England set for long haul

Congleton Guardian: Murali Vijay was making hay early on in Nottingham Murali Vijay was making hay early on in Nottingham

England's bowlers appeared set for a long haul against India as Murali Vijay assumed control by tea on day one of the first Investec Test at Trent Bridge.

Opener Vijay (92no) shared half-century stands with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane on the way to 177 for three, after India chose to bat first in sunny conditions.

England's ambitions were stifled by a docile surface which reduced obvious wicket-taking options, for the pace bowlers in particular.

Vijay took advantage, rarely troubled in defence and timing a series of memorable cover and square-drives when England overpitched or gave him width.

England conceded 106 for one before lunch in 30 overs as Vijay coasted past his half-century with 11 fours from only 68 balls.

His first three boundaries came from successive deliveries in James Anderson's first over of the match - two controlled edges down to vacant third-man and the third off his pads.

Anderson had his 50th Test victim at this ground when Shikhar Dhawan pushed forward and edged to the diving Matt Prior.

But otherwise, he had no joy in a seven-over new-ball spell which cost 40 runs.

There were already ominous indications of a lack of pace in this pitch, Liam Plunkett twice seeing apparent attempted bouncers from round the wicket making landfall twice before they reached Prior.

Alastair Cook had plenty to ponder as he ran through five bowling changes, and all his options, in vain search for a second wicket before lunch as Vijay and Pujara put on 73.

The afternoon began very differently, however.

Cook switched Anderson to the pavilion end, in partnership with Broad again, and set inventive fields to try to make something happen.

It very soon did, Anderson finding a modicum of inswing with a slower ball as Pujara mistimed a drive and was very well-caught by Ian Bell diving one-handed to his right at a short and very straight mid-on.

Broad's second spell either side of lunch read 6-4-5-1, his wicket coming after Cook brought a second slip in from the off-side ring to the new batsman and Virat Kohli compliantly followed a touch of movement off the pitch to be neatly caught by Bell.

Rahane edged an attempted drive at Broad just short of the same fielder as England's two senior pace bowlers continued to dry up the run rate.

Ultimately, though, Vijay and Rahane passed the patience test - and another flurry of boundaries helped to put India back in charge by late afternoon.

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