Images from Day 1 of the first Test between India and England, at the M A Chidambaram stadium, in Chennai, on Friday.
Joe Root continued his fine run with the bat as England took the honours on Day 1 of the first Test against India, at the M A Chidambaram stadium, in Chennai, on Friday.
England’s skipper, who scored a double hundred and century in his previous two Tests in Sri Lanka, was unbeaten after a splendid innings of 128 off 197 balls, which included 14 fours and a six, as the tourists ended the day on 363 for 3.
India tasted success late in the day when Dominic Sibey was dismissed leg before wicket by Jasprit Bumrah with the lethal yorker in the final over.
Sibley walked back after a good innings of 87 off 285 balls, after putting on a 200-run stand for the third wicket with Root.
Bumrah, playing his first Test at home, finished the day with figures of 2 for 40, while Ashwin took one for 68. Ishant Sharma bowled a good spell of 15 overs for 27 runs without any success.
The spin duo of Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem struggled to make an impact and were easily dealt with by the England batsmen on a slow Day 1 wicket.
Root's knock was an exhibition on how to construct an innings on a low, slow track while countering a hostile post-lunch spell from Ishant Sharma (15-3-27-0) during which he got the ball to reverse swing.
Root's specialty, the sweep shot, was also brought out of the closet once Indian spinners started altering the length.
There were full-blooded slog-sweeps in front of the square, conventional sweeps towards square, the paddle sweep behind the square and also switch-hit sweep where he changed the grip against Shahbaz Nadeem.
And towards the end, the first six of the match, was also a slog sweep off Ashwin. This was after he had almost lost five litres of fluid in sapping Chennai heat.
Root and Sibley knew that they had to tire Ishant, Ravichandran Ashwin (1/56) and Bumrah out as Virat Kohli at some point would have to pay the price for Washington Sundar and Nadeem's relative inexperience.
With no purchase from the track, it became easier for Root and Sibley to use their feet and big stride to dominate the two spinners, who looked clueless.
Unlike a lot of batsmen, who in pre-meditated fashion, come down the track, Root and Sibley waited for the Indian spinners to toss up the ball before they took the plunge.
Save the two dismissals in the first session, England controlled the game during the next two sessions on a lifeless track, which will certainly become difficult for batting as the game progresses.
With India slated to bat fourth in the game, the first innings score by both teams will go a long way in deciding the course of this game.
Pacer Jasprit Bumrah and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took a wicket each as England were restricted to 67 for 2 at lunch.
Skipper Joe Root, playing his 100th Test, was batting on 4 while opener Dominic Sibley was undefeated on 26 (96 balls, 3 fours) going into the break.
Openers Sibley and Rory Burns provided England a solid start with a 63-run partnership during which they did not appear in any trouble.
After negotiating the pace duo of Ishant Sharma and Bumrah (7-1-17-1), they kept Ashwin (10-0-31-1) and left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem (5-1-11-0) at bay, showing patience and also playing shots whenever offered the opportunity.
The openers appeared to be making steady progress before Burns unnecessarily went for a reverse sweep off Ashwin and saw the ball lob to wicketkeeper Rishab Pant for an easy catch.
Newcomer Dan Lawrence was sent back by Bumrah, who sent down a beauty which tailed in sharply, catching the batsman plumb in front.
India’s captain Virat Kohli had introduced Ashwin into the attack in the eighth over but openers Sibley and Burns negotiated the first hour without much trouble.
Ishant (5-1-8-0) and Bumrah bowled steadily but could not cause any damage.
Sibley and Burns played sensibly and showed patience to deny India any early inroads.
Bumrah, playing his first Test at home, saw Pant grass Burns off the first delivery, which the batsman tried to glance.
Earlier, England captain Root won the toss and elected to bat.
Star all-rounder Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Rory Burns returned to the side after missing the series in Sri Lanka.
Kohli returned for India after the paternity break as did Ishant, while Shahbaz Nadeem got to play his second Test.
Skipper Joe Root and opener Dominic Sibley produced some fine batting to rally England to 140 for 2 at tea.
Root, playing his 100th Test, was unbeaten on 45, with Sibley, on 53, at the break.
The pair put on 77 runs in an unbeaten stand for the third wicket.
While Sibley was all patience and waited for the bad deliveries to score runs, Root, who smashed a double hundred and a century in his previous two Tests in Sri Lanka, underlined his class with some superb shots as the two went about shoring up the innings.
Pacers Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah and the spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar tried every trick possible but could not break British batsmen's resolve.
Ishant bowled exceptionally well in the second session, but that was not enough to earn him reward.
Bumrah and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (1/52) had bagged a wicket each just before lunch to leave England in a spot of bother at 67 for 2.