Chennai, Feb 5 (IANS) England captain Joe Root’s third consecutive Test century (128 batting) and his 200-run stand for the third wicket with opener Dom Sibley helped the visitors reach 263 for three wickets at stumps on the first day of their first Test against India at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium on Friday.
Root became the ninth batsman to slam a century in his 100th Test.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Sibley on 87 off the last ball of the day to help India end it on a positive note for themselves. However, Sibley and Root’s partnership, coupled with a 63-run opening stand between the former and Rory Burns helped England take the upper hand on the first day of the Test.
England won the toss and chose to bat at the Chepauk Stadium. India opted to play three spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem along with two fast bowlers Ishant Sharma and Bumrah.
Burns and Sibley almost saw England through to lunch without losing a wicket in an attritional first session of the match. However, Ashwin got the breakthrough for the hosts as Burns mistimed a reverse sweep off the spinner. The ball lobed up into the air and wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant completed a simple catch.
Just two overs later, Bumrah dismissed Dan Lawrence, who came in at one down, on a duck to force Root to walk in for the last over of the session.
Root and Sibley then ensured that England did not lose a wicket in the next session and almost repeated that in the final session of the day. However, Bumrah trapped Sibley in front of his leg stump with a delivery that was pitched high. The umpire raised his finger and Sibley reviewed the decision, only for it to be confirmed by the replays. The umpires called stumps with the fall of that wicket.
Root walked back to the pavilion having scored his 20th Test century. He had scored 186 and 228 in England’s last two Tests against Sri Lanka. He has hit 14 fours and one six thus far in the innings.
Brief scores: England 263/3 (Joe Root 128 batting, Dom Sibley 87; Jasprit Bumrah 2/40) vs India