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Stokes joins Root in punishing jaded India in Chennai #Englishheadline

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England captain Joe Root remained on course for a second double hundred in three matches as he and deputy Ben Stokes powered the tourists to a commanding 355-3 at lunch on day two of the opening test against India on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Third Test - England v Pakistan

FILE PHOTO: Third Test – England v Pakistan

REUTERS: England captain Joe Root remained on course for a second double hundred in three matches as he and deputy Ben Stokes powered the tourists to a commanding 355-3 at lunch on day two of the opening test against India on Saturday.

Root, who scored a double hundred and a big century in his previous two tests in Sri Lanka, was batting on 156 at the break in his 100th test.

Stokes, playing his first test since August, dominated his 92-run partnership with Root and was on 63 at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Resuming the day on 263-3, Root looked typically solid against an Indian attack which could only manage a couple of half-hearted lbw appeals against him.

Stokes, test cricket’s top all-rounder, sought to impose himself on India’s tired-looking attack and gave an early indication of his mindset by hitting off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin over his head for a six.

He also frequently opted for the sweep shot to negate whatever turn the pitch offered.

India’s desperation showed when they opted for back-to-back reviews, both in vain, after lbw appeals against Stokes and Root had been turned down.

The closest they came to claiming a wicket was when Ashwin dropped a return catch from Stokes, then on 31.

In the next over, Stokes’ slog-sweep brushed a diving Cheteshwar Pujara’s fingers at midwicket.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)

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