Day 1: India (with a hint of England!)

ENG: 246/7 (Cook 60, Collingwood 53*; Pathan 3/52, Sreesanth 2/56) 

A. Cook 

As expected, India pretty much controlled Day 1 of the first Test at Nagpur, but not without some stoic resistance from the England top and middle order. Unfortunately for the hosts, no one went on to make a big score, but they could have been worse off had debutante Alistair Cook not scored his 60.

Apart from Cook, there were the two Andrews (Flintoff and Strauss) who got starts, but could not go on to make an impact. Paul Collingwood is still there on 53 but he is extremely lucky to have got a nick on a Kumble special flipper!

What would be most disappointing from England’s point of view is the fact that the Indian quicks got as many as 5 of the 7 wickets that fell. Irfan Pathan with 3 and S Sreesanth with 2 caused most of the damage as against the havoc that was expected from the spin twins. Perhaps there’s another lesson for the inexperienced (in Indian conditions) England batting that it’s not the pace but the bounce (or the lack of it) and the movement (or again the lack of it!) that could bring about your downfall in this part of the world.

In general, though, this was not an entirely poor performance by England and they could well get themselves to 300 or so before their innings ends. It’s just a question of how Collingwood applies himself tomorrow and guides the tail.

As for the Indians, the batsmen would be feeling relatively relaxed after seeing how the pitch has played. It would also work in their favour that the pitch would be at its best tomorrow and ideally, India would be looking to bat only once in this match. Having said that, it’s still rather early for any predictions and Flintoff, Harmison and Hoggard are better seamers together than Pathan and Sreesanth. So anything can happen.

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