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Root's special ton lifts England

By David Clough

Joe Root provided the template for England's batsmen in India - and then for good measure threw in some close-of-play spin.

Root's 124 - his 11th Test ton, and first in Asia - underpinned England's 311 for four on day one of the five-Test series, chiefly in a stand of 179 with Moeen Ali, who finished unbeaten on 99.

England therefore recovered from a pre-lunch wobble against India's spin attack which left them on 102 for three in Rajkot.

Root had just one close call, a DRS lbw survival on 92 against Umesh Yadav, departing finally in mildly controversial circumstances when the same bowler pulled off a low return catch and the dismissal was confirmed after recourse to the third umpire to rule whether the juggling seamer had held the ball long enough before it fell.

Root is relishing the battle ahead after an encouraging start.

"It was a great day," he said. "We hope Mo and Stokesy (Ben Stokes) can put on a big partnership. The way Mo and I played was really good, and something that will give us confidence.

"It will be about how long we can bat on this wicket. The more overs, it will deteriorate quite quickly."

Belfast Telegraph

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