Root, Ali give England edge
Joe Root said England played fantastic cricket Wednesday after his sparkling century helped the tourists reach 311 for four at stumps on the opening day of the first Test against India.
The 25-year-old put on 179 with Moeen Ali, who reached the close one run shy of his century, after India's spinners had reduced the tourists to 102-3 on a placid track.
Ali, who is on the verge of his fourth Test century, was at the crease with Ben Stokes who was on 19 at Rajkot's Saurashtra Cricket Association ground.
Root smashed 11 fours and a six during his 124-run knock before being caught and bowled by Umesh Yadav, who almost dropped the chance as he rushed to celebrate the dismissal.
With Ali standing tall at one end, England looked set for a big first innings total, vindicating captain Alastair Cook's decision to bat first.
Root celebrated his 11th Test ton, and third against India, by waving his bat towards a grateful England dressing room.
In completing the feat, Root became the first overseas player to score a century in India since Australia's Michael Clarke in 2013.
"The way we played throughout the day was fantastic," Root said after the day's play.
"We always thought that seam bowling would be useful early on, but the guys handled it well and that allowed the boys in the middle order to build partnerships.
"I look forward to watching Moeen bat all day tomorrow too. It's pleasing, something to build on and a good position to be in."
The Root-Ali pair piled on the misery for India who were also set back by an injury to pace spearhead Mohammed Shami.
SCORES IN BRIEF
ENGLAND: First innings 311 for 4 (Cook 21, Hameed 31, Root 124, Moeen 99 not out, Stokes 19 not out; Ashwin 2-108)