Murali Vijay's fourth Test hundred an aggressive half-century by skipper MS Dhoni helped India to 259/4 at stumps on Day of the first Test vs England in Trent Bridge. Catch all the highlights hereÂ (Scorecard):
22:45 IST: Stumps, India are 259/4 in 90 overs. The visitors will be happy to be in the position they are in despite losing Pujara, Kohli and Rahane at crucial times. The day belonged to Murali Vijay, whose fourth Test hundred helped the side finish on a strong note. Even as wickets kept falling at regular intervals, the Chennai batsman dug deep and kept one end up. He was later joined by Dhoni, who slammed his second successive fifty and the 30th in his 84-match career as India ended on a solid note. The challenge for England on the second day would be to break this 81-run stand and attack the Indian lower order.
22:36 IST: Dhoni is approaching his 30th half-century but with two overs left in the day, the skipper is playing for time; he is a shrewd cricketer and he will be in no mood to take any undue risks.
22:20 IST: Vijay and Dhoni have complemented each other rather well. While the former has been happy to drop anchor, the India captain has been more aggressive, unsettling the English attack. If India see the day through without losing another wicket, it could well be the visitors' day.
22:04 IST: India have had it pretty easy after Rahane's exit, with Vijay and Dhoni building another solid partnership. Cook has had to fall back on Ali and Joe Root in the absence of frontline spinners and that has allowed the visitors to get away despite landing in tight spots.
21:45 IST: India are 228/4 after 77 overs and look to be picking up their scoring rate as Day 1 draws closer to stumps. Vijay has stood like a rock despite the earlier blows.
21:25 IST: MS Dhoni is showing signs of aggression with India looking to push towards 300 by the end of the day; they still have 18 overs to play out and if the Indian captains gets stuck, the visitors could finish on a daunting note.
21:06 IST: Vijay brings up his 100 after being stranded on 99 for almost two overs. This is his fourth Test hundred and it came off 214 balls; the opener lost his partner Dhawan early and then kept losing batsmen regularly at the other end. The onus is now on Vijay to anchor the rest of the innings.
20:36 IST: MS Dhoni has joined Vijay in the middle and the Indian captain would be keen to dig deep as the visitors seek to pile on a big score. The chances of that happening are diminishing with every wicket England take and they have repeatedly struck after the break - two after lunch and one after tea already; so India need to be wary now.
20:34 IST: WICKET! India lose another one after the break. Plunkett struck in the first over after tea to see off Rahane, who had batted doggedly for his 32 to stitch a 71-run stand for the fourth wicket. Rahane tried to pull a short ball but he was too early into the shot as the edge off the bat went to Cook at silly point. India are 178/4 after 60 overs.
20:12: Tea - Slow progress for India in the second session but by the end of it, the hosts must feel a lot happier. Given that they lost Pujara and Kohli minutes after lunch, Vijay and Rahane had to be watchful to lead the Indian recovery. After seeing off the Anderson-Broad threat, neither Vijay (92 not out) nor Rahane (32 not out) seemed to be troubled by the rest of the attack. Cook, who marshaled his resources well for a while, ran out of ideas to dislodge a stubborn 70-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
20:02 IST: England don't have Swann or Panesar to keep the pressure up after the pacers softened India up. They only have Moeen Ali, who has not posed any serious threats so far. None of the Indian batsmen has had any problems facing him in his short spell so far. England vs India 2014 squad
Meanwhile, in the second ODI against Sri Lanka, South Africa are chasing 268 to win and it is that man Hashim Amla again, who is steering the reply. Click here for scores and updates.
20:00 IST: Vijay and Rahane have been slow but with Tea approaching, the two have ensured that India did not suffer any more jolts after Pujara and Kohli perished post-lunch. Vijay is approaching his fourth hundred and Rahane looks well settled. India 167/3 off 56 overs.
19:41 IST: FOUR! Length ball from Plunkett and Vijay was quick to cover drive it to the fence. Plunkett gave more width two balls later and that allowed Vijay to clip off backward point as India moved to 146/3 off 51 overs.
19:31 IST: Slow going for India after lunch. They have added only 28 runs in 18.3 overs for the loss of two wickets. The plan has been to not lose any further wickets but Vijay and Rahane have been overtly cautious and that has only allowed England to build the pressure.
19:03 IST: After a fluent 97 against South Africa in the Boxing Day Test last year, Vijay had to wait another six innings to score his next half-century. He has paced his innings well today; timing some lovely drives before lunch before dropping anchor in the afternoon in the face of two quick setbacks. He has Rahane for company, who had also fallen in the 90s (96) in the second innings. The Mumbai batsman has scored runs in difficult conditions and will be eager to show his prowess here against the English.
