The opening day of the first Test between India and England in Hyderabad proved to be a thrilling spectacle filled with twists and turns. Among the many captivating moments, Axar Patel‘s unplayable delivery to dismiss Jonny Bairstow took centre stage. The match began with England opting to bat after winning the toss, displaying a blazing start before India’s spinners turned the tide in the hosts’ favour.
England’s explosive start
The English innings kicked off with Zak Crawley (20) and Ben Duckett (35) adopting a blistering approach, putting up 55 runs in just 11 overs. However, the momentum shifted as soon as the Indian spinners entered the fray, claiming wickets in quick succession, including Crawley, Duckett, and Ollie Pope.
Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root’s resilience
Amidst the fall of wickets, Jonny Bairstow (37) and Joe Root (29) emerged as the stabilizing force for England. Exhibiting a mix of skill and determination, they played some well-executed shots, attempting to steady the ship. Yet, Bairstow’s inability to convert his start became evident when he faced Axar’s magic ball.
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Axar Patel’s magical delivery
In the 33rd over, Axar produced a delivery that can only be described as magical. Drifting in, the ball landed on a fuller length around the middle, luring Bairstow into a half-forward defense. However, the ball spun sharply away, beating the outside edge, and crashed into the top of the off stump.
Bairstow’s stunned expression after the dismissal mirrored the sheer brilliance of Axar’s delivery. In contrast, Axar celebrated the dismissal with an aggressive display of emotion, underlining the significance of the breakthrough.
Here’s the video:
𝗧𝗵𝗮𝘁. 𝗪𝗮𝘀. 𝗔. 𝗕𝗲𝗮𝘂𝘁! ⚡️ ⚡️@akshar2026 with his first wicket of the match 👏 👏
Follow the match ▶️ | #INDvENG | @IDFCFIRSTBank pic.twitter.com/liBwODtcrM
— BCCI (@BCCI) January 25, 2024
The domino effect
Bairstow’s dismissal proved to be a turning point as it opened the floodgates for England. Root followed suit shortly after, falling victim to the relentless pressure exerted by the Indian bowlers. Axar continued his decisive spell, claiming the wicket of Ben Foakes, further plunging England into a precarious position, as they were eventually bundled out for 246 runs.