Two reprieves for Trott, and a Cook surprise

Updated: 21 July 2011 23:45 IST

It was a day of good umpiring, dropped catches and an injury scare. Excerpts.

London:

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the first day from the England v India Test at Lord's

Surprising failure of the day

Alastair Cook has been so prolific over the last nine months that it almost needed a second take to realise he was the first batsman dismissed in this series. It was tough up front for the openers and he'd worked hard to reach 12 when he fell across a delivery from Zaheer Khan and was given lbw by Asad Rauf. There is no DRS for lbws in this series but replays showed that it was taking leg stump in any case. It was Cook's lowest Test score since Lord's against Pakistan last August, the first time he had failed to reach 50 since Perth in December and the first time he had fallen before Strauss since Melbourne - and even then he had 82 to Strauss's 69.

Drop of the day

Rahul Dravid is the most prolific slip fielder in the game but that doesn't mean he's infallible. Shortly before lunch MS Dhoni showed his imagination by introduction Harbhajan Singh when many captains, Andrew Strauss included, would happily have let the seamers continue until the break. With his first ball Harbhajan found Jonathan Trott's outside edge and it travelled low to Dravid's right where he dived, got his fingers to the ball but couldn't hold on.

Miss of the day

India didn't even get a hand on the second catch that came their way. Zaheer was in the middle of another outstanding spell and was coming around the wicket to Trott. He found the outside edge but Dhoni, having started to move to his right, then pulled out of the chance and left it to Dravid. By then, though, it was too late for first slip to adjust and Dravid was taken by surprise as the ball shot past him. They were the first runs Zaheer had conceded in 34 balls and it's never wise to give a man averaging over 60 two lives.

Bunny of the day

Dhoni's decision to bowl first meant there was no hanging around before Strauss and Zaheer went head-to-head. The contest didn't really get going at Taunton, but here Zaheer was far more like the bowler we had expected to see. Having probed around off stump during the first session, and failed to extract Strauss in his first seven-over spell, he changed tack after the break. It worked perfectly as the shortest ball he bowled induced Strauss into hooking from well wide of off stump and he top-edged to long leg where Ishant Sharma lurked. It was the sixth time Zaheer had scalped Strauss and made it 1-0 for the series.

Injury-scare of the day

Yet the battle may not resume. It was the sight no one, except perhaps the most one-eyed England fan, will have wanted to see: Zaheer limping off the field. So much of this series has been built up around Zaheer and his contests with England's top order, not just Strauss. Midway through his 14th over, having had the ball on a string throughout, he gripped his right hamstring and didn't even bother trying to finish the over. The series needs a fit Zaheer.

Topics : MS Dhoni Ravi Bopara Cricket Jonathan Trott Alastair Cook England India Australia West Indies India in England, 2011
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