Chennai - Joe Root urged centurion Moeen Ali and the rest of the England
batsmen to put India under pressure on Friday after the visitors made a
solid start in the fifth and final Test in Chennai.
were 284 for four at stumps with Ali (120) and Ben Stokes (five) at the
crease after they elected to bat first at Chennai's MA Chidambaram
Ali mounted crucial partnerships with Root (88) and Jonny
Bairstow (49) to revive the England innings after the visitors lost
their openers in the first hour of play.
third-wicket stand with Root remained the highlight of the innings as
England, who have already lost the series 3-0, search for a consolation
"It would be really nice to go home with a win under our belt
and we have set it up nicely today, it's (now) about tomorrow going on
and taking it forward," Root told reporters on Friday.
hopefully Moeen can carry on how he has played today, Stokesy can get in
and play one of his mouth-watering innings he is capable of doing,"
Ali, who was promoted to number four following a rejig
in England's batting order in the Mohali Test, absorbed the pressure
after Root's dismissal to pilot the innings.
responsibility of batting higher up in the batting order he has taken
really well on this tour and proved it with two brilliant hundreds,"
Root was also responsible for the rebuilding act after
the fall of Keaton Jennings (1) and skipper Alastair Cook (10) but
he missed out on what would have been his second ton of the series.
Englishman was given caught behind off Ravindra Jadeja by the on-field
umpire but India successfully reviewed the decision after a disturbance
in the snicko suggested the ball had grazed the bat before going into
the keeper's glove.
Root did not seem happy with the call as he dejectedly walked back to the pavilion but later termed his reaction as "childish".
was convinced I didn't hit it. Obviously the technology suggests
otherwise... you probably just have to take it on the chin - I must have
got a fine one on it," said Root, who was seen practising on a road
inside the stadium on Thursday.
Ali, who was dropped on nought at
mid-wicket, showed grit during his controlled knock as he carried on the
good work with Bairstow.
The left-right batting combine of
Ali-Root and then Ali-Bairstow thwarted the Indian bowling attack which
had looked dangerous in the morning session.
"Good innings from
Root. Moeen Ali was the perfect foil for him. Took his time to settle
down," India's fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar said.
Sharma, back in action after an illness, struck first for the hosts on a
moisture-laden pitch to get Jennings caught behind for one.
all-time leading run-scorer Cook got past the 11,000-run mark on the
first ball of the match, but he quickly fell to Jadeja, who ended up
claiming three wickets.