Of all the things that were the highlights on first day of the India-England Test in Rajkot, the Decision Review System (DRS) will stand-out. Yes, it was the first time it was used in a Test series in India. But that is not the point. It will be remembered as both teams used it unsuccessfully.
19-year-old debutant Haseeb Hameed for England reviewed his dismissal, which looked out on first view. The third umpire upheld the decision. India used it against Joe Root and it was unsuccessful. But, it did look close.
Root was on 92 when Kohli decided to review. Root survived on umpire’s call. There was no other chance given by him in his innings of 124 before and after the review. On the first day of the tour, Root showed why his name is taken along with other stars. His innings countered Indian spinners. Not for once did he use his feet to attack the spinners. The sweep proved to his counter shot and he made good use crease, playing his shots on the back-foot.
Moeen gave him company and without dominating the 179-run stand, completed his half-century. England didn’t lose a wicket in the second innings and an hour after that. They did lose Root an hour before the close of play but England were 311/4 at stumps. They became the first team to cross the 300-run mark in the last 28 Test innings in India.
When Root fell for 124 to Umesh Yadav, after some reviews by third umpire as the bowler had thrown the ball a bit early in celebrations and later tried to catch the ball again which created the doubt in umpire’s mind if the ball was in his control.
Earlier, Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Cook LBW. The ball seemed to go down the leg-side but the England captain decided not review it after consulting opening partner Hameed.
Hameed himself played a impressive knock on debut but was LBW by Ashwin, who later claimed the wicket of Ben Duckett to reduce England to 102/3 at Lunch.
Root and Moeen came together after Lunch and while Root was dismissed, Moeen remained unbeaten on 99 with Ben Stokes at the other end. Moeen will be on strike when play resumes on Thursday and he will hope to complete his first Test century in India.