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Root, Ali lead England comeback

Rajkot, Nov 9 (IANS) Joe Root and Moeen Ali helped England to a respectable position at tea after Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja struck early blows for India on the opening day of the first cricket Test here on Wednesday.

Coming together after England lost three wickets in the first session of the day, Root and Ali between them added 107 runs to help the visitors reach 209/3 by the tea break.

Coming in to bat after the fall of England captain Alistair Cook, Root batted steadily and was unbeaten on 93 while Ali was on the cusp of a well-deserved half-century at an unbeaten 48.

The duo ensured that the visitors lost no wickets in the post-lunch session after Ashwin and Jadeja removed three top order wickets in the first session.

Ashwin scalped the wickets of Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett while Jadeja sent Cook back to the pavilion.

There was another piece of worrying news for the hosts just before the tea break as pacer Mohammed Shami limped out with an injury.

Earlier, electing to bat on winning the toss, England were off to a steady start with the opening duo of captain Alistair Cook and debutant Haseeb Hameed batting cautiously.

Cook was lucky to survive in the first over when he edged a Mohammed Shami delivery to the slips only to see Ajinkya Rahane drop a relatively easy chance.

Jadeja struck the first blow for India, trapping Cook lbw with a delivery that turned into the England skipper’s pads after pitching. Cook attempted a flick but could not make contact as Jadeja appealed successfully for the decision.

The 19-year-old Hameed, the youngest opener to debut for England, hit six boundaries during his 82-ball 31 before being trapped leg before after misjudging the turn of an Ashwin delivery.

Duckett was also undone by Ashwin’s guile as he edged one to the slips and Rahane made no mistake this time round.

Brief scores:

England (First Innings): England 209/3 (Joe Root 93 batting, Moeen Ali 48 batting; Ravichandran Ashwin 2/41) vs India.

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