Ben has called England’s defeat of India the “greatest triumph” since becoming captain. Indeed, the word triumph perfectly sums up England’s refusal to lie down in a captivating and ever-changing first Test in Hyderabad.
In the opinion of those “in the know,” England had posted a competitive total of 246 in their first innings with Ben leading the way with 70 (3 sixes, 6 fours). Together, the captain and the last four batters added 109 crucial runs, before Ben become the final English wicket to fall.
All the estimates of what was a competitive score on a pitch that was taking spin, had to be re-calibrated after India made 436 in reply.
Now the knowledgsble experts berated England’s lack of preparation and the over-promotion of players. In response, the captain and his team simply kept faith with their exciting approach to winning Tests and went about getting the job done.
Second time around, England collectively dusted themselves down and focussed on surpassing the 190 run deficit. Thanks to an excellent innings by Ollie Pope (196) England hastily gathered 420 runs giving them a lead of 230.
As the fourth and final innings began, England were about to become the only visiting team to overcome a 190 run first innings deficit to take victory over India at home.
Ben put his complete faith in his bowlers and it was Tom Hartley who stepped up to the plate in his debut Test. The Lancashire left-arm spinner produced match-winning figures of 7-62 to help England gain an enthralling 28 run win.
England go into the next of the four remaining Tests with a precious 1-0 lead.
(Photo by Dan Mullan Getty Images for ECB)