Twitter Reactions: Joe Root’s double century and Ben Stokes’ 82 propel England to 555 in Chennai against India
Root scored 218 during his 377-ball marathon knock.
Updated - Feb 6, 2021 5:45 pm
England has managed to put themselves in total command after what was another uneventfully forgettable day for India at Chepauk. Resuming from 263/3 after their sturdy first-day show, Joe Root and Ben Stokes made the most of the morning session, essaying some prodigal sweeps and reverse sweeps even as Virat Kohli deployed the ablest weapons in his armory – Ravi Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah in tandem.
There was, quite evidently and rather unsurprisingly, a touch of desperation in India’s approach, who had a hard day in the torrid conditions of Chennai. That did not let either Root or Stokes show any mercy as the latter took the attack to the opposition, with Root anchoring patiently on the sides. Such was India’s keenness for a breakthrough that they ended up squandering two precious reviews off consecutive overs.
India’s luckless morning
With the ball turning a fair bit for Ashwin, Stokes was quick to realize that a defensive ploy might be counterproductive, and he clarified his intentions by taking his nemesis head-on. Ashwin, however, was convinced to have had his man when he drew Kohli into taking India’s first unsuccessful review against Stokes for lbw. Much to everyone’s shame, the ball had taken the all-rounder’s gloves, and not even a touch of the pad.
That, however, did not demoralize India, who, in another bout of excitement and optimism, reviewed a not-out call after Shahbaz Nadeem struck on Root’s pad. Although the call was less embarrassing, the review did not bring the home side any smile, with the ball tracker suggesting the delivery to be going a good distance over the stumps.
With Indian failing to exert ant control on the visitors whatsoever, and both Stokes and Root milking runs for fun, Kohli switched to his talismanic pacer Bumrah again, though to no avail as England went unscathed to Lunch, after adding 92.
Root’s double flattens the hosts
Having spent a sedate first session alongside a free-flowing Ben Stokes at the other end, Root played way more freely come to the second session, as he went on to script his 5th double century in Tests. A brief moment of respite for India came when Ben Stokes’ slog-sweep off Nadeem landed straight to Pujara at deep backward square, where he clung on to the catch after nearly dropping it.
India’s agony was not to come to a halt any time soon as a staunch Ollie Pope took guard soon after Stokes’ exit. While the home team managed to keep England’s scoring in their fists through some tight overs, Pope played the waiting game to perfection as he took the team past 400. In what was a hat-trick of unsuccessful review attempts, India lost their third when they challenged a call for a catch to leg gully off Ashwin, although replays clarified the non-involvement of either bat or glove.
Meanwhile, Root, who had shifted gears to perfection, reached to his double in some style as came down the ground to deposit Ashwin over his head for a six. Giving away only Stokes’ wicket, adding 82 in the session, it was another session that England named to themselves.
Some smiles after a long day
After almost 5 lopsided sessions, the third session of the second day turned to be the most happening, at least in the terms of the wickets India managed to grab. Ravi Ashwin finally got a breakthrough when Pope played for the turn, only to be pinned flat on his legs. Joe Root clarified his intentions of scoring 600-700 runs and England was well on course of that when Shahbaz Nadeem struck in the immediately following over to remove Root, who reviewed it to no avail.
Though Jos Buttler and Dom Bess collaborated for the 48-run stand to take England past 500, Ishant Sharma’s double strike induced some hope in the Indian camp after an enervating day. Sharma knocked over Buttler, who misjudged a length ball that jagged in after pitching to knock down his off stumps while he was showing his arms, and he struck again to get Jofra Archer as his 299th scalp.
Dom Bess and Jack Leach then played out the rest of the day as the visitors ended the day at 555/8 after batting for a whopping 180 overs.
Here’s how Twitter reacted:
Great days play for England !! Loved it .. Bat as long as you can in the 1st innings in #India .. 👍👍👍
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 6, 2021
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 6, 2021
— Rohan Gavaskar (@rohangava9) February 6, 2021
Fabulous little spell here from Ishant. And I say fabulous, as 170 overs in the field is like a prison sentence!
He’s also an unsung hero. He’s been around for many a year in Indian cricket. As a fast bowler it’s highly commendable! 👊🏽
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) February 6, 2021
100th test and a double century .. well played @root66 👏🏻 Top player 👍🏻
— rishi dhawan (@rishid100) February 6, 2021
3 terrific calls today by the two Indian umpires. All 3 reviewed & reviews lost. 👏👏👏
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) February 6, 2021
— MANOJ TIWARY (@tiwarymanoj) February 6, 2021
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) February 6, 2021
Root Root Root 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾 #INDvENG showing Great levels of concentration .. determination and incredible levels of fitness
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) February 6, 2021
Timely reminder by @root66 that why he is in the same league of the best of the era like Kohli-Smith-Williamson . First Test of a very important series and captain starts with a bang! #INDvENG #INDvsENG #Root
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) February 6, 2021
— Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) February 6, 2021
The carnage of runs continue !! The man looks as if he is on a mission !! Congratulations @root66 on ur 💯th test and what a special knock !! It’s been a delight to watch !!#INDvENG #Root200* pic.twitter.com/8BrXk3UEBx
— Mithun Manhas (@MithunManhas) February 6, 2021
What an incredible double ton from @root66 . One of the finest knocks played by an Overseas batsmen in India. Amazing display of focus, responsibility and technique. To score 3 consecutive 100’s out of which 2 are 200 is no mean achievement. #class #INDvsENG @StarSportsIndia pic.twitter.com/aA2ICbm4y9
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) February 6, 2021
— Vinod Kambli (@vinodkambli349) February 6, 2021
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) February 6, 2021