After losing the first Test, India bounced back in fine fashion on Day 1 of the 2nd Test match in Chennai. The day belonged to Rohit Sharma, who battled hard on a tricky pitch to score a sublime century to give India the upper hand. Rohit took the attack to the bowlers during his knock of 161 which included 18 fours and 2 sixes. His innings means that India sits in the driver's seat of this Test as they ended the day at 300-6 with two recognised batsmen in Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel still at the crease. This Test was also a momentous occasion, as it saw fans return to the stadium in India for the first since the lockdown last March.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, India lost three wickets in the opening session. Shubman Gill was dismissed by Olly Stone in the second over of the day, Cheteshwar Pujara edged a Jack Leach delivery to slip and most surprisingly, Virat Kohli was out for a duck. The Indian Captain was dismissed in dramatic fashion as he misjudged a Moeen Ali delivery that snuck through bat and pad and crashed into his stumps. Despite wickets falling around him, Rohit continued to take the attack to the bowlers and scored 80 runs in the opening session which included some eye-catching cover drives and pull shots.
This Chennai wicket was vastly different from the one used last week. The surface has been dry and the ball has offered significant turn and bounce right from the first session. Despite the tricky conditions, Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma made batting look easy in the second session of the day. Rohit used the sweep shot to good effect against the spinners and brought up his 7th Test Century after lunch. This was his first century against England and 4th as an opener in only 13 innings.
Rohit eventually fell late in the day after picking out Moeen Ali in the deep for 161. He shared a fine 162 run partnership with his Mumbai team-mate which gave India the momentum they needed after losing Virat Kohli early on.
There also was some controversy to end the day. England thought they had dismissed Ajinkya Rahane after a Jack Leach delivery missed his bat, bounced off his pad and then flicked his glove before landing into the palms of short-leg. It was given not out on the field and upon England’s review, the third-umpire only checked the first part of the appeal - the ball missing Rahane’s bat before hitting his pad and not the ball hitting his glove in the second phase - and ruled it not-out. The England players and Joe Root, in particular, were incensed at this lapse of concentration as they were certain the ball had hit Rahane’s glove which snicko confirmed. Eventually, justice was served as Rahane walked back to the pavilion in the very next over after trying to sweep a delivery that sneaked under his bat and hit the stumps.
Despite losing their two-set batsman, Rishabh Pant continued to keep the scoreboard ticking and played some lusty shots to close out the day. India finished with a score of 300-6 at stumps, an extremely competitive total considering the amount of turn that has already been on offer on day one.