India keep England in check

India made a strong start in their quest to level the four-match series after reducing England to 199-5 at stumps on day one in Nagpur.

In what can best be described as a turgid opening day's Test cricket, England's batsmen struggled to adapt to a slow, low pitch at the VCA Stadium, with only Kevin Pietersen (73) reaching a half-century.

Pietersen's contribution helped England recover from 16-2 after Alastair Cook, fresh from winning his first toss as captain, and opening partner Nick Compton had fallen early to Ishant Sharma (2-32).

Pietersen and Jonathan Trott shared an 86-run partnership for the third wicket to put the tourists back on track, however the former failed to kick on and join Cook on 23 Test centuries when he clipped debutant Ravindra Jadeja (2-34) to Piyush Chawla at midwicket shortly after tea.

Jadeja had accounted for Trott earlier in the afternoon, while Warwickshire team-mate Ian Bell (1) fell cheaply to Piyush Chawla, but England debutant Joe Root and Matt Prior shared an unbroken 60-run partnership in the evening session to lift spirits heading into day two.

Root, selected at No.6 in place of Samit Patel in one of two changes made by England - Tim Bresnan also replacing the injured Steven Finn, reached the close unbeaten on 31, with Prior (34no) playing a useful hand alongside him. Controversial

Having won the toss for first time in the series at the start of the day, England captain Cook opted to bat first - however it was a decision he may have been regretting when he became the second wicket to fall inside 11 overs.

Somerset batsman Compton, who has been awarded an incremental contract by the ECB after playing in four successive Tests, managed just three before he was back in the pavilion, with the opener edging a short delivery from Ishant (2-25) through to MS Dhoni.

Ishant also removed Cook, although in controversial circumstances. Cook (1) was struck on the pads outside off stump by a delivery that was angling away, however umpire Kumar Dharmasena raised his finger - and with no DRS in play, there was little the England captain could do.

Trott and Pietersen safely negotiated the rest of the morning session and calmly took the score along to 102-2 before an inexplicable lapse in concentration led to the England No.3's demise.

After compiling 44 in some 133 balls, Trott's stay came to an end when he left a straight delivery from India left-arm off-spinner Jadeja, which knocked back off-stump.

Fellow Warwickshire Bear Bell then came to the middle, however he struggled to come to turns with the benign surface, making just one from 28 deliveries before driving Piyush Chawla (1-25) straight to short cover, where Virat Kohli took a sharp, low catch.

Pietersen carried on undeterred and, having passed 50 for the 29th time in Tests, he then went past 15,000 career first-class runs.

But he could not go on, falling into the trap set by Dhoni after two near misses when he clipped Jadeja to Chawla, who caught well diving forward.

At 139-5 the situation looked bleak for England and presented Yorkshire youngster Root with a huge challenge in his first Test outing.

But the 21-year-old right-hander looked right at home at this level, caressing one boundary through the off-side and, alongside Prior, ensuring England survived the rest of the day without further alarm.

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