Nottingham, 9 July-2014(PTI): Indian skipper MS Dhoni has won the toss and elected to bat first in a bright Nottingham.
Post lunch, India planned to continue their good run. However, Anderson a spectacular delivery from Anderson got Pujara out at 38. It was an awesome catch by Ian Bell, diving full length to his right to pluck a one-hander.
In the very next over, Virat Kohli was packed off for 1. Stuart Broad got the wicket for England as Bell caught out Kohli. It was a great start by England after lunch. India 107/3 in 32.5 overs.
India were 177 for three in their first innings against England at tea. Murali Vijay (92) and Ajinkya Rahane (32) were at the crease when the break was taken.
1st Test, Day 1 before lunch: A fine half-century by openerMurali Vijay helped India reach 106 for one at lunch after Shikhar Dhawan’s early fall in the first Test against England at Trent Bridge on Wednesday.
Electing to bat, India were dealt an early blow with Dhawan caught behind off James Anderson for 12 but Vijay (55 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (38 not out) steadied the ship with a 73-run unbeaten stand.
England skipper Alastair Cook tried all his top five bowlers in a hope to get some early assistance on an otherwise placid track with easy pace and bounce for the batsman to score off.
Anderson (1-40) though proved to be the only wicket-taker with the new ball albeit in an expensive opening spell. Indian captain MS Dhoni, who had no hesitations batting first, was backed by his batsmen on a sunny morning.
The visitors handed a Test debut to all-rounder Stuart Binny, choosing to play five bowlers, and dropping Rohit Sharma to make way for him.
The Karnataka player follows in his father – former cricketer and also current selector – Roger Binny’s footsteps and the duo became the tenth father-son pair to represent the country in Test cricket.
England too made one change to their eleven from the loss to Sri Lanka at Headingley, bringing in fit-again all-rounder Ben Stokes in place of Chris Jordan.
Vijay then opened the innings with Dhawan (12 runs, 24 balls) as the openers looked to make full use of the favourable batting conditions.
The scoring started with a flurry of boundaries, three of them in the first over itself, as Anderson proved costly in his opening spell of the series. It was a change in roles for the two batsmen, as Vijay was the one off to a flier while Dhawan played carefully and looked to make a solid start.
It was the sort of opening Anderson was looking for and he went round-the-wicket to Dhawan, working a different angle. This change worked for him as the left-handed Delhi batsman was out caught driving, with wicketkeeper Matt Prior completing a brilliant catch.
It was a 50th Test wicket for Anderson at Trent Bridge, outlining his super record at this ground even though he struggled on the day.
After that there was no respite for the English attack as Vijay was joined in by Pujara at the crease, and the two played solid and watchful cricket. The runs started flowing as the field began to spread. Perhaps the hosts missed a trick there since Anderson got Pujara to nick one that went past fourth slip that had been taken off just prior to the delivery.
Otherwise there were no straight-forward chances coming from the two batsmen. The 50-run mark came up for India in the 13th over just before one hour’s play was completed.
Stuart Broad (0-10), Stokes (0-25) and Liam Plunkett (0-23) struggled to extract any help from the pitch. Moeen Ali (0-7) was introduced in the 23rd over and it didn’t stop the flow of runs, with the duo bringing up their 50-run partnership off the last ball.
Vijay then brought up his fifth Test fifty, off 68 balls with 11 fours, in the next over and two overs later, the 100-run mark came up for India as they won the first session of the Test – and this all-important series – hands down.
India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Matt Prior, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Liam Plunkett, James Anderson.
Story so far:
Following a series loss against Sri Lanka at home, England are looking to avoid the same fate against the Dhoni-led India.
Devoid of experience but propped up by a confident bunch of youngsters, India will look to wipe off the past scars and reverse their poor overseas record when they take on England in a five-Test series starting here on Wednesday.
It is a great opportunity for a young visiting side as they play five back-to-back Tests in this hectic 42-day series.
Under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s last overseas Test win had come against the West Indies at Kingston in June 2011. Since then they have gone on to lose 0-8 in two tours to England and Australia.
Their Test form against England has really seen a downward curve in the last two encounters as after the 0-4 embarrassment, they suffered a humiliating 1-2 loss at home in the 2012-13 season. However, things have changed a lot for the hosts since then. Their current Test squad bears a dissimilar look to the ones that dismantled India with such ease in their last two meetings.
Cricketers who really shone in those encounters are either suffering from poor form or fatigue — Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, James Anderson — while some — Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott have vanished from the scene altogether.
If there is an R-word this Indian team is looking for, however, then it is redemption. The 18-man squad bears a completely different look to the one that toured in 2011 or played at home in 2012-13.
Only Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma played here three summers ago, while the others who stepped into the team during the latter series were taking a first step in their respective international careers.
For long, Dhoni has searched for a medium-pacer all-rounder to deploy overseas and Stuart Binny looks like the answer to his prayers.
The Karnataka player has enjoyed a long work-out in the two practice games at Leicester and Derbyshire, ahead of the likes of Rohit Sharma and R. Ashwin. For, these are the two players who will certainly miss out if Binny comes into consideration.
Despite his troubles in the warm-up matches, Ishant Sharma will probably be selected on account of his past experience in these conditions, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami giving him company.