Latest Match Report – England vs India 1st Check 2020/21


England 263 for 3 (Sibley 87, Root 128*) vs India

A dominant 200-run partnership between Joe Root and Dom Sibley put England on prime on the primary day in Chennai, as Check cricket returned to India after an absence spanning 14 months.

After Sibley had laid a basis with Rory Burns, England misplaced two wickets in fast succession earlier than lunch and appeared to have let their robust begin slip. However Root, within the a hundredth Check of his profession, continued from the place he had left off in Sri Lanka as he eased by means of the gears to succeed in his twentieth hundred, and his third in as many matches this yr.

India’s bowlers toiled laborious for little reward all through the afternoon and night classes, as Root swept, flicked and punched them spherical the bottom whereas Sibley floor them down with an old-school rearguard. Regardless of Jasprit Bumrah’s breakthrough with the final ball of the day, trapping Sibley lbw for 87 with a quick, inswinging yorker, England had been within the field seat on the shut.

Root had no hesitation in selecting to bat after profitable the toss, and Virat Kohli admitted that he would have accomplished the identical on a pitch that appeared flat from the beginning. Axar Patel’s knee damage meant that Shahbaz Nadeem performed because the left-arm spinner, whereas Washington Sundar retained his spot at No. 7 as India opted for 3 fingerspinners slightly than a 3rd seamer or Kuldeep Yadav’s wristspin. For England, Dom Bess retained his place forward of Moeen Ali, whereas James Anderson was picked over Stuart Broad.

Having missed the well-known win on the Gabba by means of damage, Bumrah returned to play his first house Check, greater than three years after his debut, and created an opportunity with the primary ball he bowled. Angling the ball into the left-hander from around the wicket, he drew a tickle as Burns formed to work to leg, however Rishabh Pant put down the possibility diving to his proper.

Sibley and Burns constructed steadily, getting by means of the primary hour unscathed, efficiently seeing off the brand new ball and dealing with R Ashwin’s risk after his early introduction into the assault. However as Burns grew in confidence, he started to show his vulnerabilities, exposing his stumps when lunging throughout to comb Ashwin from around the wicket.

He then skipped down the pitch to clip him effortlessly by means of midwicket for 4 as lunch approached, which prompted Ashwin to alter his line of assault and look to push the ball throughout him from over the wicket. The ploy succeeded virtually immediately: in an try and throw Ashwin off the scent, Burns introduced out the reverse-sweep to the fifth ball of the over, however was by means of the shot early. The ball looped up off his glove and into Pant’s palms, and Burns was visibly annoyed along with his decision-making as he trudged off.

As is so typically the case when India play at house, the primary breakthrough introduced a second quickly after. Dan Lawrence, batting out of place at No. 3 after Zak Crawley’s freak damage, was pinned lbw for a fifth-ball duck, seeking to swipe Bumrah into the leg aspect. Kohli deserved credit score for the decision to take Ashwin out of the assault straight after his wicket, and Lawrence barely even thought of a evaluation.

At 63 for two, England appeared susceptible, not least when Root miscued into the covers through a vanguard as Ashwin discovered some drift earlier than setting off for a really tight single three balls later within the over earlier than lunch. India did their greatest to show the screw after lunch, with Ishant, Bumrah and Ashwin conserving the speed in examine for the very best a part of an hour and each seamers managing to extract some reverse swing.

However having eschewed the sweep for the primary 50 balls of his innings, Root instantly introduced it out towards Sundar when he was launched mid-afternoon, and appeared to dominate towards the weaker hyperlinks within the assault. Root had been watchful in reaching 12 off 54 balls however was quickly skipping down the pitch and reverse-sweeping at will, with Nadeem and Sundar bearing the brunt of his aggression.

Sibley too grew in confidence, wanting like a very totally different batsman to the one who had made six runs in his first three innings in Sri Lanka final month. He introduced up a 158-ball half-century with a back-foot punch by means of the covers off Ashwin, which exemplified the arrogance that he displayed after lunch, although he was characteristically strongest by means of midwicket.

Kohli desperately missed the injured Ravindra Jadeja, whose containing traces and lengths would have been well-suited to the conditions in forcing England’s batsmen to play. As a substitute, Root handed 50 quickly after tea and settled into his fluent fourth gear, rotating the strike at will. A crisp, compact punch by means of the covers off Bumrah was the decide of his pictures.

India appeared more and more weary within the discipline as they held out for the brand new ball, conceding a boundary virtually each over as Root cruised in direction of a 3rd ton in as many Exams. He reached the landmark with a nudge behind sq. off Sundar, changing into the ninth man to attain 100 of their a hundredth Check.

Each males remained watchful after the brand new ball was taken, although Root slog-swept Ashwin over midwicket for the one six of the day, cramping up within the course of. Bumrah’s effort was rewarded in his closing over as he pinned Sibley, enjoying round entrance his pad, in entrance of leg stump, nevertheless it didn’t take the shine off England’s day.

Matt Curler is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98



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