1ST TEST, DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS: Root’s classic 218 helps England tighten noose on India
Joe Root became the first ever cricketer to score an international double hundred in Tests on his 100th appearance as England kept India under a batting siege, scoring 555/8 at the end of Day 2 of the first Test in Chennai.
A 124-run partnership between Joe Root (218) and Ben Stokes (82) kept the India bowlers at bay for an entire first session. The duo scored freely and kept piling on pressure with occasional boundaries and sixes. Root was in his exquisite best, scoring his second double century in three Tests and that too with a massive six off Ravichandran Ashwin.
The turf, even though was behaving a little differently from Day 1, occasionally showing signs of uneven bounce, has played out well so far for the batsmen. As the Indians get closer to wrap up England’s first innings (still needing 2 wickets), the hosts will most likely now be looking to grind it out for a draw.
On Day 2, apart from a flurry of no balls (19 in total), the Indian bowling unit tried its best to squeeze out the best from the pitch but glaring fielding lapses often came as an obstacle. Even an experienced cricketer like Rohit Sharma was dropping dollies (put one down of Dom Bess), leaving even the England dressing room shocked.
Stokes played a pretty quickfire knock scoring the 82 runs in just 118 balls with 10 boundaries and three sixes, before falling to the young Shahbaz Nadeem. Stokes tried to slog-sweep one that pitched on the leg only to find Pujara at deep backward square leg.
Nadeem got the prized wicket of Root too, trapping him leg before. What seemed to be an innocuous delivery otherwise, Root tried to nudge it on the leg across the line and missed it completely. Even though he went for the review, the on-field decision was retained.
India, on Saturday, had lost all their reviews to poor calls and had to suffer in the end as a few close calls went against them. Ishan Sharma, was as usual, not used to his full potential. He bowled just 12 overs in the entire day. But whenever he was brought into action, he troubled the batsmen and even took two consecutive wickets a little before Stumps. Looks like, Virat Kohli is in no mood to push Ishant, as he recently recovered from an injury that he had sustained during the IPL.
The Indians will have a mammoth task in hand for Day 3 as not only they must take the remaining two wickets at the earliest, they must also put up a strong batting response to England’s total if they are to save this Test match.