceman Jasprit Bumrah as the final wicket after tea.

Stokes reached his fifty with a six off Jadeja and put together key stands with debutant Tom Hartley (23) and Mark Wood (11).

His 88-ball knock included six fours and three sixes.

England started the day briskly, with Ben Duckett (35) and Zak Crawley (20) putting on an opening stand of 55.

Both attacked with regular boundaries off loose balls by Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj to showcase their much-talked-about “Bazball” approach.

A highly aggressive style of play, “Bazball” is a strategy devised by England coach Brendon McCullum, who goes by the nickname “Baz”, and Stokes.

England reached 41-0 in eight overs before spin was introduced and Jadeja started with a maiden over, while Ashwin gave away just one from the other end.

Duckett kept up the charge and smashed left-arm spinner Jadeja for two successive boundaries but fell lbw in the next over to Ashwin, who broke a breezy opening stand.

Crawley gifted Ashwin a second wicket when the tall opener hit the ball to mid-off and Siraj took a low catch, confirmed by the third umpire.

Jonny Bairstow hit 37 in a partnership of 61 with Joe Root, who made 29.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel bowled Bairstow soon after lunch to break the stand to roaring cheers from the home crowd.

Jadeja got Root caught at short fine-leg after the veteran batsman mistimed a sweep and trudged back to the pavilion.

England have come into the game with three specialist spinners and Root, who also bowls.