Hyderabad, Jan 25: The first day first show of the England-India five-match Test series, here on Thursday, was dominated mostly by Indian bowlers. However, England skipper Ben Stokes did send a message to the hosts that they are not going to surrender easily.
Opting to bat first, England were bundled out for 246 in 64.3 overs. The visitors, however, managed to cross the vital 200-run mark, with their skipper Ben Stokes scoring a fighting 70, withstanding bravely the Indian spin-heavy attack.
Stokes batted with grit and courage for 122 minutes, though wickets continued to fall at the other end. During his 88-ball stay in the middle, he hit 6 boundaries and three massive sixes.
Stokes proved why he is rated so high in world cricket, as he stood tall amid ruins. Stokes, the lone ranger and hero of several famous England victories, was busy moving the score-board forward and batting with the tail-enders with lot of sincerity.
Seasoned Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, along with tall left-arm spinner Axar Patel, were on a roll.
Ashwin and Jadeja did claim three wickets each, while Axar Patel and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah got two scalps each.
England openers duo Zak Crawley (20) and Ben Duckett (35), seasoned Joe Root (29), experienced Johny Bairstow (37), youngsters Rehan Ahmed (13) and Tom Hartley (23), though got starts but could not withstand Indian bowlers for long.
Towards the end, Bumrah too joined the party getting Stokes and Rehan Ahmed out.
The English batting display was in total, the first show of 'Bazball' approach against Indian spinners, where the hosts tested success. But Stokes did prove a point as well.
But to be fair enough, the visitors did not resort to their ultra aggressive approach ('Bazball') all the time. Some of them batted to their best potentials as per red-ball style of play, but Indian bowlers were too determined and on target to restrict the visitors blow 250.