Southampton, July 27 :
Captain Alastair Cook’s unbeaten 48 took England to 78 for one at lunch on the opening day of their third Test against India at the Ageas Bowl here Sunday.
Electing to bat, Cook and opening partner Sam Robson frustrated the Indians with a slow and patient 55-run stand for the first wicket before the latter fell to pacer Mohammed Shami.
At lunch, Cook was partnered by Gary Ballance, who was unbeaten on four.
Mohammed Shami with figures of one for 29 was the sole wicket-taker for India.
India largely stuck to good lengths and sneaked in the odd bouncer, but were left aggrieved with the odd ball that strayed down leg or the short ones that helped Cook keep himself out of pressure.
Experts had predicted the pitch to be fast and bouncy but on the very first morning of the Test match, two-three edges falling short.
The Indian pace attack seemed to lack aggression in the absence of injured Ishant Sharma, who took seven wickets in the second innings at the Lord’s.
Ishant suffered an ankle injury ahead of the toss paving the way for Rajasthan pacer Pankaj Singh getting his first Test cap.
Rohit Sharma was also drafted into the Indian side with all-rounder Stuart Binny being left out.
England too made changes to their line-up bringing in Chris Woakes for out-of-form Ben Stokes while Liam Plunkett made way for Chris Jordan.
Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler replaced Matt Prior, who opted out of the series due to bad form.