Joe Root, England’s vice-captain, feels inconsistent bounce (on Rajkot track) will be useful for their bowlers as the game progresses to Day 3 and henceforth.
“We saw the cracks opening up slightly and a bit of variable bounce coming in making it very important for us to get to a good first innings score,” Root said.
Riding on Root’s magnificent 124-run knock and an unbeaten 99 from Moeen Ali, England finished the Day 1 of the first Test at Rajkot on 311/4. Electing to bat first, Alastair Cook and debutant Haseeb Hameed put on 47 runs for the first wicket before Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja struck to leave visitors reeling at 102/3 at lunch. Root and Moeen then steadied the ship with their 179-run partnership to help the Poms take pole position at stumps. With this, England also became the first visiting team in the past year or so to cross the 300-run mark vs India in their own backyard.
“Very satisfied with the way we played throughout the day, especially during the middle session. We always felt with the moisture around and the early start the ball would seam around and it gave us a bit of a chance to score.
“We had a few good partnerships and we knew that we needed to get things moving around and Moeen played really well. Looking forward to watching him carry on tomorrow. Very pleasing to execute what we practiced out in the middle and to build onto a good position is what we are looking for at the moment,” he added.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli-led India had a poor start to the series as the trio of Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane and skipper himself dropped catches in early stages. Ashwin, who although removed Hameed and Ben Duckett, was handled pretty well by Root, Moeen and Stokes, as the offie ended the day with expensive figures of 2/108.
With the visitors looking all set to go past 450, Indian bowlers will have to dig deep if they have to claw their way back into the game.