HYDERABAD NOTEBOOK: Both sets of supporters enjoyed West Indies’ win over Australia, England’s avoidance of big shots paid off… and it was a day to forget for India’s spinners

  • England produced one of their greatest ever away wins as they stunned India
  • Ollie Pope’s brilliant 196 was followed up by seven wickets from Tom Hartley
  • The tourists completed their comeback victory with just five balls remaining  

Debutant Tom Hartley delivered one of the greatest overseas wins in England’s history, claiming a magnificent seven to down India in the first Test at Hyderabad and complete a classic comeback.

Ollie Pope provided the platform with a heroic 196, leaving India with a tough chase of 231 on a worn pitch, and with lead spinner Jack Leach restricted by a knee injury Hartley stepped up in unforgettable fashion.

Here, Mail Sport’s Richard Gibson and Paul Newman take you through some of the stories you may have missed on a memorable day four in Hyderabad.

Fans unite to cheers West Indies scalp

At the same time as Ollie Pope was pouching the second of his two catches in an over off the bowling of Tom Hartley, the world’s most exciting new fast bowling find Shamar Joseph knocked out Josh Hazlewood’s off-stump to complete West Indies’ sensational eight-run win over Australia in Brisbane. 

The result was greeted with great enthusiasm by both sets of supporters in Hyderabad while a roar went up in the press box, with journalists momentarily gathered round a TV switched to events at the Gabba. 

Both sets of supporters were enthused by West Indies’ surprise win over Australia 

Meanwhile, Barmy Army trumpeter Simon Finch captured the mood in the stands with a quick burst of David Rudder’s Rally Round the West Indies. 

The Windies’ first Test win down under for 26 years has also opened up the possibility of England replacing Australia at the top of the ICC rankings with a series win in India. Currently in third place, they began 2024 six points behind the Australians.

Tourists’ change of approach pays off 

England scored at exactly four runs an over throughout this match, considerably quicker than their hosts and befitting the assertive approach promoted by captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum. 

However, not since victory over Pakistan in Karachi in late 2022 had they struck fewer than the five sixes registered here in a Test, highlighting both the quality of the India attack and a willingness from the tourists to adapt to conditions in which the big shots – as the home team showed multiple times in the first innings – can carry most jeopardy.

England resisted the urge to play bug shots as they took a more measured approach

England resisted the urge to play bug shots as they took a more measured approach 

Tough times for India’s spinners 

This was the first time that India spin kings Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja each conceded more than 100 runs apiece in the second innings of a home Test match.

Bashir gets straight down to work after visa nightmare

Uncapped Somerset spinner Shoaib Bashir finally arrived in India on Sunday after the visa affair that tarnished the start of England’s tour and was immediately put to work during the lunch break on the fourth day, helping with slip catching practice for Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow ahead of India’s second innings.

Helmetless Iyer brings back memories of old times

The sight of Shreyas Iyer walking out to bat in a cap offered a throwback to a previous era. 

Since 2016 it has been mandatory, for safety reasons, for England players to wear helmets but India’s board have stopped short of making the use of compliant protective headgear obligatory for batters.

The sight of Shreyas Iyer walking out to bat in a cap offered a throwback to a previous era

The sight of Shreyas Iyer walking out to bat in a cap offered a throwback to a previous era

Test cricket alive and well in India

Test cricket Another impressive crowd of 27,352 at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium surged the aggregate attendance over four days beyond 100,000, and showed that this series – which takes in India’s international outposts of Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Ranchi and Dharamsala – has whetted the appetite of fans in a country where Twenty20 is king.

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