England vs. India 1st Test Day 1: England 127/2 as bad light stops play ahead of Tea
Taking into consideration a short delay due the drizzle and overcast conditions, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni put England in. This is the first Test of the series being played at Lords and is the 100th between the two nations. India fielded the expected XI with Yuvraj Singh missing out to Suresh Raina and Abhinav Mukund filling in for Virender Sehwag. Praveen Kumar was chosen as India’s third seamer with Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma operating upfront. Inspite of media reports suggesting that Tim Bresnan led the chase for a spot in the English bowling line-up, Stuart Broad was picked along with Tremlett and Anderson.
England began cautiously as Indian bowlers stuck to the basics in conditions that supported swing bowling. Zaheer Khan kept probing both the English left-handers’ off stump before trapping Alastair Cook in front of the stumps. Umpire Asad Rauf did not hesitate to send the in-form batsman on his way. The lbw review system is not a part of the modified DRS being used in the series. England went into lunch without any further loss.
Andrew Strauss hammered the Indian bowlers in the practice match when he played for Somerset thus undermining the ongoing debate of his encounter with Zaheer Khan. The left arm pace-man who has a good deal of experience in English conditions made the first blow by dismissing him post lunch with a short delivery. It was effectively the first short ball employed by Zaheer Khan and the English captain who has a penchant for hooking and pulling was found wrong footed.
Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott took little time to settle themselves and scored with relative ease. Jonathan Trott especially was not troubled by the optimum pace swing bowling of Praveen Kumar. Ishant Sharma troubled Kevin Pietersen with a magical delivery now and then but he did not have the good fortune needed. To add further injury to India’s worries, Zaheer Khan was found clenching his hamstring after bowling an effort ball from around the wicket.
Harbhajan Singh’s spot in the team has been under constant scrutiny and the first couple of Tests will determine if Amit Mishra is used. He was unable to penetrate the two batsmen and Pietersen even tried some extravagant shots when he was in operation. Meanwhile, Jonathan Trott completed his half-century continuing his good run of form. Trott had been a consistent performer for this resurgent English side.
The weather at Lords continued to grow grim by the minute and eventually play had to be stopped at 127/2.