With overcast conditions on offer MS Dhoni after winning the toss decided to bat first on a wicket which had assistance for bowlers. Indian made three changes going into the Test, bringing in Gautam Gambhir and Ravi Ashwin in place of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma while England went unchanged. A fiery spell first up by James Anderson and Stuart Board saw India off to a disastrous start. Dhoni then remained intact and stitched partnerships, but Broad picked six wickets to bundle India out for just 152 runs. In reply England at close of Day 1’s play are 113-3 and trail by 39 runs. In case you missed the action here are five interesting highlights from the opening day’s play.
James Anderson & Stuart Broad rattle Indian top order: Inside first six overs of the day India lost its top four batsmen. Gautam Gambhir, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara all went back with scoreboard reading only eight runs. Anderson and Broad shared the wickets between them to leave India in a tragic situation up front.
MS Dhoni & Ajinkya Rahane bat India out of adversity: In form middle order batsman Ajinkya Rahane would not have thought he will be batting so early in the day alongside MS Dhoni. The two took India out of initial disaster with a half-century stand for the fifth wicket to restore some pride. Rahane after putting in all the hard work just before the lunch break threw his wicket away when he chased a delivery outside off-stump only to hand third slip a catch. Dhoni-Rahane stand lasted for 18.1 overs and added 54 runs.
Ravi Ashwin joins Dhoni in the middle: Just after the lunch James Anderson had his man as Ravindra Jadeja was trapped in front of the wicket. Ravi Ashwin playing his first match of the series batted with positive intent straightaway and kept collecting runs at a quick pace. Dhoni looked firm and unwavering as he held wicket from one end. The duo added 66 runs for the seventh wicket before Ashwin miscued a short ball from Broad to deep square leg.
India 152-10, Broad 6-25: Soon after Ashwin’s dismissal Dhoni notched his third fifty of the series as he kept piling runs while Stuart Broad cleaned up Bhuvneshwar Kumar with an incoming delivery to clinch his fourth wicket. Broad then removed Indian captain who was in pursue of some quick runs. Pankaj Singh was Broad’s sixth wicket as India were bowled out for 152. MS Dhoni was lead scorer for India with 71 runs.
It is advantage England: Despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron’s strikes England still are in comfortable position. Bhuvneshwar scalped Sam Robson’s wicket early on to keep India’s hopes alive. Aaron then removed Alistair Cook with a shorter delivery and England with 36 runs on board lost two quick wickets. Centurions from last game Gary Balance and Ian Bell looked in good touch and played exquisite shots at will. In the dying moments of the day Aaron struck once again as he trapped Ballance in front of the wickets, thus ending a valuable 77-run stand. At stumps Bell was batting on 45 while night-watchman Chris Jordan is yet to open his account.