Cricket: Heartwarming moment as Indian captain Virat Kohli helps Joe Root who's suffering from cramp

The spirit of cricket is alive and well with a touching moment in the opening test between India and England. 

The two sides might be fighting it out for a place in the test championship final but Virat Kohli came to Joe Root’s aid near the end of the opening day of the first test.

With just three-over left in the days play, Root went for an attacking sweep shot, which went all the way for six but cramped up in the process.

The physio was called for but Indian skipper immediately saw the opportunity to help out, rushing in to help Root stretch.

It went viral on social media with cricket fans praising his sportsmanship. 

England are well in control of the opening test, thanks to an unbeaten 128 from Root who is playing his 100th test match.

The England captain had demanded a big first-innings total from his team after electing to bat at Chennai's MA Chidambaram Stadium.

The visitors threatened to squander their strong start, but Root partnered opener Dom Sibley in a marathon 200-run stand to help England post a strong 263-3 at stumps.

Sibley made 87 before Jasprit Bumrah trapped him lbw with the final delivery of the day.

"We are really pleased with the position we've got ourselves into now," Root told the broadcasters after the opening day's play.

"Bit of a shame to lose Dom at the end of the day there but we're just going to try and match that again tomorrow, make use of a really strong first day."

Root won an important toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat, avoiding the potentially tricky task of batting in the fourth innings on a crumbling wicket.

England got off to a steady start with a 63-run stand between Sibley and Rory Burns but faltered ahead of the lunch break.

Burns made 33 before attempting a reckless reverse-sweep against Ravichandran Ashwin and offering a simple catch to Rishabh Pant.

Bumrah then trapped Dan Lawrence lbw for a duck but Root and Sibley denied India a wicket in the steady second session.

His battle against Ashwin is one of the sub-plots of the four-test series and the England captain took a single off the spinner to bring up his 20th hundred.

Root jumped in celebration while India counterpart Virat Kohli clapped.

Root, who suffered cramps towards the end, provided a template for playing spin bowling, using his feet and frequently playing the sweep shot after his early caution against Ashwin.

India, playing their first home series since the COVID-19 pandemic struck last year, looked sloppy in the field with several misfields while Pant dropped a low catch to reprieve Burns early in his innings.

They bowled 11 no-balls, four of them by left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem.

Both sides are fighting for a place in the test championship final against New Zealand at Lord's in June. 

England need to win at least three test in the four-match series to qualify for Lords while India need to win by a margin of 2-1 or better to guarantee a place in the final.