The first day of the Ashes Test had it all – fall of wickets, classic cover drives, good batting partnerships, a game-changing drop catch, along with some rain. Amidst all these, Joe Root stood tall and played a beautiful innings, scoring his seventh hundred in an already impressive career of just 28 Tests.
Thanks to Joe Root's 134 runs, England finished the day on 343 for seven. This score looked impossible initially as England had three of their top order players -- Alistair Cook, Adam Lyth and Ian Bell -- back in the hut within the first 15 overs of the game and the score had not even crossed 50 runs.
Hence, with England tottering on 43 for 3, there was huge pressure on Root to perform and luckily for England, Brad Haddin dropped a catch with Root yet to open his account. Had Haddin held on to that diving effort behind the wickets, the score could have read different.
After the reprieve, Root took the game to the Aussies as he hit 17 boundaries and some of his shots on the off side left many viewers in awe. It was an innings of high calibre with a signature of class all over his strokes.
Talking about the dropped chance, which hit the Australians really hard, bowler Josh Hazlewood believes the drop was just one of those misses which will not be repeated.
"I don't think we're used to dropping catches at the moment, and hopefully we don't," ESPNCricinfo quoted Hazlewood as saying.
"But in that situation I think we've got to deal with it better and keep bowling those balls in the right areas and creating those opportunities.
"Those ones are always tough. More than often it actually is a catch, I think you can see by the way it flies off the bat. They're really tough those full ones, and Hadds usually takes more than he drops, so hopefully he can improve and catch the next one."
Root made full use of that luck and started to play some exquisite shots showing us all why he is regarded as one of the most promising cricketers in world cricket. Root was given decent support by Gary Ballance as they stuck together in the crease for another 150-odd runs and brought some parity to the batting scorecard.
England lost Root at a crucial juncture in the 73rd over of the game, but, Ben Stokes also made a useful contribution in the middle order with 52 runs.
With England piling up 343 runs at stumps on Day 1, the second day is going to be of utmost importance as the Aussies will be eager to take the remaining three wickets in the first hour of play. Stuart Broad and Moeen Ali are at the batting crease for England.
Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc were the highest wicket takers for Australia in the first innings, scalping three wickets each. Michael Clarke, Australia's skipper, will ask his pacers to clean up England's tail at the earliest.
Where to Watch Live
Day 2 of the first Test match between England and Australia is headed for a interesting second day with hosts on 343 runs on the board for the loss of seven wickets. Day 2 action of the intriguing Test match is scheduled for 11am local start (3:30pm IST, 6am ET, 7:30pm AEST) with live TV coverage in India on Star Sports 1/HD with live streaming on starsports.com.
US viewers can watch the Day 2 of the Ashes first Test live in TV on One World Sports with live streaming on Watch ESPN.