Root, Bairstow take England to 163 for three despite Shami's strikes

BIRMINGHAM: England made a solid start on day one of the first test against India as they reached 163 for the loss of three wickets at tea on Wednesday.

Skipper Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow steadied England with a half-century stand for the fourth wicket after Indian pace bowler Mohammed Shami put the visitors back in the game with two wickets in the afternoon session.

However, Root was looking increasingly confident against the Indian bowling attack and comfortably reached his half-century. Bairstow provided good company after scoring 27 runs off 45 deliveries on a wicket that is starting to slow.

England had reached 83 at lunch in a morning session that began strongly but almost threatened to unravel.

In the host country's 1,000th test match, opener Keaton Jennings was dropped on nine but moved to 38 while Root looked fluent on his way to 31.

India's seam attack struggled to extract much help from the pitch and the visitors' one success was a ripper from off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin that removed Alastair Cook for 13.

The 33-year-old had struck two handsome boundaries off Umesh Radav but in Ashwin's second over he played forward to a ball that drifted in towards middle stump before straightening past Cook's outside edge and clattering off stump.

Jennings got lucky in the sixth over of the day when he was squared up by a good length ball by Ishant Sharma and it flew off his outside edge but Ajinkya Rahane could not cling on to the catch at fourth slip.

After Cook's dismissal there were few alarms for the England batsmen although Shami continued to look dangerous for India -- beating Jennings with a beauty in the 21st over.

Shami eventually took the wicket of Jennings midway through the afternoon while Dawid Malan could only score eight before becoming the Indian's second victim of the day.

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