India’s innings was only the second time in Test cricket since August 2018 that the first five wickets fell to attacking shots.
And judging from the words of one of their three half-centurions, that approach isn’t going away any time soon.
India’s batters bazballed England, particularly on the first day, with the help of a Yashasvi Jaiswal running amok. The 22-year-old opener playing his first Test at home hit the first ball of the innings for four and the first ball of spin for six. That is the way he wants to play and he has no regrets that it was also the way he was dismissed, 20 runs short of a century.
“Of course, it would have been amazing if I would have scored a hundred,” Jaiswal said on Friday at the post-match press conference. “But what took me there was my thinking and my process to score runs and I was quite positive in my mind and I was just thinking, making sure I can build an innings. But it was good actually.
“This is my first Test match in India and I was just thinking of contributing well and doing well for my team. When I was playing in the West Indies and South Africa, it was quite a different environment. Here also the environment is quite different. I was really enjoying all the places, of course. It is a proud and honour moment every time I go and play for my country.”
Jaiswal seemed to enjoy the fact that all three of England’s frontline spinners were turning the ball into him and took a particular liking to the debutant Tom Hartley. That head-to-head read 44 runs in 26 balls with six fours and two sixes. When asked if it was a deliberate tactic, Jaiswal answered, “No I don’t think so. I was just thinking about how I can play a certain ball.”
It wasn’t until the innings was in its 24th over that someone whose stock ball goes away from Jaiswal came on. He walloped Joe Root for four second ball of the day but fell two balls later, caught playing an aggressive shot.
“I knew that at some stage he was going to bowl. I was prepared for him. He can bowl first over. But as I said, I was trying my best to do what I could and sometimes I can make a mistake and get out. Still, I’m learning. If I do make a mistake, I’ll make sure that I try to learn from it.”