Joe Root outshines India with a double ton, England reach 555/8 at stumps on Day 2

Joe Root is the most successful England Test captain. (PC Twitter)

Chennai: A magnificent double century from Joe Root headlined the action on day two of first Test, as England went to stumps on a solid 555/8 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday (February 6).

England continued their domination with the bat on day two of the first Test in Chennai, courtesy of 218 from skipper Root and useful contribution from the middle-order. Root became the first player in Test cricket history to hit a double ton in his 100th Test match. His sensational 377-ball knock was studded with 19 fours and two sixes.

India bounced back in the evening session, claiming four wickets but with over 500 runs on the board, England ended the day on a high. Earlier, in the morning session, Root continued his rich form, batting beautifully. He was joined at the crease by the No.4 batsman, Ben Stokes, who batted with confidence from the start and hit sublime boundaries from time-to-time.

With England looking strong with over 300 runs on the board, India were desperately looking for wickets. The hosts lost two reviews over the course of two overs. First, in the 108th over, when Stokes attempted to play a reverse sweep off R Ashwin, the spinner was convinced that the ball had hit the pad. India went for a review and eventually lost it after replays showed that the ball had hit the glove.

The following over saw another LBW review, this time off Shahbaz Nadeem’s bowling. An angled delivery from the spinner had hit Root’s pad, and looked close. But the ball was bouncing over the stumps resulting in India losing their second review.

En route, Root crossed the 150-mark, for the third time in three consecutive Tests, while Stokes reached his fifty with back-to-back reverse sweeps for four. The duo’s unbroken 92-run stand took England to 355/3 at lunch.

The pair continued to milk runs in the afternoon session. Their partnership of 124 came to an end when Nadeem claimed the prized scalp of Stokes, who slogged it towards the deep backward square leg fielder, Cheteshwar Pujara, who fumbled but eventually managed to clutch the ball. Stokes fell after making an entertaining 118-ball 82, which featured 10 fours and three sixes.

The hosts later lost their last review. Ollie Pope (34) had gone for a sweep shot but missed it, but he got a lifeline as the ball was going over the stumps. Root eventually went on to bring up his fifth Test double hundred in style with a six, his second in his last three Tests. He stitched another notable partnership with Pope, of 86 runs, before the latter became Ashwin’s second victim.

One brought two for India, as Nadeem struck in the next over, claiming the important wicket of Root. Jos Buttler, making his 50th Test appearance, steadied the proceedings with Dom Bess. But Ishant Sharma removed Buttler and Jofra Archer, the next man in, off two consecutive deliveries. Bess remained unbeaten on 28 with Jack Leach keeping him company (6*) at the end of day two.

Brief scores: England 555/8 (Joe Root 218, Dominic Sibley 87, Ben Stokes 82; Ishant Sharma 2-52) vs India. Match to continue.


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