India vs England 1st Test, Day 1: Five interesting highlights of the day’s play

Murali Vijay

India opted to bat first after winning the toss on a wicket which had dry grass on it, very rare in English conditions. MS Dhoni decided to go ahead with an all-rounder Stuart Binny handing him his debut in place of middle order batsman Rohit Sharma while England also brought in all-rounder Ben Stokes dropping Chris Jordan. The conditions at Nottingham were sunny and more favourable to batsmen. As India at stumps are 259-4 at the end of day, here are five interesting highlights of the day’s play in case you missed the action.

Dhawan falls early: India were hopeful of a solid opening stand considering the conditions were not tough to bat. Runs came quickly for Murali Vijay with consecutive boundaries through vacant third-man area and Shikhar Dhawan was happy to see off the new ball. In seventh over James Anderson had Dhawan caught behind and sent him back to the pavilion. All Dhawan could manage was 12 runs off 24 balls.

Vijay and Pujara take control: Early wicket meant there was some work to do for Vijay and number three batsman Cheteshwar Pujara. The two looked comfortable against England bowlers and were not afraid to play some shots whenever there was an opportunity. Going into the lunch the duo made sure no further wicket fell as Vijay who was looking strong completed his half-century with Pujara at the other end in his 30s.       

Tables turn after lunch: Soon after Lunch England struck twice within the space of two overs. Pujara was the first one to go as he was caught at silly mid-on off Anderson thus ending the 2nd wicket partnership of 73 runs between him and Vijay. Virat Kohli did not last long as he edged one to third slip to see England back in the game. 106-1 at lunch became 107-3 post lunch.    

Vijay holds fort: As wickets fell on the other end opener Murali Vijay played a patient knock and stood tall to defy his wicket to English bowlers. He looked in good touch and did not mind putting the odd ball into the fence.  Post lunch after quick fall of wickets he along with Ajinkya Rahane held the innings together. The two put on 71 runs for the 4th wicket before Rahane was out after tea in an unusual fashion, caught at silly point trying to pull the short ball. Vijay was very watchful throughout the day as he completed his fourth test ton off 214 balls, his first outside India and remained unbeaten at the end of day 1 with an outstanding 122 to his name

Dhoni joins Vijay: MS Dhoni played a perfect partner to Vijay as he looked in fine touch and scored freely. He smashed his 30th test fifty off 64 balls to see India placed at a comfortable position at the end of day 1. He too remained unbeaten on 50 and shared an unbeaten partnership of 80 runs with Vijay.