India, pitch win day one at Trent Bridge

England

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to bat first after winning the toss brought a promising total of 259 for four on day one of the first Test against England at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Wednesday.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to bat first after winning the toss brought a promising total of 259 for four on day one of the first Test against England at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Wednesday.

A pitch that has brought just one County Championship draw this season and hasn't seen a Test match stalemate since August 2002 proved uncharacteristically placid.

Opener Murali Vijay and Dhoni capitalised, moving to 122 not out and an unbeaten 50 respectively. The talented Cheteshwar Pujara fell for 38 and Ajinka Rahane 32 – and will regret not converting to substantial heights.

The proverbial knives were out in the opening session, with fans and pundits alike questioning the docile deck. It livened, momentarily, after the lunch break – but resigned to low and slow thereafter.

England's highlight was surely a great catch from close-in fielder Ian Bell, whose lengthy dive ended Pujara's stay. Bell was also at hand in the slip cordon, dismissing the disappointed Virat Kohli.

A host attack sporting the services the recalled Ben Stokes ahead of the dropped Chris Jordan toiled throughout. Burgeoning spinner Moeen Ali was genuinely exposed – and a late decision to use the second new ball ensured further questioning.

Anderson's 50th wicket at this venue consoled, while fellow right-armer Stuart Broad was remarkably economical – if not lucrative. The in-form Liam Plunkett's barrage of short deliveries from around the wicket, however, was near mindless.

Vijay was outstanding, disproving an alleged inability to score runs away from the sub-continent. A solid vigil spanned 294 deliveries and featured all of 20 fours and a solitary six. The support of Dhoni was admirable – and an unbroken 81-run alliance is likely to graduate to three figures and more come Thursday.

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