England in India: Joe Root marks 100th Test with century as tourists dominate day one

Joe Root
Root is the third Englishman, after Alec Stewart and Colin Cowdrey, to score a century in his 100th Test
First Test, Chennai (day one)
England 263-3 (89.3 overs): Root 128*, Sibley 87
India: Yet to bat

Joe Root marked his 100th Test with a commanding century – his third in as many matches – as England made an impressive start to the first Test against India.

The England captain hit a brilliant 128 not out in Chennai and led his side to 263-3 at the close.

Root shared a stand of 200 with opener Dom Sibley, who ground out 87 not out from 286 balls before falling in the last over of the day.

The late wicket boosted India but the high-class partnership saw England recover from 63-2, having lost Rory Burns for 33 and Dan Lawrence for a duck on the stroke of lunch.

Root and Sibley weathered a good spell of bowling in the afternoon session and then wore the bowlers down with a masterclass of batting in sub-continental conditions.

Root, who hit 228 and 186 against Sri Lanka last month, became the ninth player to mark his 100th Test with a century.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan described the innings, which began in circumspect fashion and became increasingly aggressive, as “the perfect hundred”.

“His 50 to 100 was magnificent,” said Vaughan, speaking on The Cricket Social. “He went up in the gears, which is exactly what this team needed.

“It has been a great innings”.

England make strong start

The late loss of Sibley, lbw to an inswinging yorker from Jasprit Bumrah, will take the gloss off England’s day, but it was still a very impressive start to a much-anticipated series.

First, Root crucially won the toss and then, despite a wobble which included a rash stroke from Burns, he took advantage of a slow, flat pitch.

The hosts, through their three frontline bowlers – Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin – applied intense pressure after lunch but Root and Sibley came through and were then able to profit against India’s less experienced bowlers.

India, the leaders in the World Test Championship, have only lost one match at home since 2013 and come into the four-match series buoyed by their historic win in Australia last month.

But it was England who had the better opening day, although many more runs are needed.

England scored 477 in their first innings on this ground during their last tour and lost by an innings, after India racked up 759-7 declared.

More to follow.

BBC News