India make solid reply to England's 537 runs
RAJKOT, India (AP):
India's openers Gautam Gambhir and Murali Vijay made a solid start to India's first innings on day two of the first Test, reaching 63-0 at stumps in reply to England's 537.
At stumps, Vijay was on 25, while Gambhir was 28 not out. The opening duo didn't look in any discomfort negotiating the final session of play.
Seamers Stuart Broad (0-20) and Chris Woakes (0-17) shared the new ball, but spin was introduced in the sixth over as Moeen Ali (0-6) came on to bowl. Zafar Ansari (0-3) and Adil Rashid (0-8) also bowled short spells as England sought a breakthrough.
England's innings featured three centuries from Joe Root (124), Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes. Ali (117) and Stokes (128) guided England to their third-highest total in Test cricket on Indian soil.
It was the first time since 2012-13 that a visiting team had crossed the 500 barrier on Indian soil. England was also the last to do it when they scored 523 runs in Kolkata.
HAPPY WITH THE EFFORT
Ali was happy with the collective efforts of the middle order, especially after the collapse in Dhaka when England lost to Bangladesh.
"We have changed our mentality a bit and want to spend some time on the pitch. Batting at No.5 allows me to do that. I can work on the time needed to bat and play for singles. I enjoy such situations," said Ali.
He was also full of praise for teammate Stokes, whose attacking display helped England accelerate the scoring rate. It could have an impact on the game as a wearing pitch comes into focus.
Ali reached his fourth Test hundred off 195 balls. He put on 62 runs for the fifth wicket with Stokes. Mohammed Shami (2-65) then bowled Ali as he inexplicably shouldered arms to an incoming delivery.
Keeper Wriddhiman Saha dropped Stokes twice off Umesh Yadav (2-112), making it five drops in this innings for India in total. The all-rounder reached his fourth test hundred off 173 balls. His stay at the crease lasted 235 deliveries, including 13 fours and a six.