India vs England, 1st Test: Key takeaways from Day 1
The England cricket team will be satisfied after dominating the scenes on a slow Chepauk pitch in the first Test against India. Day 1 of the first Test saw the visitors bat well as Dominic Sibley and Joe Root thwarted the Indian bowlers (263/3). The Indians were inconsistent and allowed England to keep the scorecard ticking. Here are the key takeaways.
England openers Rory Burns and Sibley started well, adding 63 runs. They saw off the new ball and played as per the demands of the situation. Burns scored 33 from 60 deliveries. His return boosts England, who saw their openers struggle in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka. The injured Zak Crawley and Sibley had managed partnerships of 10, 3, 4, and 17.
Sibley (87) was terrific with the bat and drew confidence from his knock of 56* in the second innings of the second Test against Sri Lanka. He looked comfortable in what was his debut Test against India. His footwork against the Indian spinners caught the eye. Sibley faced 286 deliveries and allowed skipper Joe Root to play a bit more freely.
Root (128*) was superb in his display and his application stood out. He played a solid hand, scoring a century. Notably, this was his 20th Test century and a ninth outside England. In Asia, he notched his fifth Test ton and a third in three successive matches. Root looked positive and hit 14 fours and a six, besides having a strike rate of 60-plus.
India didn't bowl well on Day 1. Senior pacer Ishant Sharma was economical and bowled with a lot of heart. Bumrah got two wickets, including the crucial scalp of Sibley in the last over. Meanwhile, Ashwin got one. England were allowed to rotate the strike as Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar were below-par. Both the spinners conceded runs aplenty.
Sibley and Root made the Indian bowlers pay as they added a 200-run partnership for the third wicket. Both batsmen were rock solid with their defence and played some impressive shots when needed. Sibley anchored the innings as Root took the initiative.