18:58 IST: India were advised to attack England skipper Alastair Cook, but clearly it is him who has come out with aggressive tactics post-lunch, pushing the visitors on the backfoot. Vijay and Rahane have their task cut out as they look to wriggle out of a tight spot The score: 120/3 in 41 overs. England vs India 2014 squad
18:50 IST: This has been a tough second session for India so far. Clearly, England regrouped and worked out that India were getting too many loose balls to hit in the morning. The visitors meanwhile, have to look to rebuild despite two big losses. Pujara and Kohli have been their most successful batsmen in Tests and with two gone, the onus is on the 23-Test old Vijay and the talented Rahane to steer India before Dhoni and then the lower order get exposed to a charged-up bowling unit.
18:38 IST: FOUR! For 5.4 overs after lunch, India scored only 1 run for the loss of two wickets, but Vijay, who had raced off to his fifth half-century before lunch, flicked Anderson through square leg to get India going again. The score: 111/3 off 36 overs.
18:24 IST: WICKET! Another blow for India and this time it's the biggest of the innings so far. Stuart Broad delivered Virat Kohli a peach just outside off as the number four edged it to Bell at second-slip. Rahane joins Vijay in the middle with India on 107/3 off 32.5 overs. England vs India 2014 squad
18:20 IST: WICKET! Anderson strikes again after lunch as he removes a well-set Pujara for 38 (69 balls), to end his 73-run second wicket stand with Vijay. Pujara was caught brilliantly by Ian Bell at mid-on. India 106/2 off 31.2 overs.
17:30 IST: And that's lunch on Day 1- The first session of the series has belonged to India. They did lose Dhawan early to Anderson but Vijay (55 not out) and Pujara (38 not out) got together for a solid second wicket partnership. Their timing was brilliant against an attack which did not seem to threaten much. The only spinner to be let loose on India was Moeen Ali, who would be feeling extremely nervous against a powerful batting line-up.Vijay and Pujara have so far added 73 off 23 overs and they are looking good for many more, unless England find a way to separate this pair soon in the second session.
17:16 IST: FOUR! What a shot from Pujara, as he drives Plunkett off the backfoot; that brings up the 100 for India off 25.2 overs and that means an excellent start, despite an early start.
17:08 IST: FOUR! Lovely off drive from Vijay as he races away to his fifth half-century in Tests; the opener has been in sublime form and has looked keen to score, unafraid to punish anything loose. Without appearing to take too many risks, Vijay has scored at a brisk rate, bringing up his fifty off only 68 balls. He has also combined well with Pujara to keep India strong despite an early blow.
17:05 IST: FOUR! And Pujara takes Ali on almost immediately, as he slams a full toss towards the midwicket fence. India are 83/1 off 23 overs.
17:03 IST: Spin for the first time today as Alastair Cook throws the ball to Moeen Ali. How the England captain uses Ali against India will be crucial; all of Dhoni's batsmen can play spin without much fuss.
16:50 IST: FOUR! Graceful as ever from Pujara, who cuts a Stokes delivery beyond point. India need Pujara and Vijay to build a strong partnership here and with the likes of Kohli, Dhoni and Binny due next, the visitors would be looking to pile on a few total.
16:47 IST: Vijay has often been guilty of wasting good starts and today he has the chance to build a long innings. With Pujara at the other end, India have a man, who puts a heavy price tag on his wicket. England could be in for a long stay on the field. India are 66/1 off 19 overs.
16:33 IST: India are 53/1 off 15 overs with Vijay unbeaten on 30 and Pujara batting on 10. MS Dhoni seems to have read the pitch right; it has been a good batting deck.
16:17 IST: Bowling change after 11 overs, with India on 46/1. Ben Stokes replaces Broad in the attack.
16:12 IST: FOUR! Pujara hits Broad to the fence as India move to 42/1 off 10 overs.
16:10 IST: Vijay has been ultra positive today and has not been afraid to push the ball away from himself; he has looked confident and is timing it well, so why not. He is key for a good start for India in this innings. England vs India 2014 squad
16:02 IST: New man in Pujara, will need to settle down for a long haul with Vijay. Both men like to play the long innings and it will be a test of their skills against a top-notch English pace attack. Pujara has been India's best batsman in Test cricket for over 18 months, having scored runs against different attacks. This is his first foray into England with the Indian team. Can he make it count? India are 34/1 after 8 overs.
15:58 IST: WICKET! Dhawan was tentative in his attempt to push the Anderson delivery away from his body and the edge off the bat was well taken by wicketkeeper Matt Prior. India are 33/1 after 7 overs. Dhawan never looked very confident for most part of the innings and this early dismissal will put further pressure on him, especially with a determined Gambhir ready to break back into the Indian side.
