Rohit smashes unbeaten 80 in India’s 106/3 at lunch on Day 1

Chennai, Feb 13 (PTI) Rohit Sharma scored a sparkling 80 not out while Moeen Ali removed skipper Virat Kohli with a superb delivery as India reached 106 for three against England at lunch during a shared opening session on the first day of the second Test here on Saturday. At lunch, vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane was batting on 5 while Rohit, who has so far faced 78 balls, hit 13 fours and 1 six in his delightful knock. For England, Moeen (1/32), Olly Stone (1/14) and Jack Leach (1/23) picked up a wicket each. Mooen struck a huge blow when he got one to dip and turn in sharply as Kohli going for a cover drive was bowled through the gate. Rohit’s innings was laced with some lovely drives and a six. The Mumbai has so far scored the bulk of the runs and looked comfortable against pace and spin on a wicket aiding turn already. He added 85 runs for the second wicket with Pujara (21, 58 balls, 2 fours) and appeared to be steering India to a good position before the spinners struck. First, Jack Leach (1/23) tossed one up to get Pujara edge one to Ben Stokes at slip before Moeen (1/32 in 6 overs) scalped the prize wicket of Kohli. The home side, batting first after Kohli won the toss and batted, suffered an early jolt when the pacy Olly Stone, playing his second Test, dismissed Shubman Gill for a duck. Gill shouldered arms to a delivery that came in and was rapped on the front pad, to give England a great start. India made three changes to their playing XI with left-arm spin bowling all-rounder Axar Patel making his debut while pacer Jasprit Bumrah was rested. In-form Mohammed Siraj returned to the playing XI along with left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who replaced Washington Sundar to play his first game in two years. For England, Moeen Ali came in place of Dom Bess, Stuart Broad replaced James Anderson while injured Jofra Archer made way for Olly Stone. Ben Foakes replaced Jos Buttler as the wicketkeeper.


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