By Greg Robertson
Welcome to LIVE VIDEO UPDATES of the first Test between England and India at Lord’s. We’ll deliver you all the Yorkers and bouncers, forward defensive shots and back foot drives through over-by-over commentary and VIDEO of great moments and action as these two great Test sides go head-to-head.
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LIVE COMMENTARY… England 126/2 Pietersen 22 Trott 58 Session 2, Day 1, Test 1 -
Aha... things have changed - again. NO MORE PLAY FOR THE DAY!!! Thanks for coming people and see you tomorrow!
We are about to get play - apparently. The official word is a start in 6 minutes time with 13.4 overs to play in the day.
Covers are coming off and umpires will have a look in 20 minutes time. That will give the possibility of an an hour and a half of play - at absolute most, more likely 60 minutes. We'll inform you again in 20 minutes.
Play has yet to be called off but it looks like we are starting to run out of time.
It really doesn't look like any more play today. Covers are still on.
Well ladies and gentlemen, that could be it for the day. You never know with the weather but it's still raining and very dark and gloomy. Keep those fingers crossed and I'll fill you in...
Scoreboard Thursday at tea on day one of the first test between England and India at Lord's: England 1st Innings
Andrew Strauss c Sharma b Khan 22
Alastair Cook lbw Khan 12
Jonathan Trott not out 58
Kevin Pietersen not out 22
Extras: (8b, 4lb, 1w) 13
TOTAL: (for 2 wickets) 127
Fall of wickets: 1-19, 2-62.
Bowling: Zaheer Khan 13.3-8-18-2, Praveen Kumar 17.3-5-46-0, Ishant Sharma 11.2-3-33-0 (1w), Harbhajan Singh 7-1-18-0.
To bat: Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett.
Umpires: Billy Bowden, Australia, and Asad Rauf, Pakistan.
Third Umpire: Marais Erasmus, South Africa. Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle, Sri Lanka.
***EARLY TEA*** England 126/2, Pietersen 22 Trott 58 ***EARLY TEA***
Over 50: Pietersen was beaten by a good delivery - end of story. Though if there was to be more of the story it looked for all money it was coming into him from Sharma but it just held it's line on the surface. KP looks to the balcony and his team mates - no one can really understand why because he was beaten, fair, square and all ends up. Though maybe he was looking to the brewing black of clouds. COVERS COMING ON FOR RAIN. BREAK IN PLAY!
Over 49: Singh keeps rolling them down and a lap from KP hands the strike across to the man finding scoring easier.
Over 48: Very gloomy in North-West London and the lights have been turned on. Two runs from a short one is the only way Trott can prosper off the over.
Over 47: England run rate is 2.56. and that's a reflection more of the conditions and watchful batsmen that superb bowling - India was just a little wayward early. Harbhajan Singh adds to the mounting maiden tally with another.
Over 46: Kudos to Praveen Kumar as he's bowling well. Trott has timed the pants off the final delivery of the over, just a push that looks like a single, that turns into once, provides thoughts of scampering back for two, maybe a three, and then ends up smoking it's way to the fence for four. Did that one actually get faster as it went? Video up.
Over 45: KP gets a run through midwicket and then Trott raises his bat for the 50 - grafted, from 89 deliveries.
Over 44: After a purple patch, the English batsmen settle down and Kumar gets away with a maiden.
Over 43: Ohhh glorious from Trott and that's why we love the game of cricket - for the drama, the class and the hours and hours cricketers can wait and play out the mind games. Pietersen also gets in on the action and goes down the ground come the fifth ball of the Harbhajan over but gets under it too much. He gets two to add to another single off the first ball and the four from Trott which brought up the 50 partnership! It was pitched up and Trott just lent on his bat through the covers. Pt a stamp on that one as it was well sent. Video up.
Over 42 - Kumar taking over: Well we are all in a little shock about Kahn - India will be hoping that it's a minor sprain and not a tear. That will put the pressure on the remainder of the Indian bowling attack and does that just give the English the edge? Four from the over that Kumar takes over.
Over 42: Khan has pulled up lame in the fourth ball! He's off. Massive blow for India - massive blow! He just stopped mid-run and stood bolt upright. Looks like a hamstring - right leg. That came after Trott getting inside the line and rolling the wrists through square leg to the fence. Video up. That could be him gone for the next couple of tests. massive blow, chance for other Indian bowlers.
