Moeen Ali was promoted up the order and proved it with a fine fifty    Getty Images
Moeen Ali was promoted up the order and proved it with a fine fifty Getty Images

England‘s fine all-rounder, Moeen Ali, slammed his ninth Test fifty in the first Test between India and England at Rajkot. Winning the toss, England’s Test skipper, Alastair Cook, elected to bat and England were off to a flier. Despite bowling in tight lines, India were not rewarded as their slip fielders dropped three catches. However, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja struck with vital blows before both teams headed for lunch but the second session belong entirely to Joe Root and Moeen. While Root played positive cricket, he was well complimented by Moeen who was calculative in his approach. The duo have added a 100-run stand between them for the fourth wicket as England are tightening their screws against India with Moeen well set at 50 and Root nearing 100. Live Cricket Scorecard: India vs England 1st Test at Rajkot

Moeen looked set from the very beginning as he used his feet to good use and drove and cut well. He was quick between the wickets and understood the need of hour to rotate the strike with Root. They were comfortable against Amit Mishra, Ashwin and Jadeja while both the pacers, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami lost their lines in the second session.

Moeen was promoted up the order, maybe to keep the right-hand left-hand combination going, and he proved his promotion with a fine fifty on a crunch time. He will like to carry on in the same manner with Root and pile on more runs in the last session which will be tricky against the Indian spinners.

Earlier in the day, England were rusty with the bat as Indians asked questions to their openers but were not well supported by the fielders. Though Cook and Hameed departed and Ben Duckett followed soon, Root-Moeen ensured they did not give more space to the Indian bowlers and have put England on top on the opening day of the first Test here at Rajkot.

Moeen will like to get a big score along with Root as Virat Kohli will hope for a turnaround with his bowlers striking in final session.