Joe Root, Moeen Ali put England on top on Day 1

RAJKOT: Indian bowlers toiled hard to contain star batsman Joe Root and Moeen Ali as England finished the opening day of the first cricket Test at a healthy score of 311/4.

Root was in his customary elegant self and completed his 11th test century and made 124 off 180 balls, while Moeen Ali was one run short of his fourth test century when the stumps were drawn after 93 overs.

Joe Root and Moeen Ali shared 179 runs partnership for the fourth wicket and bailed out England from a precarious 102/3. Root was dismissed by Umesh Yadav with a return catch.

At stumps, Ben Stokes was unbeaten on 18 runs and Ali unbeaten on 99 runs.

Earlier, England won the toss and elected to bat. India let themselves down with sloppy slip catching by flooring three catches to let England get off the hook.

To make matters worse, pacer Shami injured and could only bowl 10 overs. The hosts’ bowling also appeared quite thin on a track that was easy-paced and easy to bat on. The non-availability for some period of the day of Shami as a bowler, who looked far more impressive than his pace bowling partner Yadav, was a big handicap.

India went in with five bowlers by including leg-spinner Amit Mishra, as the third spinner, for the first time since the second Test against the West Indies at Kingston, Jamaica.

Brief Scores: England 311/4 (Root 124, Ali 99*; Ashwin 2/108)

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