India in Commanding Position After Rahul, Jadeja Shine with Fifties

Hyderabad: KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja's masterful half-centuries propelled India to a commanding position on Day 2 of the first Test against England, putting the hosts in the driver's seat with a 175-run lead at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

At stumps, India reached a formidable 421/7, capitalizing on their first-innings total of 246. Jadeja (81*) and Axar Patel (35*) remained unbeaten, adding further insult to England's woes.

Despite boasting three frontline spinners, England's bowling lacked bite. Three Indian batsmen, including Rahul (86), Jadeja, and Shreyas Iyer (35), notched up fifties, aided by five productive fifty-run partnerships.

Joe Root, the part-time off-spinner, proved the most effective bowler, dismissing Yashasvi Jaiswal early and nearly claiming Rahul and Srikar Bharat. However, the inexperienced spinners, Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmad, failed to make an impact, while Jack Leach bowled sparingly.

India's early session saw them add 103 runs in 27 overs, losing the key wickets of Jaiswal and Shubman Gill (23). Root's dismissal of Jaiswal was followed by a near miss for Rahul, who was dropped by Ben Foakes. Rahul then capitalized on the opportunity, punishing the spinners with a flurry of boundaries.

Gill, on the other hand, struggled against the spinners, eventually falling victim to Hartley for his maiden Test wicket. However, Iyer and Rahul steadied the innings, forging a crucial 65-run stand before Hartley removed Iyer.

Undeterred, Rahul found a reliable partner in Jadeja, and the pair added a further 65 runs before Stokes introduced the new ball. Root, once again, proved decisive, trapping Srikar Bharat (41) LBW.

A brief period of confusion saw Ravichandran Ashwin run out, but Axar Patel joined Jadeja to frustrate England's bowlers. The duo guided India past 400 and remained cautious until Patel unleashed a late flurry of boundaries, ending the day on a high note.

With a sizeable lead and two in-form batsmen at the crease, India has put England in a precarious position. It remains to be seen whether England's aggressive "Bazball" approach can counter India's dominant display on "The Juggernaut."

Brief Scores:

India 421/7 (KL Rahul 86, Ravindra Jadeja 81*; Joe Root 2/77) lead England 246 by 175 runs.


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