Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen fought back after India rocked England with two early wickets on the first day of the second Test at Trent Bridge yesterday.
England, at lunch, were 69 for two after losing the toss with Strauss, the England captain, 29 not out and Pietersen 26 not out.
Their stand at lunch was worth 46 after they had come together at 23 for two.
England came into this match on the back of a 196-run first Test win at Lord’s completed on Monday and knowing they would replace India at the top of the ICC’s Test rankings if they won this four-match series 2-0 or better.
However, during the past decade, India have fought back to either win or square series after losing the first Test.
And although they were without Zaheer Khan after the left-arm quick was ruled out with the hamstring injury that forced him off early on at Lord’s, India were quickly in the wickets yesterday after captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to field first under overcast skies.
Ishant Sharma made the breakthrough when he had Alastair Cook LBW for 2 to leave England seven for one.
Replays suggested the ball may have been going over the top of the stumps, but because of India’s objections to ball-tracking technology, there are no LBW reviews this series and South African umpire Marais Erasmus’s decision stood.
First-change Shanthakumaran Sreesanth, Zaheer’s replacement, struck fourth ball when Jonathan Trott, on 4, drove at an outswinger and edged to Venkatsai Laxman at second slip.
Pietersen, who made a man-of-the-match winning 202 not out in the first Test, pulled and hooked Sreesanth for two fours in successive balls.
However, on 17 he survived a huge LBW shout from Praveen Kumar, who took a Test-best five-for-106 at Lord’s, after walking across his stumps.
Medium-pacer Kumar, risking disciplinary action, angrily questioned Erasmus’ decision at the end of the over before being pulled away by teammate Harbhajan Singh.
As well as Zaheer, India were without Gautam Gambhir because of the elbow injury the opener suffered fielding at Lord’s.
Yuvraj Singh took Gambhir’s place.
England made one change, with Tim Bresnan replacing Chris Tremlett after the fast bowler was sidelined by a combination of problems with his hamstring and back.
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