India managed the most likely result, a draw in the first test that was surprisingly dominated by the visitors England.
England were in a healthy position overnight and they extended their score to 260 before declaring their innings. India were given a target of 310 in 49 overs and the hosts managed a fighting 172 for 6 before the final day’s play. India were in trouble at one stage but captain Virat Kohli steered India to safety along with Ravichandran Ashwin and later Ravindra Jadeja. Earlier, English skipper Cook scored a ton and debutant Haseeb Hameed missed his century by just 18 runs.
Moeen Ali was declared Man of the Match for his excellent hundred in the first innings and his bowling contributions. He took 3 wickets in the match as well.
Amid this draw, India will have to improve a lot in the next test. The whole match was dominated by the English side, apart from the Indian batting on day 3. Their batsmen played well, their spinners outsmarted Indian batsmen, Adil Rashid picking up 7 in the match reflects so. Also the hosts bowling was lackluster. Opening pacers couldn’t give them wickets and spinning trio were astonishingly toothless in both the innings. Teenage opener of England will give his team a lot more security, as his calm approach and adapting quality has been outstanding.
On the other hand, the implication of DRS has been a bit confusing for the Indian team, Cheteshwar Pujara today didn’t review and walked out after an lbw decision, while the replay showed he would have stayed on field if he had reviewed.
Another area Indians will have to rectify is the fielding. They dropped too many catches and the cumulative loss in focus resulted a massive score for the away side in the first innings. On the other hand England were disciplined, they executed their plans well and were so close to knock India down in the first test. One thing for sure, the visitors had the complete upper hand in the majority of the Rajkot test and they will take a lot of confidence and belief to the second test that begins in Visakhapatnam from 17th November.
Photo by NAPARAZZI