England 288 for 5 (Jennings 112, Moeen 50, Ashwin 4-75) v India
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Only 24 years old, playing his first game at any level in India, arriving in the country only four days before taking up one of the sternest examinations of technique. The deck wasn't so much stacked against Keaton Jennings as it was competing with the Burj Khalifa in height. He might have stared at the real thing in Dubai, getting ready to play UAE with the rest of the England Lions but, in a case of reality proving better than fantasy, he ended up as the fifth England opener and 69th player in Test history to make a century in his first innings. On his coattails, England went to stumps at 288 for 5.
"Bar waking up at five o'clock in the morning thinking I'd missed the bus," as Jennings admitted to TV after play, everything was the same as a county game for him. His cover drives were effortless. His pulls were a warning. And his soft hands against spin were a revelation. Wankhede stadium, traditionally, affords plenty of bounce to fast bowlers and spinners alike. Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow found that out to their detriment in the final session. But Jennings - having been dropped at gully on 0 after being surprised by it - coped rather well. The trick was in how he always brought the bat down on top of the ball and never tried to overhit. Ironically, that put him in a better position to profit from the most audacious strokes. He reached to his hundred with a reverse swept four.
India were chasing the game for most of the day, and though Virat Kohli put on a brave face after the toss, saying the early movement would help the fast bowlers, he cut a frustrated figure when England began with 117 runs in the first session at 3.77 per over. R Ashwin helped pull things back in the final session when he took two wickets in three balls to go past Javagal Srinath's tally of 236 wickets. But Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were able to survive the rest of the day. With five wickets still left, England would be keen to get as close to 400 as possible.
India could have mitigated the damage if Karun Nair had been able to hold on to a tough catch at gully in the fourth over of the day. Jennings had yet to get off the mark when he fended at a lifter from Umesh Yadav at 143kph. The batsman had committed to a glide behind point and the extra bounce inherent in a Wankhede pitch had made him lose control of his shot. Nair moved to his left, leapt up and stuck one of his hands out in desperation but he couldn't hold on to the ball. That he found himself at gully in the first place was because India's specialist Ajinkya Rahane had broken his finger on the eve of the match and was ruled out of the whole series. It was the first time in 83 years that a Test in Mumbai did not have a local player in action.
Jennings, who opened his account two balls later, warned India against bowling short at him quickly enough with a rip-roaring pull through midwicket off the following delivery. He took guard rather deep in his crease and, early on at least, appeared reluctant to come forward. But with time he understood the surface was true and outfield was fast. He struck 13 boundaries in an innings of 219 balls, basically carrying on with his first-class form. Jennings came into the Test with 1548 runs for Durham in Division One of the 2016 County Championship, the most by any player.
Besides the highlights he provided, the other incident that made the starkest impact was when umpire Paul Reiffel was hit in the back of the head by a gentle throw from deep square leg. He left the field to go to hospital and scans cleared him from any danger.
It wasn't until the 20th over, when Ashwin made a ball dip and take a bit of the pitch with it to the wicketkeeper that India were able to create some pressure. Prior to that - in the first half an hour - there was a dropped catch, a DRS review was struck down and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who replaced the injured Mohammed Shami, was warned for following through on the danger area.
Ravindra Jadeja removing Alastair Cook for 46 in his first over of the match helped. The England captain had gone past 2000 runs against India and coming down the track looking for more, the ball was slower this time, and it sneaked through his bat and pad and led to him being stumped for only the fourth time in 250 innings. That broke an opening stand of 99 and India built on it well after lunch when Ashwin had Root driving away from his body as a result of the drift on his offbreak and had the batsman caught at slip. Kohli was lucky, though, for he had moved in the wrong direction before having to grab at the ball.
These incidents made it clear that the pitch had plenty for the spinners. But Jennings was able to keep all three at bay by playing late and being judicious with the sweep. He would play the shot only when the ball was full enough that he could smother it, used the conventional one when the line was on leg stump and went for the reverse when the line was outside off. All of that meant he reduced the risk of being caught or lbw. His innings eventually ended in the 71st over of the day, jabbing at a beautiful delivery from Ashwin. It was tossed up, but hit a length the batsman could not reach with his front foot, not even one as tall as Jennings. The turn thereafter took the outside edge and Cheteshwar Pujara at a deep gully - newly installed for this reason - snapped up the catch. In the same over, Moeen had gone for a rash sweep shot and was caught off the top edge.
England had gone from 230 for 2 to 249 for 5 when Bairstow top-edged to deep square and the pitch was already breaking up. All three of India's spinners beat the outside edge regularly or had balls bouncing over the stumps but, at the end of the day, it ended up a warning for their own team. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid were the only two slow bowlers the visitors have opted for, with Jake Ball coming back into the XI, but if there was a surface on which they could be dangerous, it was this one.