England made a measured start to the Chennai Test, with Sibley and Burns registering the first 50+ opening partnership by a visiting team versus India in India since March 2017.
But India came back in the closing stages, as Ravichandran Ashwin picked the wicket of Rory Burns. Jasprit Bumrah then got his maiden home Test wicket by sending Dan Lawrence back for a duck, as India ended the session on a high.
Brief scores: England 67/2 (Rory Burns 33, Dominic Sibley 26*) against India (Jasprit Bumrah 1/17, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/31) after 27 overs
England won the toss and chose to bat, going on to make a confident start in Chennai. Despite playing their first Test in India, Dominic Sibley and Rory Burns played out the first hour without much trouble.
They were helped by the lack of movement, both seam and swing. Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah pitched the ball up as they looked for some purchase off the wicket. But the carry to the keeper was a sign that the pitch didn’t have much for pacers.
Rory Burns was lucky to survive a chance in the second over. With the ball dying by the time it reached the keeper, Pant could only manage to get his fingertips to it.
The England openers settled after that, cautiously playing out India’s pacers. They left most of the deliveries outside off stump while getting runs off anything that came onto their pads. The same was evident by their false shot percentage in the first hour of play, with it being their lowest in over 10 years.
India’s spinners are expected to play a huge role in Chennai, and viewers saw Ravichandran Ashwin in action as early as the 8th over.
The English openers did well to nullify the threat posed by the spinners. Sibley was particularly impressive, getting forward to counter the turn. Rory Burns was more attacking out of the two, resorting to the sweep multiple times to unsettle Ashwin and Nadeem.
India pick up 2 wickets in succession
But the same shot proved to be the end of him, as Rory Burns got out playing the reverse sweep to Ashwin. The first wicket led to another as Jasprit Bumrah picked up his maiden Test wicket in India.
Virat Kohli’s decision to bring Bumrah back paid off, with a full delivery hitting Daniel Lawrence on the pads and catching the England No.3 plumb in front of the wicket.
India would be happy to turn the tables after England made a solid start. Virat Kohli will look to make further inroads in the afternoon, as they try to get the prized wicket of Joe Root.
All eyes will be on the England skipper, with his side targetting a huge first-innings total. Sibley will have to make his start count and help England replicate their resolve in the first hour of play post-Lunch.
Published 05 Feb 2021, 11:55 IST