Over 41: Three off the Harbhajan six-pack. Good over and tight but the two in the middle played it well.
Over 40: The first three balls are non-eventful and then all hell breaks loose as Trott is beaten by a rip snorter of a delivery by Khan which zipped and snagged it's target - Trott's edge of the blade and straight through to the fence for four between Dhoni and Dravid. was it a chance? You better believe it. It really was a cracker from Khan that squared up the Englishman. Five off the over with a Trott single. Video up of the chance. England 100 is up!
Over 39: Three runs of that one, all singles and that's the sort of momentum that England needs to build.
Over 38: It was around the wicket for the first five balls from Khan to Pietersen and that produced a dot ball so Khan mixed it up for the last delivery and fired a full ball outside the off-stick for a very, very similar result, ie no run. Another maiden.
Over 37: Now it's Trott's turn to have a rest it seems with half the allotted balls of the over gone and the same runs scored as the last over - 0. Still, KP has a few up his sleeve and he stands very tall on a short one and tries it pull it with absolute intent. His timing was a touch out. DRINKS!
Over 36: Okay we have KP sitting this one out as Sharma send six dots down. No danger to Trott or his wicket he was just watchful.
Over 35: Praveen Kumar continues. Don't be fooled by Pietersen's slow runrate... he's looking pretty sharp to me and just as I say that he just about charges Kumar, gets and outside edge and it flies away wide of any hands trying to swallow the leather. Video up. He adds a single at the end of the over to the tally.
Over 34: Couple off the Sharma over to add to English coffers. Pietersen is 7 from 32. Trott is 30 from 55.
Over 33: Well that's just Pietersen showing his class as he uses those soft hands that I mentioned early - Martin Crowe-like - and guides it to the fence. A controlled edge you'd call it and a very clever shot. He's starting to move those feet and the Englishmen must be loving that banter.
Over 32: England runrate at 2.36. That's another fair maiden for sure, for sure. Big appeal on Pietersen from the first effort of the over when he was wrapped on the pads but Billy Bowden rightly says, "Ah, nah," as he shakes his head does the Kiwi man in the middle.
Over 31: Well, well... Dhoni reacts to Trott punching one off the backfoot for four by immediately throwing a sweeper at the hole in the field. Not really sure what his thoughts are as I'd rather have my bowlers pitch it up than protect against the bad balls on Day 1. Dhoni thinking about standing up to Pietersen as he's a mile out of his crease... Dhoni starts the games, goes forth young man, and Pietersen's nippy, back in his crease only to then drive straight for a single. Six off that one.
Over 30: Zaheer Kahn and Praveen Kumar have deprived the Lord's crowd of their presence for the moment as they've scarpered from the park. Pietersen enjoys the reprieve and kncock out his first run so it's not duck hunting season for him - not today anyway. Trott says he's seen enough dots and smashes four -with plenty of authority off the back foot past square leg to the fence. More timing than a smash really. Video up. Six off that one 70/2.
Over 29: Dot. Dot ball. No run. Dot. Dot. No run. Khan is a mixed bag with his line though right now.
Over 28: Another maiden as it's the Sharma to Pietersen show. Sharma nearing 140km. The bowlers really, really need to sort their lines out or they need a change of bowling.
Over 27: Another bye from Kahn straying down the leg, Pietersen helps himself to a leg bye unit too as he looked to clip it to midwicket.
Over 26: Maiden as Pietersen just checks things out and see what it's all about out there in the middle. He's happy just to get eyes above the bat and get those soft hands working in unison with the feet.
Over 25: Zaheer Kahn out thought Strauss there. WICKET! Ishant takes the catch down at fine leg as Strauss chased a wide short one and only produced a top edge. Strauss is gone for 22. Two balls later and Trott gets a scare as he plods the bat forward. Video up.
Over 24: They are giving Dhoni heaps (commentators) for not pulling in a swinging Sharma delivery down the leg side. It's a little bit harsh and the first finger should be pointed and wagged at the Sharma fella. It's three more byes. Trott's averaging 131 at Lord's. You know, Sharma needs a shearing! His shaggy hair surely needs a shearing. Any volunteers to step up and and put the clippers to the head of hair? Lovely off drive by Strauss but can't beat the mid-off fielder. Leg bye to finish the over and seven from it.
