Kolkata: Joe Root, the England Test captain, continued his rich vein of form when he scored his third century on the trot in his 100th Test appearance in the first Test against India in Chennai. He had come to India with 400 runs in the bag in only two Tests in Sri Lanka.
Earlier, Indian pace ace Jasprit Bumrah scalped his first Test wicket on the Indian soil as international cricket returned to the country after a long time with the India-England series.
Bumrah, 27, had played all his previous 17 Tests overseas, in which he had picked 79 wickets. He got the wicket of Dominic Sibley as England reached 67/2 at Lunch on Day One of the first Test here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Earlier, winning the toss and electing to bat, Rory Burns and Sibley provided England with a solid start as they brilliantly tackled the two Indian pacers - Ishant Sharma and Bumrah.
The duo batted cautiously at the start but once they got settled, they collected runs at a decent rate and put pressure on the Indian bowlers. They stitched a 63-run stand and frustrated the Indian bowlers before Burns gifted away his wicket, attempting a reverse sweep against Ravichandran Ashwin and eventually got caught by wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant. Burns scored 33 runs, with the help of two fours, in the 60 deliveries he faced during the course of his innings.
England skipper Joe Root - playing his 100 Test - came after Lawrence’s dismissal and survived some nervy moments, including a close run-out call before he started shoring up the innings with Sibley.
Commenting on his decision to bat first, Root said: “We’re going to try and get the best of this wicket.”
“I think it (pitch) will deteriorate .. and obviously take spin later on so hopefully we can make the most of it in the first innings, make a really big score and try and lead the game.” Veteran seamer James Anderson was preferred to Stuart Broad while all-rounder Moeen Ali could not break into the playing XI.