Joe Root scored a century in his 100th Test, guiding England to a dominant day one total against India in Chennai.
Root excelled, celebrating his 100th Test match with his 20th Test century. His numbers and consistency of performance are phenomenal.
Root has 8377 Test runs as it stands. He will surely overtake Alastair Cook’s England record of 12472 runs by the end of his career, unless injury or a nightmare run of form strikes. What a player.
It would be remiss not to note the excellent partner in found in Dom Sibley, who operated in Root’s shadow, but was no less effective. He was out for 87 in the last over of the day, Root unbeaten on 128*, the pair sharing a 200-run partnership that puts England in control of the Test at 263-3.
England won the toss on a wicket that looked hard and dry, and one that promised not to take significant spin until at least day three.
It was, however, slow, forcing England’s batsman to remain patient and disciplined as they waited for scoring opportunities. India’s bowling disciplines further complicated this task.
Sibley and Rory Burns built watchfully through the morning session, adding 63 runs for the opening stand before Burns lost patience and attempted a reverse sweep off Ravi Ashwin just before the lunch break. The ball caught his glove and presented an easy catch to the wicketkeeper.
Five deliveries later, Dan Lawrence was gone, trapped in front of his stumps trying to play across the line of a straight Jasprit Bumrah ball.
England went into the lunch break at 67-2, but Sibley and Root looked completely untroubled thereafter, ticking the scoreboard over steadily. Indeed, as the ball softened and the wicket lost what little juice it offered bowlers, it appeared that only a lapse in concentration would open the door for India.
The England pair accelerated in the final session of play, scoring at an average rate of three runs per over. Sibley’s late dismissal with three deliveries left in the day did very little to damped England’s spirits. They are poised for a massive first innings total on a wicket that is likely to get even better to bat on tomorrow.