Hyderabad: On Day Two of the Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, K.L. Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja showcased their exceptional batting skills propelling India to a commanding 175 run lead over England.
Starting the day with a deficit of 127 runs from Englands total of 246 India faced a setback with Yashasvi Jaiswals dismissal. However Rahuls resilient performance stole the spotlight as he scored a 86 off 123 balls, including 14 boundaries. His brilliant innings pushed India ahead. Later Jadeja took charge. Played an unbeaten knock of 81 off 155 deliveries. He formed a partnership of 63 runs with Axar Patel (35 not out off 62 balls) for the eighth wicket.
Despite some turn on the pitch Englands spinners struggled to maintain consistency allowing India to establish a lead. Joe Root made an impact by dismissing Jaiswal in his bowling spell after not bowling on the first day. However missed opportunities like Ben Foakes dropping a chance off Rahul proved costly for England.
While Shubman Gill and Hanuma Vihari also contributed to Indias cause it was Rahul and Jadeja who truly stole the show. Rahul displayed his prowess in handling spinners with his fifty, in his landmark 50th Test match seamlessly switching between back foot and front foot play.
Jadeja on the hand played a vital role with his innings smashing nine boundaries and affirming Indias dominance.
While Rahul fell short of a century by 14 runs it provided England a relief. Yet Jadeja and Axar continued to trouble the bowlers. Englands efforts to regain control in the final session were constantly thwarted by this determined duo.
England did manage to take some wickets as Bharat missed out on a century by just nine runs and Ravichandran Ashwin was run out for one. Nevertheless Jadeja and Axars aggressive gameplay ensured that India finished the day with a lead positioning them strongly to extend it on Saturday.
With three wickets remaining and Jadeja and Axar at the crease India aims to establish a lead that will intensify the challenges, for Englands struggling bowling attack.
England 246 trail, India 421/7 in 110 overs (K.L. Rahul 86, Ravindra Jadeja 81 not out; Joe Root 2-77, Tom Hartley 2-131) by 175 runs