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Steady Indian progress in 1st England Test

AAP logoAAP 11/11/2016 David Clough

Stuart Broad has provided the false dawn for England in Rajkot with an instant but solitary breakthrough on the third morning of the first Test.

India lost Gautam Gambhir to the first ball of the second over, only for fellow opening batsman Murali Vijay (57no) and Cheteshwar Pujara (62no) to shut the door with half-centuries each in an unbroken stand of 94 to take the hosts to 1-162 in their first innings at lunch in reply to England's 537.

Broad struck immediately in the second spell of his 100th Test.

Gambhir had few problems the previous evening, and safely negotiated the opening over of the day from Moeen Ali, only to get himself in an unfeasible tangle against Broad.

The left-hander thrust his pad into line and his bat was nowhere near the ball as a delivery from round the wicket hit him bang in front. Sensibly, there was no review.

New batsman Pujara quickly had the better of Moeen.

He made one flighted ball into a full toss with quick footwork, his expert placement beating the leg-side field for four, then the offspinner dropped short and was cut for a second boundary in the over.

Alastair Cook brought Zafar Ansari on and Vijay deposited the left-armer's second ball over long-on for his first of two sixes off him.

Chris Woakes replaced Broad, and tested Pujara with the short ball, twice hitting him on the helmet.

India's No.3, by the end of the session, had followed his partner to 50, with 10 fours from just 74 balls.

England are pinning their hopes on an accelerated deterioration of the pitch to help their spinners, but there is little sign of it yet.

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