‘We have got to look and try and get as many as we can — 600-700 if we can, really trying to make the most of the first innings.’
Virat Kohli helping his opposite number Joe Root deal with cramps became one of the top moments of the opening day but that “good sportsmanship” will not stop the England skipper from cashing in on his memorable hundred on day two of the first Test in Chennai.
Opting to bat, England ended day one at a promising 263 for three with Root scoring a fine century in his 100th Test. He batted with remarkable fluency, whether it was tackling the Indian spinners or the reverse swing generated by the pacers.
Root also appeared to have won his battle against Ravichandran Ashwin, smashing the off-spinner for a six before cramps set in.
Kohli was seen helping him stretch his leg and Root said he would be ready to continue England’s bid for a big first-innings total on Saturday.
“I’ll be ready for more tomorrow. There was a little bit of cramp, bit frustrating. Very kind of Virat to help me out, good sportsmanship. It’s just a long day and then after a few overs I get some fluids and cooled down,” Root told the media in a virtual interaction after the day’s play.
“We have got to look and try and get as many as we can — 600-700 if we can, really trying to make the most of the first innings. It has been a really impressive start to things, but we got to make it count now. And that is going to be the challenge for this tour, we need to bat long periods of time in these conditions.
“To come today and start the series in a way like we have, it could not have gone any better. Hopefully, we can build on that tomorrow. So, if we can bat into whole of tomorrow or maybe day three then things could speed up quite quickly for us and you never know what can happen for that point onwards.”
Root was in red hot form in the preceding series against Sri Lanka but said the conditions can’t be compared to India.
“…It has been a really impressive start for us and we got to make it count
“In Sri Lanka there was obviously a little bit more lateral moment, more spin, while here it was more trying to counter the bounce initially against the spinners and obviously challenging reverse swing from the seamers.
“So it was very different and it’s always difficult to try put two against each other,” he added.
The England captain was all praise for opener Dominic Sibley, who made a dogged 87.
“Yeah, it was a fantastic innings today. Coming from Sri Lanka, a few question marks about him. Against a high-quality attack and reverse swing it was impressive. (He) must take a lot of heart for the rest of the series as well,” he added.
He was surprised by his teammates on Thursday night ahead of his 100th Test.
“Yeah…it was very special, last night the guys (got a) surprise for me and said videos from past players, friends and family and Ben (Stokes) in particular stood up and said really kind words, and then to come today and for us start a series in the way we have it, it could not have gone any better…
“…we got a little blip in end (Sibley getting out), so really hope that we can build on that tomorrow and delighted to have things go our way,” he said.
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