Murali Vijay gave India a rousing start on Day of the first Test at Trent Bridge on Wednesday. The Tamil Nadu opener struck his first century overseas as India did well to overcome a top-order slide to score a good-looking 259 for four at stumps in Nottingham.
Murali Vijay vindicated India's decision to bat first on a sunny day. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also came to the party with an unbeaten 50 that helped India share the first day honours. But the day clearly belonged to Vijay (122 not out). His previous highest was 97 versus South Africa at Durban in December 2013. (Highlights)
Overall, Vijay has registered four hundreds in Tests - the first three being against Australia. Vijay is the third Indian opener to post a century in a Test match at Trent Bridge, joining Rahul Dravid (117 in 2011) and Virender Sehwag (106 in 2002).
Vijay became the sixth Indian player to record hundreds in their first Test innings against England - the first five being Hanumant Singh, Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Deep Dasgupta and Cheteshwar Pujara.Â Pujara remains the only one to post a double century -- 206 not out at Ahmedabad in 2012-13. (Also read: Dream come true for me, says centurion Vijay)
On Wednesday, Vijay and Pujara were involved in a stand of 73 -- India's third highest second-wicket partnership vs England at Trent Bridge -- the highest being the 93 between Dravid and VVS Laxman in the 2011 series that India lost 4-0.
James Anderson, with opener Shikhar Dhawan's wicket, took his tally to 356 in Tests, overtaking the 355 each recorded by Dennis Lillee and Chaminda Vaas. Anderson's present tally is 357 wickets at an average of 30.39 in 95 Tests.
Since recording 63 by Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund versus England at Lord's in July 2011, an Indian opening pair has failed to register a fifty-run partnership for the first wicket in 24 innings overseas -- the highest being 49 between Dravid and Virender Sehwag at The Oval in August 2011.
For India to shine in England, Dhoni must flourish with the bat. The captain has shown good signs by scoring his fifth Test fifty in England -- the most by him in a country other than India.Â His 30th Test fifty is his ninth against England.
Dhoni has registered 15 fifties each at home and overseas in Tests. As captain, Dhoni has recorded five centuries and 21 fifties in Tests.
(With inputs from Rajesh Kumar)