Jennings’ ton on debut propels England to 196/2 (Tea report)

Mumbai, Dec 8 (IANS) Debutant Keaton Jennings cracked a superb century to consolidate England’s position at 196/2 at tea on the first day of the fourth Test match against India here on Thursday.

Jennings was unbeaten on 103 and Moeen Ali was batting on 25 when tea was taken after 62 overs. Jennings was the fifth England opener to hit a century on debut and the 69th player in cricket’s history to do so.

England skipper Alastair Cook (46) and No.3 Joe Root (21) were the batsmen dismissed. Cook was out on the morning session of play while Root departed in the post-lunch phase.

Cook was stumped by Parthiv Patel off the bowling of left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja (1-29). Root was caught by skipper Virat Kohli off off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s (1-55) bowling.

England were 117/1 at lunch.

England put on 99 for the opening wicket after winning the toss and electing to bat at the Wankhede Stadium.

Cook’s decision of taking first strike seemed vindicated when he and Jennings put together a strong partnership.

They scored at a brisk rate of nearly four runs an over till Cook was foxed by Jadeja to come out of his crease and sharply stumped by Patel in the 26th over.

Jennings continued to impress even after the departure of Cook, hitting 12 crisp boundaries.

The left hander showed no signs of nerves while playing his first Test innings in a true pitch that offered consistent pace, bounce and not enough spin, making it easier for the batsmen to hit through the line.

Cook earlier became the sixth batsman to score 2000 or more Test runs against India during his innings, when he reached 19.

Cook is the first England batsman to achieve the feat against India, which have some elite names — Ricky Ponting, Clive Lloyd, Javed Miandad, Shivanarine Chanderpaul and Michael Clarke.

–IANS

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