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England vs India 2nd Test Day 1: Lunch Time Report

785   //    29 Jul 2011, 18:49 IST

Andrew Strauss steadied the England innings after a early Indian breakthrough

Lunch England 69 for 2 (Strauss 29*, Pietersen 26*)

India won the toss and decided to bowl first under the overcast conditions at Trent Bridge in the 2nd test against England. Just before the start of the match India suffered another body blow as Gautam Gambhir was ruled out of the match due to an elbow injury. It was overcast at Trent-Bridge and again to the liking of ardent Test match fans, it was a full house at the stadium. The Indian bowlers responded well to their captain’s call as they took out the run machines of England – Alastair Cook and Jonathan  Trott out as early as 11th over.

It was a superb start to India. Ishant Sharma hit the deck hard and continued to bowl in the right channel. Sporting a new hair cut, his bowling looked improved as he bowled a lot fuller and probed batsmen with consistent number of deliveries just outside the off stump. Despite getting huge seam movement, Praveen Kumar hardly troubled the batsmen though he was unlucky not to get Cook out LBW. However, in the next over Cook was again struck onto the pads but this time umpire told him he was dismissed. Replays showed that ball was going over the stumps, but India were evidently happy with the decision. Trott began confidently with a boundary and just when he was started to looking good he poked a ball outside the off stump and it fell straight into the hands of Laxman at the slip in Sreesanth’s very first over.

At the other end,  Andrew Strauss took his time, choosing to play the waiting game, leaving a lot of deliveries alone. Kevin Pietersen, who came after the fall of Trott’s wicket started off briskly, showing his intent by hitting Sreesanth for two consecutive fours in the 15th over. After the fall of two quick wickets, England did well to not to lose more wickets in the first session.  Praveen Kumar, continued to get huge seam movement and troubled Pietersen at times in his second spell.  KP survived a close LBW call off Kumar in the 18th over, but was saved probably by the long stride forward he took to face the ball. What followed was a confrontation between Praveen Kumar and the umpire, leaving Harbhajan Singh to act as the peace maker to interrupt the argument.

Harbhajan Singh got one over to bowl before lunch and Yuvraj was introduced to bowl the last over before lunch. Kevin Pietersen vs Yuvraj Singh was a contest everbody was waiting for and it showed good signs early on.  KP was clearly not looking confident but did well to see through the over, thus ending an intriguing first session of cricket.

Neither team has the clear lead. But the Indian camp must be very happy with the way their bowlers bowled, especially Ishant Sharma who looked threatening consistently as he got the ball to swing and zip through the deck. Pietersen and Strauss will be looking to improve the scoring rate into the second session.

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