“Mehnat karna padega bhaiyo (We will have to work hard guys)” Rishabh Pant was once again at his chirpiest best on the opening day of the first Test between India and England but the aforementioned line pretty much summed up what transpired at the Chepauk on Friday.
On what has thus far turned out to be a pretty flat surface, the English duo of Joe Root and Dom Sibley ground the Indian bowling attack to the dust courtesy a 200-run stand for the 3rd wicket.
‘Pant was constantly vocal behind the stumps, urging his bowlers to exploit the weakness of the batsmen but unfortunately for India, the duo of Sibley and Root were just imperious throughout the day.
England got off to a brilliant start courtesy a 63-run opening stand between Dom Sibley and Rory Burns before the latter threw his wicket in what can only be termed as a brain-fade moment as he tried to reverse-sweep Ravichandran Ashwin.
Jasprit Bumrah struck immediately post the first wicket as he pinned Dan Lawrence plumb in front of wickets.
But post that, it was all Root and Sibley. The duo cashed-in on the inexperience of the likes of Shahbaz Nadeem and Washington Sundar in the final session.
Root, in particular, was peerless just as he has been in Sri Lanka. He displayed a masterclass in spin bowling as he regularly swept and rocked back in his crease to hit boundaries at will. Pant, meanwhile, continued to chirp behind the stumps but in the end, that proved to be the only source of entertainment for the hosts as England continued to pile on the agony.