Root’s ‘mic-drop’ mocked as India shade day-one honours
The first of three wickets to fall for eight runs as he side slipped 3-216, Root’s misfortune was accompanied by a full-house ‘send-off’ from his opposite number Virat Kohli.
It was the Indian captain who produced the brilliant piece of fielding, with a direct-hit on the turn after Bairstow called an ambitious two barely to the edge of the square at midwicket.
Behind Root as he stormed off, Kohli celebrated by blowing a kiss, mouthing some fruity advice, putting his finger to his lips and adding a ‘mic-drop’ – mocking Root’s gesture last month, after he had clinched the one-day international series at Headingley with a second successive hundred.
It seemed Bairstow owed his captain some extra runs and he might have been well-advised to stay put for other reasons too – but he got little further before he edged trying to cut Umesh Yadav.
Then new England vice-captain Jos Buttler was lbw for a second-ball duck, pushing forward to Ashwin – and after Ben Stokes poked a catch back at the off-spinner, it was left to Curran and Adil Rashid to limit the damage.
It was a miserable passage of play for England in the hour after tea, on a day when they had long seemed sure to vindicate Root’s decision to bat first on a pitch of even pace and true bounce.
Root did at least bag one notable career milestone, displacing Alastair Cook as his country’s quickest to 6,000 Test runs when he reached 40.
England had prefaced their evening woe with an earlier stumble which left them three for 112, before Root and Bairstow joined forces in the early afternoon.
Only Cook fell in the first session, his front-foot defence defeated by a perfect off-break from Ashwin – repaying his introduction in only the seventh over, despite being India’s sole spinner here, with telling drift from round the wicket before the ball turned and dislodged the off-bail.
Kohli celebrated by blowing a kiss, mouthing some fruity advice, putting his finger to his lips and adding a ‘mic-drop’
Keaton Jennings survived on nine when Ajinkya Rahane dived in front of Kohli off Ishant Sharma, from fourth across third slip, but could not hold the edge.
The return of Shami for his second spell did for Jennings and ended the second-wicket stand on 72, in curious circumstances.
The opener managed only to push the ball down into his crease off back-foot defence, then onto his foot before it trickled back onto the base of the stumps.
Dawid Malan had an lbw scare against Ashwin, up the pitch and just outside the line on impact, only to go the same way to Shami when the seamer pinned him from round the wicket.