By BV Swagath
India managed to end the opening day’s play at Trent Bridge on a decent note at 259 for 4. Opener Murali Vijay batted through the entire day’s play while putting on a crucial 71-run stand for the unbroken 5th wicket with Skipper MS Dhoni.
The visitors suffered an early setback after Tea as Ajinkya Rahane (32) was caught at silly point, bottom edging a pull off Plunkett. Rahane added 71 runs for the 4th wicket to rescue India alongside Vijay.
India was once again facing a crisis at 178 for 4 but got through the rest of the day thanks to the patient batting of Murali Vijay and the responsible half century from MS Dhoni (50* from 64 balls with 5 fours). Vijay remained unbeaten on 122 from 294 balls with 20 fours and a six.
Update at Tea on Day 2: A fabulous partnership between Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane helped India recover from a tricky position post lunch. At Tea, India are nicely placed at 177 for 3 in 59 overs with Murali Vijay easing towards a maiden Test ton in England. Vijay is on 92* (from 176 balls with 17 fours) while Ajinkya Rahane has collected 32* from 77 balls.
The start of the afternoon session was dismal for India with James Anderson striking early to remove Cheteshwar Pujara (38) who flicked early at an inswinger to short mid wicket. India’s best batsman Virat Kohli lasted only 8 balls before he dabbed a moving ball from Stuart Broad to the slips leaving his team at 107 for 3.
Murali Vijay and Rahane got together after the double blow to bail out India from potential trouble. The English bowlers got plenty of reverse swing which only Anderson seemed to be using effectively.
Update at Lunch on Day 1: India had a fantastic opening session at Trent Bridge with a solid score of 106 for 1 in 30 overs. Murali Vijay is at the crease having crossed his 5th Test fifty alongside Cheteshwar Pujara who has looked quite busy like his partner.
The only casualty for India came early with Shikhar Dhawan edged out for 12 to the keeper by James Anderson in the 7th over. Murali Vijay kept the scoreboard moving with plenty of boundaries towards the thirdman region. At lunch, Vijay is on 55 from 89 balls with 11 fours. Pujara is batting on 38 from 67 balls with 7 fours.
Toss and Teams: India have won the toss and decided to bat first in the opening Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The visitors have given Test debut to all-rounder Stuart Binny who replaces Rohit Sharma. Ravindra Jadeja is the lone spinner while Bhuvneshwar Kumar takes the vacant place left by Zaheer Khan.
England bring in all-rounder Ben Stokes in the place of Chris Jordan.
The pitch for this Test looks hard and dry with brown grass. There is no look of green grass interestingly.
England: Alastair Cook (C), Sam Robson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Matt Prior (WK), Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Liam Plunkett
India: Murali Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami