Here is our wrap-up of the first day of the India v England Vizag test.
Similarities to the first test at Rajkot
India ended at a healthy 317/4, including centuries from Pujara and Kohli. After the first day of the Rajkot test, England were quite content with 311/4, including one centurion (Root) and one batsman not out on 99 (Moeen). In both cases, the captain who won the toss chose to bat first.
Pujara picks up the pace
After much criticism of his career strike rate (48.85) and showing lack of intent, Pujara has scored 2 centuries in the first 3 innings of this series, at strike rates of 60.19 and 58.33, noticeably quicker than history would suggest. He has been using his feet beautifully against the spinners. It is worth noting that he was also India’s highest scorer in the series against the Kiwis, though headlines were dominated by the bowlers.
Kohli makes it count
Virat raced to his 14th Test Century alongside Pujara, ending the day on 151*. His first 7 centuries were small in comparison, with his average 100+ score being 109 and the next 6 have averaged 162. His last two 100+ scores have both been double centuries.
India’s opening dilemma continues
Although Rahul came off a stellar patch in domestic cricket, it was yet another failure for the opening partnership. Between Dhawan, Rahul, Gambhir and Vijay, no one pair has really clicked at the top in recent test matches. Kohli and Pujara came together with the score at 22/2 with both openers back in the hut.
Jimmy Anderson returns
Expectations were low given Anderson’s absence with a fractured shoulder since August. Then again, can you ever really write off a fast bowler with nearly 500 test wickets? Replacing Woakes in the side, Anderson led from the front, picking up 3-44 in his 16 overs. Jimmy’s dismissal of Rahane in the penultimate over the of the day with the new ball was a lesson in swing bowling. With Broad not quite 100%, Anderson will key for England on day 2.
At the end of the first day the India v England test at Vizag, India will be much happier than they were after the first day of the first test at Rajkot. The pitch has already begun to show signs of breaking up so India will only want to bat once, and bat big.
Day 1 of the Vizag test belonged to India but there is still work to be done.
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