The much-awaited series between India and England began today with the first Test in Chennai and the visitors ended the day as the happier of the two sides thanks to a terrific batting performance. Earlier, England had won the toss and opted to bat first. Axar Patel missed out for India despite being a part of the plans for the Test due to an injury and the hosts decided to go with Shahbaz Nadeem alongside Washington Sundar and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ishant Sharma returned to the Indian line-up after an injury lay-off as did Virat Kohli after the conclusion of his paternity leave that saw him miss the final three Tests in Australia. England on the other hand had the likes of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer returning to their line-up, while Stuart Broad was left out. Unlike India, they decided to go with just two spinners in Dom Bess and Jack Leach.
England make merry on flat Chennai pitch
It was evident right from the very beginning of the Test that the pitch didn’t have much in it for the bowlers. The pacers were unable to generate movement while the spinners couldn’t turn the ball as much as they would have liked especially given the fact that the match was in Chennai which is generally known to assist spinners.
The English openers, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley started off patiently and saw out the new ball. Even after the spinners came in to bowl, the duo looked solid but India replied with a quick double-strike before lunch with Ashwin removing Burns who attempted a needless reverse-sweep and Bumrah trapping Dan Lawrence in front for a duck. Skipper Joe Root walked in next and India would only go on to get one more wicket after that.
Sibley batted with utmost patience while Root kept upping the tempo in regular intervals. Playing his 100th match, Root got to his half-century before converting it into a well-deserved hundred off just 164 balls. The duo’s partnership crossed 200 runs and just as it looked like they would see the day off, Sibley fell for 87 in the last over to Bumrah, getting trapped for an LBW. However, with not much wickets in sight and not a lot of chances created for breakthroughs, the Indian bowlers looked frustrated on a day that clearly belonged to England.
England – 1st innings
|Batsman||Mode of Dismissal||Runs||Balls|
|Rory Burns||c Pant b Ashwin||33||60|
|Dom Sibley||lbw b Bumrah||87||286|
|Dan Lawrence||lbw b Bumrah||0||5|
Total – 263/3 in 89.3 overs