Root fluent after England lose openers early

Lunch England 68 for 2 (Root 44*, Moeen 7*) v India
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Playing his first match of the series, Ishant Sharma struck in his third over to have Keaton Jennings caught behind © Associated Press

India enjoyed the better of the first session after losing the toss in Chennai, dismissing both England openers on a pitch already providing generous – though slow – turn. Ishant Sharma dismissed Keaton Jennings and Ravindra Jadeja removed Alastair Cook for the fifth time in the series to leave England 21 for 2 before Joe Root and Moeen Ali saw them through to lunch with an unbroken 47-run stand for the third wicket.

Neither looked entirely secure, though. Root enjoyed a slice of luck on 9 when he nicked Umesh Yadav while looking to punch him off the back foot, only for the ball to fly between gully and the lone, wide slip. Moeen was yet to get off the mark when he flicked Jadeja uppishly in the next over, through the hands of KL Rahul, who mistimed his jump at midwicket.

That one edge apart, Root looked calm and fluent in moving to 44, putting away the bad balls – such as the long-hop that Amit Mishra began his Test match with – and also finding ways to score off good ones. He opened his bat-face deftly to send an off-stump yorker from Umesh scudding to the third-man boundary, and slog-swept Mishra hard, along the ground, in his second over, showing clear intent to put the legspinner under pressure.

More to follow…

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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