CHENNAI, India: Dominic Sibley was unbeaten on 53 runs and captain Joe Root was batting on 45 not out as England reached 140-2 at tea on the first day of the first cricket test against India on Friday.
Root became the 15th English cricketer to feature in a century of tests, playing in his 100th test match beginning Friday.
Skipper Virat Kohli returns to lead the side after a six-week paternity leave for the birth of his first child, a daughter.
The hosts went with three spinners. Washington Sundar retains his spot while left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem comes in for pacer Shardul Thakur.
Nadeem was a late inclusion to the India squad after all-rounder Axar Patel complained of pain in his left knee late on Thursday.
Veteran pace bowler Ishant Sharma also returns to the side after missing the Australian series due to injury and rehabilitation.
The pitch at M.A. Chidambaram Stadium has a sprinkling of grass on it, but it is mostly to bind the surface together than to help out the fast bowlers.
It is the first time international cricket has returned to India since the coronavirus pandemic began nearly a year ago.
Root was a spare batsman on Englands 2012 tour of India. His teammate, Jos Buttler, was appearing in his 50th test.
This wicket will deteriorate and we want to make good use of it in the first innings,” Root said.
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