India 276 for 3 (Rahul 127*, Rohit 83, Anderson 2-52) vs England
Having been asked to bat when they wanted to bowl, and having negotiated rainy and overcast conditions, India finished day one at Lord’s looking healthy in all respects – on score, on scoring rate, and on wickets in hand. Much of that was down to their unbeaten centurion KL Rahul, who walked off in bright sunshine, having played a part in two century stands.
That wickets-in-hand part was particularly significant after they decided to replace the injured Shardul Thakur with Ishant Sharma, effectively cutting their batting down to six specialists alongside Ravindra Jadeja. It was a bold move on many fronts, especially if they believed the dank conditions in the morning were more suited to their bowlers; it was either a show of faith or calculated pressure heaped on the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane, who have struggled for form lately.
Whatever it was, it needed the openers to click, and click they did. Rahul and Rohit Sharma put on India’s first century partnership outside Asia for the opening wicket since 2010 – 126, to set the tone on what turned out to be a glorious day for batting.
Full report to follow…
Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.