England captain Joe Root found himself with a rebuilding job in his 100th Test after the tourists squandered a steady start to be 67-2 at lunch on day one of the opening Test against India in Chennai on Friday.
England got off to a strong start after Rory Burns and Dom Sibley forged a 63-run opening stand, looking hardly perturbed at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Burns made 33 before attempting a reckless reverse-sweep against Ravichandran Ashwin, while Dan Lawrence fell LBW to Jasprit Bumrah before he could open his account.
Root himself survived a close run-out chance and was batting on four, with Sibley on 26 at the break.
Earlier, Root won the toss and elected to bat, thus avoiding the tricky task of batting in the fourth innings on a crumbling wicket.
Root had stressed the importance of a big first-innings total and Burns and Sibley shrugged off occasional discomforts to deny India early success.
Pace spearhead Bumrah’s first delivery in a home test could have been a wicket-taking one but a diving Rishabh Pant dropped a low catch to reprieve Burns, then on one.
India captain Virat Kohli introduced off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin in the eighth over but there was no immediate breakthrough.
Burns then decided to play the reverse sweep, and the ball ballooned for Pant to take a simple catch. Bumrah tasted success two overs later, generating movement off the seam to trap Lawrence LBW.