Indian top-order surrenders against English pace

Indian top-order surrenders against English pace

Indian top-order surrenders against English pace

The Indian top-order surrendered meekly against the English pace attack in overcast conditions as the visitors took lunch at 63 for five on the opening day of the fourth Test, here today.

India failed to capitalise after skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to bat on a juicy Old Trafford wicket, as pace spearhead James Anderson (2/21) and Stuart Broad (2/8) shared two wickets apiece to put the visitors in trouble at 8 for 4 in 5.1 overs.

Playing a Test after nearly one-and-half-years, Gautam Gambhir (4) was the first to go after being caught at gully by Joe Root off Broad.

Murali Vijay couldn't last long either as the opener failed to negotiate a moving Anderson delivery and gave away a regulation catch to captain Alastair Cook at first slip, for nought.

Virat Kohli also registered a blob as Anderson got another wicket in the space of three deliveries with the Delhi batsman guilty of fiddling with a regulation outswinger to Cook once again.

Broad then struck in the very next over to send Cheteshwar Pujara (0) packing as the Indian scorecard already has three ducks.

The visitors were given some breathing space by the fifth-wicket pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Dhoni, who stitched a 54-run partnership to raise some hopes of a recovery.

But just when it looked like the duo would take India to lunch without any more casualties, young medium-pacer Chris Jordan (1/8) broke the partnership to send Rahane out for 24.

Play had been delayed for half an hour owing to morning showers and when Dhoni did elect to bat it seemed like a good decision with even Cook admitting to have batted first had the coin came flipped his favour.

But the decision didn't seem very intelligent when the Indian wickets started falling like a pack of cards.

Dhoni on 25 and Ravindra Jadeja on 0 were battling for survival at the stroke of lunch with the England pacers clearly giving the first-session honours to the hosts.