Rohit Sharma answered his critics in the best manner as the opener completed a brilliant ton to help India take a stong position in the opening day of the second Test against England in Chennai. Rohit kicked-off the proceedings with an attacking approach and took just 47 deliveries to reach his fifty. The 33-year-old was eventually dismissed by Jack Leach on 161 from 231 deliveries in the final session of the day. 

India finished the day at 300/6 with wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant and debutant Axar Patel present at the crease and batting on 33 and 5 respectively. The pair have added 16 runs and will resume the innings on Sunday as India eye to breach the 400-run mark and set an imposing first-inning total for the visitors. 

Earlier in the day, Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. However, his decision to bat first seemed to backfire as young Shubman Gill was removed on 0 by Olly Stone in his first over of the day. After Gill’s departure, Rohit and Cheteshwar Pujara took the charge and added 85 runs for the second wicket, before Jack Leach provided the visitors with the breakthrough in the form of Pujara. The right-handed batsman was dismissed on 21 from 58 balls after an outside edge was caught sharply by Ben Stokes.  

Virat Kohli, who joined Rohit after Pujara’s dismissal, failed to contribute as a sharp turner by Moeen Ali sent the Indian skipper on duck. After his dismissal, Rohit and Ajinkya Rahane took a cautious approach. 

The pair helped India recover from the top-order collapse and added 162 runs for the fourth wicket. In the process, Rohit also completed his century, which was his seventh in Tests. The century comes for the Indian opener after 9 innings and it is also his first ton in Chennai. His previous Test ton was against Bangladesh in November 2019.

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Leach broke the partnership when Rohit was playing on 161 and reduced the hosts to 248/4. Soon after Rohit’s dismissal Rahane was also removed by Ali in his next over. The India Test skipper, who had a dismal outing in the previous encounter played at the same venue, on Saturday let his bat do the talking and completed a half-century before getting out on 67.

Following the pair’s dismissal, Pant kept the scoreboard ticking as India lost another wicket in the form of R Ashwin before the play was called off by the umpires. 

Among the England bowlers, spinners Ali and Leach were among the wickets as the pair returned with two wickets each. Meanwhile, Stone and England skipper Joe Root picked one wicket each. 

Brief Scores:

India 1st innings: 300 for 6 in 88 overs (Rohit Sharma 161, Ajinkya Rahane 67; Jack Leach 2/78, Moeen Ali 2/112. 

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