Images from Day 1 of the second Test between India and England, at the M A Chidambaram stadium, in Chennai.
A superb half-century by Rohit Sharma stood out amidst the gloom in the morning session as India were reduced to 106 for 3 in 26 overs at lunch on Day 1 of the second Test against England, at the M A Chidambaram stadium, in Chennai, on Saturday.
The opener hit 13 boundaries and one six before going into the break unbeaten on 80 off 78 balls, after the fall of opener Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and skipper Virat Kohli.
Giving him company at the break was vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, on 5.
Pujara, who scored a 58-ball 21, and Rohit were involved in a 85-run partnership for the second wicket after the exit of Gill (0).
Kohli too failed to open his account.
Ollie Stone, playing in just his second Test, was brought into the attack in only the second over of the match and he needed just three deliveries to provide England the early breakthrough.
Gill defended the first two deliveries before shouldering arms to the next. The young opener offered no stroke and was struck in line. After a chat with Rohit, his partner, he decided not to review it.
A wicket maiden for Stone gave England the perfect start.
Shortly after Rohit completed his 50 off only 47 balls, Leach gave England their second success of the morning, with the wicket of Pujara (21) in the 21st over.
The spinner got the ball to turn sharply off the puff of dust and Pujara, who looked to defend, played inside the line, edged and was caught at slips by Ben Stokes.
Then came the big of Virat Kohli. India’s captain was back in the dressing room without scoring after facing just five deliveries.
Moeen Ali produced a beauty to have the star batsman bowled for a duck.
Kohli went to drive Moeen against the spin on the off-side but was beaten by the sharp, turning delivery.
Two wickets in the space of seven deliveries and India were reduced to 86 for 3 in the 22nd over.
However, Rohit mixed caution with aggression to see India through to lunch without any further hiccups.
The Mumbai batsman looked comfortable against pace and spin on a track that is already aiding spin.
Moeen (1/32), Stone (1/14) and Leach (1/23) took a wicket each for England.
India made three changes to their playing eleven. Left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Axar Patel was handed his Test debut while pacer Jasprit Bumrah was rested.
The in-form Mohammed Siraj returned to the side as did left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who replaced Washington Sundar. Yadav will play his first game in two years.
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