England dominate India despite Rahul Dravid century
First Test, Lord's (day three, close):
England 474-8 dec & 5-0 v India 286
Rahul Dravid succeeded where Sachin Tendulkar failed in scoring his first international century at Lord's to help India avoid the follow-on against a Stuart Broad-inspired England.
Dravid, dropped in the slips on 42, made 103 not out off 220 balls - his 33rd Test hundred - as India were bowled out for 286 in reply to England's 474-8 declared.
He surpassed Ricky Ponting to become the second-highest run-scorer in Test history behind Tendulkar, whose bid for his 100th international hundred was thwarted when he fell for 34, much to the dismay of the majority of a full house at the home of cricket.
But while Dravid took the individual honours, the day belonged to England, and especially Broad, who answered his critics with a superb exhibition of fast bowling to post figures of 4-37 from 22 overs.
England, who reached 5-0 in five overs at the close to establish a lead of 193 are now in total control of the match and will look to bat India out of the game on Sunday before leaving themselves time to bowl out the tourists once again.
“England need to be positive but not reckless and silly. They must make sure they do not leave the declaration too late and let India get out of jail. It is a great opportunity for England to win this first Test”
Saturday of the Lord's Test is always an occasion but the prospect of seeing Tendulkar score his 100th international century seemed to intensify the air of expectation among the 28,000 spectators.
First though, it was the turn of India openers Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund to face up to the England bowling attack as they resumed on 17-0, 457 runs adrift of England's first innings total.
They were gifted a relatively comfortable start by James Anderson and Chris Tremlett, but the challenge became a much sterner one once Broad got into his groove.
Desperate to justify his selection ahead of Tim Bresnan, Broad made an inauspicious start with a no-ball and a wide in his first over, but soon found a testing line to the left-handed pair and made the breakthrough with a full, straight delivery that beat Gambhir for pace and splattered his stumps.
Mukund, a compact and capable 21-year-old, hit five attractive boundaries in his innings, but he fell one short of his half-century, dragging a ball from Broad on to his wicket from well outside off stump.
That dismissal was the cue for Tendulkar to enter the fray to a standing ovation from the Lord's faithful.
His first boundary was handed to him on a plate by four overthrows from Kevin Pietersen, but the five that followed were all gems, mini-masterpieces of timing and skill as he and Dravid added 81 either side of lunch.
The fairytale was not to be however as Tendulkar became Broad's third victim, pushing hard at a ball which moved away and nicking to Graeme Swann at second slip.
In an electric passage of play, VVS Laxman and Dravid were dropped by Andrew Strauss and Swann respectively in the same over from Broad, bowling comfortably his best England spell since the Oval Ashes Test in 2009.
Laxman did not trouble the scorers for long though, hooking a Tremlett bouncer to Jonathan Trott at deep fine leg before Suresh Raina was trapped in front for nought by Swann to leave India reeling on 183-5.
Dravid and Dhoni kept England at bay until the new ball with a patient partnership of 57 until Tremlett drew an edge from the India skipper and Swann took the catch. And two balls later Harbhajan Singh swung wildly and was caught behind.
At 241-7 India were still 34 runs short of avoiding the follow-on but some muscular hitting from Praveen Kumar put paid to that possibility before he top-edged Broad to Strauss.
Running out of partners, Dravid went through the gears, reaching 98 with a push for four through the covers and bringing up his fifth hundred in England with two through mid-wicket.
Jimmy Anderson belatedly got in on the act to take the last two wickets, leaving Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook to see out the last 20 minutes of the day.
Their eyes will be on some big runs on Sunday as England look to tighten their grip on the first Test of the series.