India have the slight edge after the opening day of the Investec Test Series with the tourists finishing on 259-4 on docile pitch at Trent Bridge, largely thanks to an unbeaten century from Murali Vijay.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss in a sun drenched Nottingham and decided to bat first, an easy decision for the Indian captain on a dry looking pitch. Both teams lacked experience with India fielding six players who had played under 10 Test Matches for their country while England had four players who hadn’t reached five Tests by the start of play.
Ben Stokes was the only change in the hosts line-up, coming in to replace the unfortunate Chris Jordan.
Jimmy Anderson opened the bowling along with Stuart Broad who was playing on his home ground but it was the Lancashire man that struck first by removing Shikhar Dhawan for just 12 with Matt Prior taking the catch behind the stumps after proving his fitness.
However, that was the only wicket to fall in the opening session with Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara forming a solid second wicket partnership with them entering lunch at 106-1.
England then found a way to break the pair’s resistance, thanks to an adventurous field from captain Cook. However, it was Ian Bell that will take the glory due to a sublime one handed catch at silly mid-on to dispose of Pujara for 38.
That brought India’s new star Virat Kohli to the crease and it wasn’t long before Bell had his second victim in two overs after Broad found the right-handers edge for Bell to catch at second slip on a fairly unresponsive pitch in Nottingham.
Ajinkya Rahane scored a well-made 32 before Cook caught the 26-year-old at silly point off the bowling of Liam Plunkett which was a clear plan to target the inexperienced Indian with short pitched bowling.
That left the tourists in a precarious position of 178-4 on a wicket which 350 would be a minimum score. Unfortunately for England they failed to make a further breakthrough with Vijay bringing up his century from 214 balls which included 18 boundaries.
By the time Vijay reached his first international hundred outside of India he had Dhoni at the opposite end and those two ended the day with an unbeaten partnership of 81 while the captain reached his 50 off 64 balls.
That means Vijay will resume on day two on 122 not out while Dhoni will be looking to build on his 50 runs he already has to his name.
For the hosts, Broad was the pick of the bowlers for their economy rates after only conceding 26 runs from his 19 overs whilst picking up a wicket. All-rounder Ben Stokes will be looking to take his first Test wicket since January after bowling 19 overs without any joy while India will be looking to post a first innings score of 400 on Thursday.