The first Test of the four-match series between India and England began today in Chennai and after choosing to bat first, the visitors came good on a pitch that did not offer turn or movement for the bowlers. Dom Sibley and Joe Root made merry and were involved in a 200-run partnership that was ended only in the last over of the day when Jasprit Bumrah trapped the former in front.
Root got to his century and stayed unbeaten on 128. For India, only Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin were among the wickets. 1-Test-old spinners Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar struggled to come good and were taken for runs. The duo was picked ahead of Kuldeep Yadav after Axar Patel was ruled out with an injury to his knee. The decision to not pick Kuldeep has now come under criticism.
‘Unfortunate on Kuldeep’s part’ – Gautam Gambhir
Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir spoke on ESPNCricinfo’s pre-match show about Kuldeep Yadav and said, “Little unfortunate on Kuldeep’s part. They should have actually picked Kuldeep against England. A left-arm wrist spinner is a unique commodity. He’s been with the team without playing much. He would have been a great asset.”
“You got to use him first up in the series, you don’t wanna wait for the second or third test match because a lot of times we’ve seen how a wrist spinner can actually turn the game. So it’s a bit unfortunate and surprising as well,” he added.
“They are playing two off-spinners. Yes, probably they wanted a little more depth in the batting at No.7 and No.8. So it’s a massive surprise. I would have picked Kuldeep any day. Whether it’s a right hander or a left hander, it really doesn’t matter when you’ve got a left-arm spinner who can take it both ways,” he further said.
England will resume Day 2 tomorrow on 263/3.