CHENNAI: Joe Root's classy 88 and Moeen Ali's unbeaten century (120 batting) helped England recover from 21 for 2 and post a modest 284 for 4 in 90 overs, at stumps here at the MA Chidambaram stadium on Friday.
Root (88) regarded by many as the one to take over England's captaincy proved yet again that he is world class player by handling the Indian spinners deftly.
He was sure o his defence, did not commit to the back foot.
His end came when he went for a sweep to a ball from Ravindra Jadeja, missed to connect the line correctly and the faint inside edge was pouched by Parthiv Patel.
This decision was initially turned down the umpires, but India used DRS successfully to get the verdict in their favour.
Earlier, After lot of uncertainty and confusion due to the sad demise of former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and the impact of Cyclone Vardah the fifth Test between India and England got underway at the Chepauk.
Both England and India made two changes. A fit Stuart Broad cane in for Jimmy Anderson and Liam Dawson made his debut at the cost of Chris Woakes.
India too dropped Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Jayant Yadav and brought in Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra.
Both Sharma and Mishra have been given this golden opportunity to make an impression before the Australians come here next.
As expected England won the toss and opted to bat.
Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings began cautiously as there was good bounce and carry in the wicket.
Jennings paid the price for his laziness and he did not move enough to an over-pitched ball from Ishant Sharma to offer a regulation catch to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps.
Cook (10) required just two runs to completed 11,000 runs in Test cricket. He got to that landmark and was the fastest to do so, in terms of age.
He fell shortly to Jadeja, when he edged a wide one outside the off stump to be taken brilliantly by Virat Kohli in the slips.
Thus England were reduced to 21 for 2 in 12.4 overs.
From then on Joe Root and Moeen Ali played with lot of understanding and helped England make it to lunch without further damage.
Root played positively from the word go. He did not shuffle much like his skipper Cook and put pressure on himself.
He used his feet well and at times stepped out to play his play his shots to show his class. His pull shot off Amit Mishra where he picked the gaps cleverly and timed the ball to a nicety showed why he is rated among the top four batsmen in the world.
Both the Indian and England team players wore black bands as a mark of respect for the late former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.