England v India: Ajinkya Rahane century leads fightback at Lord's
|Second Test, Lord's (day one)|
|India 290-9 v England|
Ajinkya Rahane's century inspired a brilliant fightback by India as England's bowlers failed to take full advantage of an obliging pitch on the first day of the second Test at Lord's.
Having won the toss and chosen to bowl on a green surface offering pace, movement and carry, England reduced India to 145-7 shortly after tea.
But Rahane changed the momentum of the day with a superb 103, adding 90 for the eighth wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (36) as the tourists scored 150 runs in the final session to reach 290-9 at the close.
James Anderson, whose International Cricket Council charge for allegedly pushing and abusing India's Ravindra Jadeja dominated the build-up to the match, took four wickets to surpass Fred Trueman as the highest Test wicket-taker in England and Ian Botham as the most successful at Lord's.
Stuart Broad claimed two and there was one apiece for Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali, who had a chance put down by Matt Prior - one of two drops by the struggling England wicketkeeper.
|Ex-England captain Michael Vaughan on Test Match Special|
|"England bowled too wide and too short in the first session. They were fantastic in the second session - they pitched it up. But in the last session they've been dreadful. You looked at the body language now and England looked desperate to get in the dressing room. You can lose Test matches on sessions like that."|
Prior's wastefulness was symptomatic of a day of missed opportunities for the hosts.
After the first Test at Trent Bridge was drawn on a lifeless pitch that prompted complaints from both teams, England arrived at Lord's to find a surface so green that it was almost indistinguishable from the outfield.
But the tone for a disappointing day was set in the morning session when their seamers struggled to find the right line and length and only took two wickets on a pitch that was offering them great assistance.
A dramatic improvement after lunch brought four further wickets and, when a fifth fell after tea, it appeared only a matter of time before England would be batting.
However, a return to their wayward ways of the morning allowed Rahane and Kumar to settle into their rhythm and, in Rahane's case, to punish England with some elegant drives and flicks. He punched Anderson over his head for six and reached his hundred off 151 balls with a cover drive.
Three balls later, Rahane was expertly caught and bowled one-handed by Anderson, but India plundered 67 runs off 10 overs with the second new ball.
The early part of the day had been an exercise in damage limitation for the tourists as the ball swung and zipped off the pitch, making conditions desperately difficult for batting.
England broke through in the third over when Shikhar Dhawan nibbled at a ball angled across him and nicked Anderson to Gary Ballance at third slip.
Murali Vijay, dropped on nought by Prior, was squared up by Liam Plunkett, and saw a leading edge fly to third slip, where Ballance claimed a sharp catch.
On the stroke of lunch, off-spinner Moeen drew an edge from Pujara that bounced in and out of Prior's gloves.
|Ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott on Test Match Special|
|"England are like a misfiring car - there are too many parts which don't look very good. Matt Prior is dropping catches, Alastair Cook hasn't got any runs, we don't know if the bowlers can bowl line and length. I won't be putting any money at all on England beating Australia next summer. I'm worried about the Ashes. There's nothing which stands us in good stead."|
The miss did not prove too costly as England came out firing after the interval, pitching the ball fuller and gaining the reward.
Virat Kohli edged a beauty from Anderson through to Prior on 25, Ben Stokes bowled Chesteshwar Pujara through the gate for 28 and captain Mahendra Dhoni nicked Broad behind for one.
Soon after entering to pantomime boos, Jadeja departed to one of the day's loudest cheers, lbw to Moeen from round the wicket.
The next dismissal was anything but clear-cut, but India's opposition to the decision review system meant Stuart Binny had nowhere to turn when he was given out lbw to and Anderson ball that would have cleared the stumps by a good three inches.
Far from opening the door to India's tail, Binny's wicket merely provided the prelude to a crucial counter-attacking partnership between Rahane and Kumar that turned the day on its head.
Listen to Geoffrey Boycott and Jonathan Agnew review the day's play on the Test Match Special podcast.