England skipper Joe Root, who scored a ton in his 100th Test match today, insisted that it was important for his side to cash in on the start and maximize the advantage by scoring close to 600 in the first innings. After winning the toss, England finished Day 1 very strongly, at 263/3.
Playing India in India is always a daunting task but Joe Root’s England side had a near-perfect start to the tour as the Three Lions ended Day 1 on 263/3. Winning the toss and batting first, Rory Burns and Dom Sibley put on a 63-run opening stand to set the tone for the visitors, but it was a 200-run stand between skipper Root and Sibley that put the Three Lions in the driver's seat. Sibley perished for 87, but Root ended the day unbeaten on 128*, scoring a third consecutive Test ton.
At 263/3 England are in prime position to take control of the Test, but Root knows that the batsmen’s job is far from over. Speaking in the aftermath of his marathon effort, the England skipper insisted that his side, tomorrow, need to cash-in on the start and try to boost the total up to 600 or 700 to take full control of the contest. The last time England visited India, they suffered an innings defeat in Chennai despite racking up 477 on the board in the first innings.
"I think we've got to look to try and get as many as we can - 600, 700 if we can, really try and make the most of the first innings while it's good," Root told reporters at the end of Day 1.
"Those footholes are starting to wear quite quickly. So, if we can bat the whole of tomorrow and maybe into day three then things could speed up quite quickly for us and you never know what can happen from that point onwards, but ultimately we've got to try and back up today."
The century Root struck today was his third on the trot, after having already posted scores of 228 and 186 in Sri Lanka last month. The England skipper, in fact, remarkably has a 100% conversion record this year, having gone the entirety of 2020 without striking a single ton. The 30-year-old revealed that he made technical adjustments to ensure that he makes starts count and scores big hundreds to help the side.
"I certainly feel like I'm in some good form and I need to make sure I cash in on it I think over the course of my career, I've not always gone on and made really big scores so to be going and doing that currently is really pleasing.
"I've worked on a few technical things I've looked at a few areas of my game. I've looked at certain trends of how I was getting out at certain types of my innings, and tried to eradicate it."
Root's impeccable ton today was the 20th of his Test career.