English wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes, reflecting on the challenging pitch in the first Test against India in Hyderabad, described it as “horrific.” As the team prepares for the second Test in Visakhapatnam, Foakes emphasized a shift in mindset, aiming for a more positive approach to put Indian bowlers under pressure.
“Going into that, I was thinking, ‘These are horrific wickets – I just need to find a way to stay in.’ I think now the group is more, if that’s the situation, you’ve got to be positive; got to put it [pressure] back on the bowler and put them under pressure,” stated Ben Foakes.
He acknowledged that earlier, there was a fear of getting out, leading to a cautious approach. However, the team now aims to accept the challenge of difficult surfaces while seeking opportunities to dominate.
“Before, there was more of a fear of getting out and that put us in our shells. Whereas now it’s not worrying that you are getting out and accepting that you probably are on those sort of surfaces. But how can you actually go and dominate at times as well?” added Ben Foakes.
— CricketNDTV (@CricketNDTV) January 31, 2024
Both England and India have arrived in Visakhapatnam for the second Test, scheduled to commence on Friday. India, trailing 1-0 in the series, is eager for redemption after the reversal in the first Test. Ollie Pope’s remarkable innings, particularly his use of reverse sweeps, shifted the momentum in England’s favour on Day 3. Debutant Tom Hartley’s impressive spell of 7/62 further strengthened England’s position.
Hartley’s match figures of 9/193 are the best for an England spinner on Test debut since 1945. Additionally, he became the fourth England spinner in the 21st century to secure a five-wicket haul on Test debut. The second Test promises an intriguing battle as both teams aim to assert themselves in the series.