Englishmen Joe Root and Moeen Ali decimated the Indian bowling lineup to put England in a very comfortable position in the first Test match in Rajkot today. The duo had a 179- run partnership before Root was finally dismissed for 124 while Ali ended the day with an unbeaten 99.
In the build up to the series between two powers of Test cricket India and England, the odds was heavily tilted in
England get off to a good start
The Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot, which is hosting its first-ever Test match, saw Virat Kohli losing the toss for the first time in a while as England chose to bat first. Despite the wicket providing a little help for the bowlers in the first hour, India missed two chances in the slips that gave England a decent start to the match. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami hit the right lengths continuously, but English openers Alastair Cook and debutant Haseeb Hameed continued to score consistently.
Ashwin and India fight back
Haseeb, the fifth-youngest player to play for England, seemed more composed than his senior partner in the opening hour of the game. After struggling to get going, local lad Ravindra Jadeja gave India the first breakthrough by catching the English skipper plumb in front just after the drinks break. With the wicket having nothing much on offer for the spinners, Ravichandran Ashwin operated without much success. But the discipline in hitting the length reaped him dividends as he trapped Hameed with a straighter delivery. Rahane's low diving catch at slip, off an Ashwin delivery, sent Duckett back to the dressing room as the teams made their way back to the pavilion for lunch with the scoreboard reading 102/3. India looked to be in control with the first session of the day done and dusted.
Following lunch, Moeen Ali joined Root at the crease and the duo put up a show for the English fans. The right
When the breakthrough did arrive, it came in controversial circumstances when Joe Root was adjudged caught out when his shot back at Umesh Yadav was caught by the bowler. The decision was referred to the third umpire as Yadav appeared to have fumbled the ball. The third umpire sided with Yadav, and Root had to make his way back after a well-made 124(180). Following the end of the 179-run partnership, Ali was joined at the crease by Stokes and the duo made sure that no more wickets were lost as England ended the day on 311/4.