Who saw England’s victory in Chennai coming? Granted, after the impressive series win in Sri Lanka they arrived in India on a high and confident, so you didn’t need to be Nostradamus to predict England beating Virat Kohli’s side – although it was the hosts’ first Test defeat at home for four years. But the manner of the win did come as a huge shock.
The tourists were dominant from the first over, outplayed India in every department and were not flattered by the margin of victory (227 runs, in case you have already forgotten (how could you?)). It was, as Nick Hoult wrote, one of England’s greatest Test victories. And while it was a team-effort Joe Root could take much of the credit. The captain’s match aggregate of 258 runs was nearly as much as India’s top five combined (269) and his match contrasted well with his opposite number, Kohli’s.
Not only all of that but it was also England’s sixth away Test win in a row and meant that Root equalled Michael Vaughan’s record for number of victories as England captain – 26.
But one man who is not taking the remarkable win for granted is Root himself.
“It’s certainly a very good victory but in the scheme of the series we know it’s just a start,” Root said. “They’ll come back hard at us but to be sat here 1-0 up is really good – I’m very proud of the way we’ve played this week. We’ve set a benchmark now and have something to work from and compare ourselves to.“There’s still areas we can improve and that excites me, to play as well as we have and still be able to get better.”
The big news is that the tourists will try to keep their series lead for the second Test without one of the stars of last week’s win. James Anderson bowled one of the best overs in living memory on the last day to put his stamp on the great result but England have rested him with one of Chris Woakes and Olly Stone coming in. Stuart Broad is in for the injured Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali replaces Dom Bess and, as expected Ben Foakes is in for the departed Jos Buttler.
Stay here for the toss and all the action on what should be a fascinating day’s play in Chennai.