Root, Ali light up day 1 of 1st test against India


Coming together after England lost three wickets in the first session, Root and Moeen Ali added 107 runs between them to help the visitors to dominate the first day.

Hameed and Joe Root then took England forward, but the 19-year-old opener became Ravi Ashwin's first victim of the day.

Ballance scored just 24 runs in four innings in Bangladesh while Duckett struggled in his first three innings before scoring a fighting 56 in Dhaka. While Root hit 11 boundaries and one six, Moeen sent the ball nine times beyond the rope during his 192-ball unfinished innings.

England's premier batsman put on 179 runs for the fourth wicket with Moeen Ali (99 batting, 192b, 9×4) to put the underdogs in a commanding position against the hosts. At close of play, Ali was unbeaten on 99 and giving him company was Ben Stokes. The third umpire had no choice but to stay on with the on-field decision and give Hameed out.

But he battled through the problem continuing to bowl as India took the new ball.

The Rajkot match marks the first time the Decision Review System (DRS) is being used for a bilateral series in India and England erred a second time when they eventually opted to utilise the technology.

Hameed as well as Cook (21) benefitted from the largesse of India's fielders who were guilty of dropping several early chances. He had his slice of luck when he nicked Umesh, that found the gap between the 'keeper and first slip and thereafter saw a ball bounce over his stumps.

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Fourth over into the final session, Root completed his century while Ali also went past his fifty. He looked unflappable, settling down first and then milking the bowling with singles and two runs, and the occasional boundary.

All said and done, the bowlers' inability to contain Root was the root cause of India's trouble.

Virat Kohli, the India captain, brushed away such suggestions saying that some teams intentionally play that card to catch the opposition unawares.

So far, however, the threat has been blunted and if England can make the most of favourable batting conditions on day two, they could at least compile a score to make them reasonably safe from the threat of defeat.

He was to pay for a misjudgment against Mohammad Shami, though, getting his angles wrong and leaving one from round the wicket which knocked out off-stump. Ashwin, Man of the Series with 27 victims against New Zealand, looked the best of the spinners although he could not get the kind of purchase he got on more helpful tracks against the Kiwis. Cook was just settling in when he missed a straighter one from India's left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja.

With there being hardly any hint of turn so early, the two slow bowlers were quite comfortably played by Cook and the debutant to take England to 47 without loss in 15 overs at the end of the first hour.