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India make slow progress

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India made slow progress on a bowler-friendly pitch on the first morning at Lord's, reaching lunch at 73/2. Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

London - India made slow progress on a bowler-friendly pitch on the first morning at Lord's on Thursday, reaching lunch at 73 for the loss of openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni lost the toss and was asked to bat by Alastair Cook, seeking to take advantage of a distinctly green-looking pitch in the second match of the five-test series.

The surface was in marked contrast to the one used in Nottingham, which came in for fierce criticism for its placid nature as the first match petered out to a tame draw.

India lost Dhawan to James Anderson early, but along with Stuart Broad he failed to take advantage of the conditions and consistently trouble the visiting batsmen.

First-change Liam Plunkett offered greater accuracy and was rewarded with the wicket of Vijay, with Cheteshwar Pujara (11) and Virat Kohli (20) resuming after the lunch break.

Anderson, facing a misconduct charge following an incident with Ravindra Jadeja at Trent Bridge, had Dhawan (7) well taken by Gary Ballance at third slip in the third over, having angled the ball across the left-hander and catching an edge.

Fellow opener Vijay was lucky to survive shortly afterwards when wicketkeeper Matt Prior dropped a sharp chance off Broad.

Despite the early breakthrough, England's bowlers struggled to find the right line, with Vijay and Pujara content to leave the ball as often as possible on one of the greenest Lord's pitches in recent memory.

The introduction of Plunkett offered more aggression and he got rid of Vijay for 24 when the batsman attempted to flick the ball to the leg side but instead saw the ball fly to Ballance.

England again failed to maintain pressure, allowing Kohli to score at better than a run-a-ball, although he was given a life in the final ball before the break when Prior dropped another chance, this time off spinner Moeen Ali.

Both sides named unchanged teams, with England once again choosing not to select a specialist spinner after Simon Kerrigan was called into the squad. – Reuters


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