Opener Ben Duckett believed that England’s first innings total of 246 was above par and said they were not expecting Indian openers Yashasvi Jaiswal and Rohit Sharma to play belligerent cricket from the word go on the first day of the first Test on Thursday. At stumps, India were placed at 119 for one with Jaiswal making a quick, unbeaten 76 and he shared a fine 80-run stand with Rohit in just 12.2 overs. “I think we’re over par. It was a tricky Day 1 pitch with consistent spin from earlier on. Stokes was fantastic. I just said come down Day 3, Day 4, that could be a match winning knock if that pitch keeps getting harder to bat on,” said Duckett in the post-day press meet.
Duckett was quick to give credit to the Indian openers for producing a rollicking stand, and also considered it as a hint to the gradually deteriorating nature of the pitch.
“Credit to them. They played really well and were very attacking. You know, they don’t always go about it like that. So, to go about it that way it shows that they probably think the pitch is going to get quite a bit worse,” said Duckett.
The 29-year-old Kent batter defended the use of sweeps and reverse sweeps by his colleagues, saying it was not a sign of carelessness.
“We weren’t reckless today. I thought we played well at times and people who normally strike at 150 were dug in and rotated pretty well.” Duckett said England were just trying to stay positive on the day.
“We’re trying to be positive and when you get a bit of pace on the ball, we’re going to go even harder. But yeah, they bowled some very nice balls and I reckon I probably could have nicked off about 15 times.
“I missed them and then put the bat ball away, so yeah, really happy with how we started it,” he added.
Tom Hartley had a tough initiation to international cricket as Jaiswal went after him. The left-arm spinner finished the day with the figures of 9-0-63-0.
However, Duckett had a word of consolation for him.
“We backed Tommy to turn to Stokes who decides for him how many overs to bowl. On some days captains might take you off after two overs and then you’re hiding away for the rest of the game.
“But he nearly got Shubman Gill in the end and I am not quite sure how that’s gonna miss the stumps. But I thought he came back really well,” added Duckett. PTI UNG UNG AH AH
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