A defiant 103 from Ajinkya Rahane helped India end Day 1 of the second Test at Lord's on 290/9 after being put into bat by England.
The tourists will head into the second day on a high after surviving a slight wobble after lunch, when they lost four wickets for 66 runs.
A solid start on a green pitch frustrated England on a hot day in London and a Rahane-inspired recovery after tea swung the momentum in India's favour.
Alastair Cook's decision to put the visitors into bat looked to be the correct one early on as James Anderson put his off-the-pitch troubles behind him to dismiss Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan for just seven runs.
|India first innings 290/9|
|M Vijay||c Ballance b Plunkett||24||67||4||0||35.82|
|S Dhawan||c Ballance b Anderson||7||11||1||0||63.63|
|CA Pujara||b Stokes||28||117||4||0||23.93|
|V Kohli||c Prior b Anderson||25||34||4||0||73.52|
|AM Rahane||c & b Anderson||103||154||15||1||66.88|
|MS Dhoni||c Prior b Broad||1||17||0||0||5.88|
|RA Jadeja||lbw b Ali||3||11||0||0||27.27|
|STR Binny||lbw b Anderson||9||19||1||0||47.36|
|B Kumar||b Broad||36||84||7||0||42.85|
|Mohammed Shami||not out||14||16||2||0||87.50|
|I Sharma||not out||12||11||2||0||109.09|
The England paceman, who has been reported to the International Cricket Council by the tourists on a misconduct charge following an alleged altercation with all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, produced an 86mph delivery, per Cricinfo, that moved away from the batsman and was taken low by third slip Gary Ballance.
And the Lancastrian, who later became the leading Test wicket-taker at Lord's against India, continued to bowl well early on:
Then, with India threatening to build up a head of steam, as opener Murali Vijay racked up 24 runs, Liam Plunkett made the breakthrough. His full delivery caught a leading edge and carried to Balance for his second catch of the day, with the score at 48/2.
However, the morning was not without problems for England. Wicketkeeper Matt Prior dropped a couple of chances as England toiled to dismiss right-hand batsman Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli in the middle order as the pair combined well for the rest of the morning session. India went in at lunch at 73/2 from 27 overs.
It was not the score England were looking for after winning the toss, as Sam Sheringham of the BBC explained:
England look pretty disconsolate as they traipse off for lunch. When Alastair Cook put India in to bat on this snooker-table of a pitch, he would have hoped to have potted the reds and be into the colours by now. Instead, India are at the table and look capable of racking up a century break.
However, after the break, England's bowling improved as they pitched the ball up and made the Indian batsmen play.
Pujara and Kohli added another 11 runs before England made their much-needed breakthrough. Prior made amends for dropping Kohli before lunch by holding onto an Anderson delivery that angled away from the bat and carried through to the wicketkeeper after a nick.
That wicket made Anderson the leading wicket-taker at Lord's against India, per @ECB_Cricket.
The scorecard looked much better from an England point of view at 86/3, but new batsman Rahane was not about to give his wicket away cheaply. By tea, the right-hander was 26 not out from 63 balls.
Purja also remained stubborn and the pair edged the score up to 113/3 before medium-pacer Ben Stokes bowled the former with a delivery that zipped past the inside edge and into the stumps. Purja had gone for 28, from 117 balls, and the session began to swing England's way.
In came Indian skipper Mahendra Dhoni, who survived 17 balls and an uncomfortable spell against Stuart Broad before the tall, fast bowler caught a thick edge with a full delivery that carried through to Prior.
Dhoni was a fitting 250th Test wicket for Broad, who has got him out four times in previous Tests, and with the score at 123/5 England appeared to have tipped the balance of the opening day.
With Dhoni gone, Indian complainant Jadeja stepped up to the crease, amid pantomime boos, and with Anderson itching to have a spell roughing up the all-rounder.
But it was the off-spin of Moeen Ali who dismissed Jadeja for just three runs, and at a crucial point in the match too. Ali's delivery round the wicket skidded on for lbw and England's recovery from a slow start looked healthy at 128/6.
Rahane and all-rounder Stuart Binny saw the Indians through to tea at 140-6, from 55 overs.
Binny added three runs—taking his tally to nine—after tea before getting stuck in the crease to an angling ball from Anderson. He was given out lbw.
With the tourists now 145-7, England were into the tail as bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar arrived at the crease. It was now down to Rahane to guide the tailenders through to the end of the day, while also keeping the score ticking over.
After surviving an lbw appeal from an Ali delivery on 30 runs, he did so with aplomb. Rahane crept up to 50 not out, including seven fours, as India edged the score up to 183-7 from 71 overs. The day began to swing back to the batting side.
The runs continued to come for Rahane, and Kumar, and questions were once again asked of Cook's captaincy. In particular his decision to persist with Plunkett, who was leaking runs and ended the day bowling round the wicket, almost in desperation.
By the time the new ball was placed in the hands of Anderson, India were 223/7 with 10 overs remaining in the day.
It was Broad who eventually made the breakthrough, dismissing Kumar with a full delivery that went through the batsman and hit leg stump. However, the tailender had made 36 from 84 balls by that point.
Rahane responded by smashing Anderson for the first six of the Test match, while new batsman Mohammed Shami brought up the 250—a total that was a distant dream when they were 145/7.
Man-of-the-match Rahane finally succumbed to the erratic probing of Anderson after securing his 100 with a four. On 103, Rahane was caught and bowled in breathtaking style, as Michael Vaughan told the BBC. He said: "Brilliant from James Anderson. Ajinkya Rahane deserves to be bigged up after that innings, but the skills levels of Anderson to take that wonderful catch are remarkable."
With Rahane applauded from all sides as he went off, on came Ishant Sharma as the Indian tail continued to wag and the new batsman saw off the last ball of the day.
India will now begin Day 2 of the Test match still batting, at 290/9. At the start of the day, they were expected to be all out for about 220 by tea.
Bar one session, it was largely down to the wayward bowling of England that India were able to battle back from the brink. India skipper Donhi will be backing his players to avoid the same mistakes on Friday.
It promises to be a thrilling day at Lord's, and with the sun forecast to shine all weekend, there should be no repeat of the first Test draw at Trent Bridge.
Cook's captaincy will be under close scrutiny and he simply has to win this Test match.
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