15:46 IST: FOUR! Vijay is getting some quick runs; this time he pushes an Anderson delivery towards gully. Anderson's seam position has been impeccable like always. India vs England schedule
15:44 IST: Dhawan has been, for now, happy enough to leave a few outside off. The slip cordon is packed and the Delhi left-hander will be circumspect. A maiden from Broad and India are 18/0 after four overs.
15:42 IST: Five runs from the second Anderson over as India reach 18/0 after three. The openers have not really been challenged with any exaggerated movement nor have the bowlers been able to produce much swing yet. Dhawan likes to keep the scoreboard moving and he will target anything slightly off the mark. Expect Vijay to hold one end up.
15:35 IST: Stuart Broad will share the new ball with Anderson; the same pair had made life miserable for India three years back but this Indian batting line-up is not scarred. They have tasted reasonable success on overseas tours and will look to make the most of it here in England. Just one run off the over and India are 13/0 after two overs.
15:31 IST: India are up and away; two streaky boundaries off the edge off Vijay's and the ball races away to the fence through the slip cordon. FOUR! This one off the fifth ball was beautifully timed on the on-side, very wristy and stylish from the Chennai batsman. India are 12/0 after the first over from Anderson.
15:28 IST: And the Test series is underway. James Anderson steams in with the new ball as Vijay takes strike for India. MS Dhoni is a surviving member of the horror tour of 2011 and he would want a more positive start.
England: AN Cook (Captain), SD Robson, GS Ballance, IR Bell, JE Root, MM Ali, MJ Prior (WK), BA Stokes, SCJ Broad, LE Plunkett, JM Anderson
India: M Vijay, S Dhawan, CA Pujara, V Kohli, AM Rahane, RA Jadeja, MS Dhoni (Captain & WK), STR Binny, B Kumar, I Sharma, Mohammed Shami
15:02 IST: India have won the toss and will bat. Binny as expected is making his debut. The struggling Rohit Sharma had to make way. Meanwhile, the openers, Vijay and Dhawan have been retained, which means, Gambhir will have to wait a little longer for his Test comeback. The Indian captain it is a good wicket, with brown, not green grass and he hopes the weather will stay as clear as it is at the moment. The bowling has been one of India's biggest concerns over the last two international series in South Africa and New Zealand; so there is little surprise that Dhoni has decided to go in with five specialist bowlers.
England have also made one change, bringing in Ben Stokes for Chris Jordan.
14:55 IST: Word is out - Stuart Binny has been awarded with his maiden Test cap and it is clear India are looking at him to play the bowling all-rounder's role. Two captains, under fire for their recent Test performances, will see this series as the chance to redeem. For the visitors, this is an opportunity to exorcise the ghosts of the 0-4 whitewash back in 2011.
India lost their last two series in South Africa and New Zealand 1-0. Their 2011 trip to England ended in a 4-0 whitewash defeat but following the retirement of greats like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, now a mentor to the national team, there is a fresh look to the side. (India vs England:Top Stats and Approaching Milestones)
England aim to avoid a third consecutive series defeat and ease the pressure on captain Alastair Cook. Following the embarrassing 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia at the start of the year, Andy Flower was replaced as coach by Peter Moores and controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen had his central contract terminated.
Hopes of a winning start to the new era were dashed on the penultimate ball of the second and final Test against Sri Lanka in Leeds last month, with James Anderson's late dismissal condemning England to a 1-0 series defeat.
That reverse has intensified the pressure on opening batsman Cook, who has not reached three figures in 24 Test innings and publicly lashed out at one of his chief critics, former Australia great Shane Warne, last month. The Sri Lanka series was not without hope for England with newcomers Moeen Ali, Sam Robson and Gary Ballance scoring maiden Test centuries.
Chris Jordan and Liam Plunkett also showed flashes of aggression with the ball while Root notched a double ton with the bat. Ben Stokes has been recalled to a 13-man squad that features six fast bowling options, an acknowledgement perhaps that Anderson and Stuart Broad appeared leg weary at times against Sri Lanka.
India have rookie unit under skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. While the batting looks quite strong on paper, the bowlers must take 20 wickets to push the home team. Only one bowler, Ishant Sharma, has previously played a Test in England.
The lanky right-armer will be expected to lead by example alongside the less-experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, who have a dozen caps between them, with the seamers likely to be the main wicket-taking threat on pitches unlikely to help the spinners.
In Virat Kohli, India have one of the most stylish batsmen of this generation who, at 25, is already a leader in the squad, while number three Cheteshwar Pujara averages close to 60 and spent three valuable hours at the crease in a warm-up match against Derbyshire.
The five-Test series will be played without the aid of the decision review system, with India again refusing to agree to its use.