IND vs ENG 1st Test: Rohit Sharma explains why Axar Patel was picked over Kuldeep Yadav | India's Playing11 for 1st Test
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IND vs ENG 1st Test: The India vs England 1st Test got underway at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Thursday, with England winning the toss and opting to bat first. While England had already named their playing11 a day before the start of the test, the Indian team was yet to do so which gave enough room for the speculations to brew.

Rohit Sharma announced India’s playing11 for the 1st test during the toss, which included three spinners and two pacers in the ranks. The three spinners included in the side were all off-spinners, though the team had the privilege of having a bit of variation with Kuldeep Yadav in the squad.

Despite Kuldeep Yadav’s availability, Rohit Sharma went ahead with an all-off-spin attack along with two pacers.

It is noteworthy that Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin were the first-choice spinners to get into the playing11 and there was no doubt about them. However, the choice had to be made between Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.

The Indian captain on the eve of the India vs England 1st test acknowledged that with how Kuldeep Yadav has improved over the years, it’s almost tempting to have him in the side.

“Kuldeep [Yadav] being the bowler he is now, from what he was a couple of years back, he is much more improved and he is a very tempting option without a doubt,” said Rohit Sharma.

Despite such high words of praise, Kuldeep Yadav was dropped from India’s playing11 and the team included Axar Patel as the third spinner.

Explaining the selection, Rohit Sharma opined that though Kuldeep Yadav provides variation, Axar’s abilities with the bat come in handy along with his bowling which gives the team a great advantage. The move makes more sense with the absence of Virat Kohli in the side, which is a huge miss.

“It was a tough one (to leave out Kuldeep Yadav), and we thought a lot about it. Axar, whenever he has played, he has done well and bats really well in these conditions. He gives his batting depth as well. He got some really good scores the last time we played against Australia. Probably the reason we went with Axar,” Rohit said during the toss.

Below is Team India’s Playing11 for 1st Test against England at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad:

IND vs ENG 1st Test: India’s Playing11

Rohit Sharma(c), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

IND vs ENG 1st Test: Highlights So Far

The 1st Test between India and England got underway in Hyderabad. England began superbly with their aggressive approach, famously termed as ‘Bazball.’ The England openers led by Ben Duckett kept Indian pacers in the run and scored boundaries to build pressure early on in the innings.

The two openers were successful in tiring out Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Siraj without coping any blows. However, as soon as Rohit Sharma introduced spin into the attack from both ends, the run-scoring slowed to a large extent.

England scored 41 runs in the first 8 overs of pace bowling, and in 14 overs they were only at the 58-run mark. The introduction of Ashwin and Jadeja not only curbed the run flow but also put pressure on the batters.

R Ashwin, also, managed to provide the first breakthrough in the 12th over as Ben Duckett, at a score of 35 runs off 39 deliveries, was trapped lbw.

As of now at drinks break after 14th over, England are one down at 58 runs.

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