London, July 17 :
India lost both openers early to reach 73 for two in their first innings at lunch on the first day of the second cricket Test against England at Lord’s here Thursday.
Cheteshwar Pujara (11 not out) and Virat Kohli (20 not out) were at the crease when lunch was called after a tough first session on a green track at Lord’s.
Winning the toss, England captain Alastair Cook didn’t blink an eyelid before asking India to bat on a surface that was tailor-made to benefit the English bowlers.
The ball swung right from the word go troubling the India openers Shikhar Dhawan (7) and Murali Vijay (24). Pacer James Anderson (1/11) and Liam Plunkett (1/20) were the two wicket-takers for the hosts.
Anderson, who is staring at a two-match ban for allegedly ‘pushing and abusing’ India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, looked as if he was ready to have his bowling do all the talking.
The pace spearhead provided England the first breakthrough with an outstanding delivery that pitched outside leg, forcing Dhawan to play at it and the southpaw nicked it through to third slip, a low catch taken by Gary Ballance.
In the next over, Vijay also got a reprieve as he was dropped off Stuart Broad even before he could open his account. Keeper Matt Prior made a valiant dive to his right and got his glove before putting down what was a tough chance.
Vijay and Pujara then added 37 runs for the second wicket to stabilise the innings. But just when it looked that Vijay, who struck four fours, was growing in confidence the batsman edged Plunkett to Ballance for his second catch of the morning at third slip.
Pacer James Anderson (1/11) and Liam Plunkett (1/20) were the two wicket-takers for the hosts.
India (first innings)
Murali Vijay c Ballance b Plunkett 24
Shikhar Dhawan c Ballance b Anderson 7
Cheteshwar Pujara batting 11
Virat Kohli batting 20
Extras (b 4, lb 6, nb 1) 11
Total (two wickets in 27 overs) 73
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (Dhawan, 2.5 overs), 2-48 (Vijay, 21.3)
James Anderson 8-6-11-1
Stuart Broad 6-3-16-0
Liam Plunkett 7-3-20-1
Ben Stokes 5-1-14-0
Moeen Ali 1-0-2-0
Toss: England chose to field
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
TV umpire: Richard Illingworth (England)
Match referee: David Boon (Australia)
Reserve umpire: David Millns (England)