A solid batting display by Murali Vijay took India to 177 for three against England at tea on day one of the first Test here today.
At Trent Bridge, the visitors fought their way into the match after losing Cheteshwar Pujara (38) and Virat Kohli (1) early in the afternoon session. Vijay was nearing his fourth Test hundred on 92 off 176 balls while Ajinkya Rahane held the other end on 32 off 77.
India had started the session at 106/1 (30 overs) with Vijay (55 batting) and Pujara at the crease. They had put on 73 runs for the second wicket in the morning session as the English bowlers had found the going tough on a placid wicket.
But the story changed as the players took the field after lunch, with James Anderson (2-50) and Stuart Broad (1-19) suddenly finding reverse swing.
Pujara was the first to go, in the second over after lunch, as the delivery from Anderson jagged in and took off with Ian Bell at a straight, silly mid-on completing a stunning one-handed catch diving to his right. India’s number three batsman departed without adding to his tally.
Live Commentary India vs England Trent Bridge Test:
It became a massive double blow when Kohli was out in the very next over. Broad got him with one that left him minutely and took the bat’s edge falling straight to Bell at second slip. Suddenly India were tottering at 107/3 and with just six batsmen playing, things didn’t really look cosy.
Rahane walked in next and spent some tense moments at the crease. At the other end, Vijay stayed put as the two batsmen played out this tough spell and bided their time to see out the strike bowlers. As a result, the scoring rate suffered with only 18 runs coming from the 14 overs bowled in the first hour after lunch.
But it didn’t matter much as the fall of wickets was controlled. Then with Anderson and Broad going off the attack, Vijay-Rahane started plucking runs off other bowlers. Liam Plunkett (0-41), Ben Stokes (0-37) and Moeen Ali (0-28) made little impression as the batsmen brought up their 50-run partnership in the 54th over.
In the morning session, India won the toss and elected to bat first. Vijay opened the innings with Shikhar Dhawan (12 runs, 24 balls) as they looked to make full use of the handsome batting conditions.