Joe Root strikes early with the ball as India move above 200

Joe Root struck in the first over of the day and Tom Hartley claimed a maiden international wicket but England were unable hold India down on the second morning of the first Test.

The home side reached lunch just 24 behind on 222 for three, adding 103 for two in the opening session at Hyderabad’s Ranjiv Gandhi Stadium.

KL Rahul’s 55no and Shreyas Iyer’s 34no left India a healthy position as they looked to build a match-winning lead, but England showed fight in an even first hour.

Concerningly, first-choice spinner Jack Leach managed only two overs in the session and appeared to be suffering from a stiff back.

Explosive opener Yashavi Jaiswal gave the tourists a major headache on Thursday evening with a swashbuckling start to the innings but he added just four to his overnight score to fall for 80.

Ben Stokes had pondered the idea of opening the bowling with Root on the eve of the series, fancying his off-breaks to cause problems for the left-hander, but ultimately favoured his specialist spinners on day one.

Reversing that decision he tossed Root the ball at the start of play and saw him pick up Jaiswal with his fourth delivery, reaching for a caught and bowled off a thick inside edge.

Things almost got even better when Root had new man Rahul nicking two balls later on nought, but Ben Foakes was not able to pull off what would have been an excellent catch behind the stumps. Rahul made the most of it, hitting six fours in his 72-ball half-century, while Iyer also got a strong start.

There were concerns over Jack Leach's fitness after a peripheral role for the spinner.
There were concerns over Jack Leach’s fitness after a peripheral role for the spinner (Mike Egerton/PA)

Having shipped 63 runs from nine wicketless overs on day one he was much improved at his second attempt, sending down 11 overs for 34. Even more importantly, he opened his account with the scalp of Shubman Gill.

Gill never really got going in his 23 and flicked Hartley off his leg stump and straight to Ben Duckett at midwicket. The left-armer sprinted away in a mix of celebration and relief. England used one short spell from Mark Wood but with Leach seemingly unable to take a full load, lacked an extra option.

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