1st Test: Bumrah Picks 2, Root’s Ton Lifts Eng to 263/3 on Day 1

When stumps were drawn, England were 263/3, with Sibley dismissed for 87 by Bumrah of the last ball of the day.

3 min read
Joe Root scored a century in the first innings in Chennai. 

England captain Joe Root scored a brilliant century in his 100th Test and along with opening batsman Dom Sibley piled on the runs against India on Day 1 in Chennai. When stumps were drawn, England were firmly in control with the score at 263/3, with Sibley dismissed for 87 by Jasprit Bumrah of the last ball of the day.

Root and Sibley came together in the last few minutes of the first session after R Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Rory Burns (33) and Dan Lawrence (0), and batted through the rest of the day putting on 200 runs for the third wicket.

Earlier, England openers Dom Sibley and Rory Burns had safely negotiated the majority of the first session of Day 1 after captain Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat.

Rory Burns had an early scare off the first ball of the second over of the match when he tried to play the leg glance against Jasprit Bumrah and Rishabh Pant, picked over Wriddhiman Saha, could not hold on.

The duo looked solid with the pitch offering very little help to the bowlers and were 26/0 after 12 overs when the first drinks break took place.

The openers continued to chip away and frustrate the Indian bowlers in the first session before Ashwin struck. With the Lunch break around the corner, Burns surprisingly tried to reverse sweep the off spinner and it came off the glove allowing Pant to complete a simple catch to break the partnership of 63 runs.

Dan Lawrence then joined Sibley in the middle but could not play out the rest of the morning session and was trapped LBW by Bumrah for 0, leaving England at 63/2.

After the Lunch break, Root and Sibley continued to keep India’s bowlers at bay despite the probing lines and lengths Ishant and Ashwin were bowling. After the first hour in the second session, England were 91/2 from 41 overs.

Once the bowling changed to Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar, the visitors started to score quickly and found the boundaries quite easily.

Sibley continued to play with grit and completed his half century in the 51st over against Ashwin and was 53 not out with Root unbeaten on 45 at the Tea break.

The in-form England skipper picked off Nadeem for a boundary shortly after the start of the final session to register his 50th half century in Tests.

Once that milestone was achieved, Root along with Sibley and once again took the attack to the inexperienced spinners Nadeem and Sundar. The duo played chanceless cricket and quickly lifted the score over 200.

Soon after, Root nudged Sundar off his hips to deep square leg for a single to complete his century in his 100th Test. England at the time were 227/2 with Sibley on 83 and India well and truly looking tired.

Despite a spot of cramps, Root continued to score quickly in the final hour of day’s play and remained unbeaten on 128.

At the other end, Sibley though could not register his century as he became Bumrah’s second wicket when he was trapped LBW for 87 in the final over the day.

India were forced to bring in Shahbaz Nadeem in the eleventh hour after Axar Patel, who looked set for his Test debut complained of pain in his left knee. The hosts also picked the veteran Ishant Sharma over Mohammed Siraj while R Ashwin and Washington Sundar are the other two spinners in the playing XI.

This is Nadeem’s second Test and interestingly he was a late call-up when he made his debut in 2019 against South Africa in Ranchi.

For England, the first Test in Chennai is captain Joe Root’s 100th and Jos Buttler’s 50th. This is also Jasprit Bumrah’s first Test match on home soil.

Meanwhile, the England team are wearing black armbands in respect of inspirational war veteran and fundraising hero Captain Sir Tom Moore, who died aged 100 earlier this week after being admitted to hospital with coronavirus.

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