England got off to a splendid start on their India tour by finishing the opening day’s play of the first Test in Rajkot at 311 for 4.
Joe Root scored his 11th test century while Moeen Ali is one short of his fourth Test century which he is most likely to get to on Thursday.
India went into the match with three spinners and surprisingly took the decision to play a batsman short. There were no debuts for Karun Nair and Hardik Pandya, quite disappointingly.
England gave debut to 19-year-old Haseeb Hameed as the opening partner of Skipper Alastair Cook who had won the toss and decided to bat first. It was also Test debut for the Saurashtra Cricket Association, the stadium hosting this Ind vs Eng 1st Test 2016.
Check out the Ind vs Eng 1st Test Day 1 Highlights here.
The pitch looked to have cracks that could widen as the match progressed. England too have three spinners in Adil Rashid, left-armer Zafar Ansari and off-spinner Moeen Ali.
England were lucky not to lose early wickets as both its openers were put down in the slip cordon. In the 16th over, India finally managed to find success when Alastair Cook shuffled across for a flick off Ravindra Jadeja which he missed, and was given out lbw for 21.
Replays revealed that the ball would have missed the leg stump and Cook failed to take a review that would have saved him.
By lunch, India took two more wickets with R Ashwin, from round the sticks, trapping debutant Haseeb Hameed lbw for 32 with one that straightened to hit the backpad in a regulation forward defence.
Newcomer Ben Duckett, a left-handed batsman was edged out by R Ashwin to slip for 13 leaving the visitors at 102 for 3.
After Duckett’s exit, it was all England as Joe Root and Moeen Root punished the Indian spinners who bowled rather too full.
It was only in the 81st over that the partnership was broken when Umesh Yadav held on to a fiercely struck straight drive from Joe Root off his own bowling. Umesh Yadav did a Herchelle Gibbs by popping up the ball immediately in celebration or perhaps as a reaction to the full-blooded shot.
Surprisingly, the third umpire was convinced that Umesh Yadav had control of the ball in his catch before he lobbed it up and missed to catch it again.
Joe Root’s 124 came in 180 balls with 11 fours and a six while his fourth wicket stand with Moeen Ali was worth 181 runs.
By stumps, Moeen Ali moved to 99 not out from 192 balls with 9 fours. Ben Stokes, another left-handed bat, remained unbeaten on 19 which included a six.