England began the first of five Test matches against India this summer with many question marks still hanging over them after two successive series defeats to Australia and Sri Lanka.

They faced an Indian side who have struggled away from home in recent years, having not won an away series since 2011, and on their last visit to England they suffered an embarrassing 4-0 defeat.

Related Articles

Alastair Cook can get back to his best with England
- Ian Botham says England will beat India

A good toss to win

England captain Alastair Cook lost the toss to his counterpart MS Dohni who rightly decided to bat first on what looked like a good pitch underneath bright blue skies. Cook himself would not have hesitated to bat first either, given the chance.

England made one change to their side after defeat to Sri Lanka at Headingley by bringing in Ben Stokes for Chris Jordan. A decision which raised some eyebrows on the first morning. However, there is no surprise that Stokes is back in the England fold after impressing down under in the winter but Jordan can count himself unlucky.

India have a very talented batting line-up but they are also lacking experience in English conditions. However, with a pitch more resembling a sub-continent pitch, they began in confident fashion hitting three fours from Jimmy Anderson's first over of the match.

Anderson, bowling at one of his most successful grounds, did take the wicket of opener Shikhar Dhawan (12) with the score on 33 but that was the only success during the morning's play as India made the most of a docile pitch to finish the session on 106-1. Fellow opener Murali Vijay will have been satisfied with the first session as he batted throughout for an unbeaten half-century.

Resuming after lunch Anderson quickly got back into his stride as he captured the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara (38) without another run being added as Ian Bell produced an outstanding one-handed catch at silly mid-on.

Stuart Broad then got in on the act when he immediately had dangerman Virat Kohli caught at second slip by Ian Bell for just one run, leaving the visitors on 107-3. It was noticeable at the start of the second session how much England were using reverse swing to cause havoc in the Indian ranks.

India rally

India though rallied after the loss of these two wickets but were unable to score runs easily as England exerted control during the afternoon session as the run-rate dropped dramatically. India managed to dig in and they went to tea on 177-3 with Vijay closing in on his century. His partnership of 71 runs with Rahane was now developing slowly but surely for the Indians at what was a crucial time.

India and England entered the evening session knowing that whoever came out on top will have gained the upper hand in the Test. England began the session in a similar vein to the afternoon session as Liam Plunkett dismissed Rahane for 32 with Cook taking another fine catch.

However, MS Dhoni accompanied Vijay through to his century and then made a half-century of his own as the pair guided India through the final session without any further loss as they closed on 259-4 after 90 overs.

Early inroads required

India will be very pleased with their progress on day one after winning the toss and batting with a very inexperienced side. Murali Vijay will hope to build on his unbeaten innings of 122 on the second day and India will want to bat for most of day two if possible to add pressure on England.

England will want to strike early on day two and make inroads into the Indian middle and lower order. Cook will not be too unhappy with the day's play after losing the toss and his captaincy, after coming under fire, was pretty good throughout the day when faced with difficult bowling conditions and a batsmen friendly wicket.

Topics:
#England cricket
#India cricket
#Cricket