1st Test: Joe Root Double Century Takes England to 555/8 on Day 2

At stumps on Day 2, England were 555/8 with Dom Bess unbeaten on 28 and Jack Leach batting on 6.

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Cricket
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England captain Joe Root after completing his double century.
i

England captain Joe Root scored 218 as the visitors made the Indians toil for the second consecutive day in the first Test at Chennai. At stumps on Day 2, England were 555/8 with Dom Bess unbeaten on 28 and Jack Leach batting on 6.

India fought back into the contest in the final session of the day when they picked four quick wickets with R Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem and Ishant Sharma finding success. Nadeem picked the big wickets of Ben Stokes, after lunch, and Joe Root, in the final session.

Ishant dismissed Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer of consecutive deliveries to take his tally to 299 in Tests but could not complete the hat-trick.

India, on their part, did not help themselves with some sloppy fielding through the day which resulted in a few catches going down and a run-out opportunity gone abegging just before lunch.

Root and Ben Stokes ensured England started off Day 2 in fine fashion as they piled on the runs and the misery on the hosts in the morning session. A tired and demoralised India went wicketless in the morning session as England’s batsmen added 92 runs.

Root, who started the day unbeaten on 128, was hardly troubled through the morning session and continued to add to his tally, reaching 150 shortly before the session ended.

Stokes, playing the aggressor’s role in the partnership, had reached his half-century of 71 deliveries in the morning session.

Stokes walked out to bat on the second morning after Dom Sibley had been dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah at the end of Day 1 and took the attack to the Indian spinners, taking a special liking to Shahbaz Nadeem.

After Lunch, Root continued to chip away even as Virat Kohli brought on Bumrah in the hunt for wickets. However, it was Shahbaz Nadeem who gave India their first breakthrough of the day when Stokes, inching closer to his century, went for one big hit too many and holed out to Cheteshwar Pujara at fine leg for 82.

The southpaw smashed 10 fours and 3 maximums during his 118-ball knock.

Root and Stokes put on 124 runs for the fourth wicket to keep England on track for a massive first innings total in Chennai.

Root, as expected, continued to make the Indian bowlers toil, danced down the track to Ashwin and smacked him over long-on to bring up yet another double century shortly before the end of the second session.

Meanwhile, quietly at the other end, Ollie Pope, who has just returned from injury, went to Tea unbeaten on 24, with England having added 99 runs in the second session. Root went into the break not out on 209, with the score reading 454/4 after 147 overs.

Six overs into the final session of the day, India picked their second wicket of the day as Ashwin beat Ollie Pope all ends up and trapped him LBW for 34.

Of the very next over, Nadeem struck again and picked the big wicket of Root for 218 when he trapped him LBW. The England captain instantly reviewed the decision in vain.

Root, who played 377 deliveries and hit 19 boundaries along with a couple of sixes, became England’s third highest run-getter in Tests after he overtook Alec Stewart.

Jos Buttler, who will leave the bio-secure bubble after this Test, along with Dom Bess put on a 48-run partnership after that. Buttler (30) found some luck too as a caught behind appeal of Washington Sundar went his way despite replays seemingly indicating that the batsman edged it through to Pant.

However, he could not make it count and shouldered arms to an inswigning delivery from Ishant Sharma which knocked over his stumps. In walked Jofra Archer at that point and walked back one delivery later as Ishant went through his gates and knocked over the off-stump. Ishant however could not complete a hat-trick as England at 525/8 continued to bat on.

Jack Leach then joined Dom Bess in the middle and the duo batted out the rest of the hour without any scares as England stayed on course for a total in excess of 600.

Earlier, on Day 1, Root had won a good toss and opted to bat first against India. The openers put on a partnership of 63 before R Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah struck just before lunch to remove Rory Burns and Dan Lawrence.

Root and Sibley then took charge of proceedings and batted through the rest of the day and put on a 200-run partnership for the third wicket before Bumrah, who is playing his first Test on Indian soil, picked his second wicket. Bumrah beat Lawrence for pace and trapped him LBW for 87 of the last delivery of the day.

India opted to play three spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem along with two fast bowlers Ishant Sharma and Bumrah.

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