Over 23: The ball is tossed back to Zaheer Kahn and the wicket-taker gets his left arm moving. Wow that one has zipped... away for four byes. Nothing the keeper could do there. Add to that a leg bye and you have a good start by the opener and number three on their return to the crease post feed.
Over 22: Welcome back and we have Sharma continuing after lunch to Strauss who gets to run some of the grub off immediately as he takes a single from a short length ball. India should have been given the word to pitch it up and use the conditions. Trott chases a wide one and a good, thick edge flies wide of second slip and to the fence. Seven off the over after lunch.
Start of Session 2, Day 1.
***LUNCH*** England 42/1, Strauss 20 Trott 9 ***LUNCH***
Over 21: Run rate is a smidgen over 2. Hmmm... if my eyes didn't see this massive crowd that has gathered at Lord's I wouldn't believe that they were there because you can nearly hear a pin drop most of the time. Good over by Singh... one from the over and the bails have been pulled for a break.
Over 20: Trott playing Sharma on length. It's moving aplenty, but Trott knows at that length even if it comes back enough it will fly over the top of the bails. One off the over.
Over 19: Dropped! Video up. Harbhajan Singh comes into the attack and has an immediate impact as he snares the edge of Trott's bat only to be too good for a diving Dravid. Let off. Just a single each to Strauss and Trott.
Over 18: Four runs from that one. Strauss neatly clipped it to the fence off his toes much to the displeasure of Kumar.
Over 17: Good over for England with Trott flicking one to the fence off Sharma. Strauss chipped in for a single too. Sharma was pretty wayward in that over.
Over 16: Not exactly a party atmosphere at Lord's today - very, very subdued. Some, may need pulses checked. Oh, and two off the over to Trott.
Over 15: Ishant Sharma's going to have a crack at these two in the middle. His three slips haven't been brought into play yet, nor his gully. There's a man at short leg too. Trott picks up a single off the the third ball but that was right after a "How's ya father?" that whipped around his head. Strauss lays back on the final ball of the over, top edges it slightly but there was little doubt he was always lucky to cut and lift it backward of square. A heap off that over (5 runs).
Over 14: Plenty of swing and there's a mood swing from the umpires as they start to take a real close look at the bowlers follow throughs - both of them. Trott will be happy that he's off the mark with a tap-and-go at his feet. Two from that over.
Over 13: Strauss beaten clean after Trott had got off strike with a leg by. Strauss doubles the singles off the last ball over the Kumar over.
Over 12: Strauss just watching for the variation from Kumar that comes back. He watches ball after ball and fair enough that he's had to watch his partner waddle of and a new one trot on. Another maiden - that makes seven maidens from 12 overs,
Over 11: Cook had to come down quickly on Khan's second ball which squirted out to point. Khan the Mr Consistent at a tad over 80-mile. WICKET! Cook has been triggered LBW! Alistair Cook moves across his stumps to the off side and it nips back. Video up. Wicket maiden.
Over 10: Kumar starts a little wide then gets the radar trained a touch better and then strays it out again and Strauss is happy to just watch things unfold. No addition to the score.
Over 9: Khan just taken for the single off that over. Beaten all ends up third ball, Strauss was probably pretty happy nipping away down the other end to take a closer look at Khan. Just the single off the six balls.
Over 8: Jumar to Cook, Kumar to Cook, Kumar to Cook, Kumar to Cook, Kumar to Cook and Kumar to Cook. Maiden. Easy.
Over 7: Ohhhh count your lucky, lucky stars England as a mix up nearly has Cook stranded. Video up. Khan to Cook... three and double figures for Cook. Strauss chips in with a couple of his own but I think both batsmen are pleased they don't have to bury their heads - one trying to hide in the middle while the other smashing his bat against the changing shed wall. That was a major mix up and with two stumps to aim at Sharma may have done better.
Over 6: Kumar changed the angle after his first ball and went around the wicket. Five runs off that one with Cook doubling twice... one off his pads clipped to deep square and other clipped to deep midwicket.
Over 5: Khan has a cheeky leg bye taken off his bowling and then Strauss picks up his first run, standing tall and plodding it out to cover while scampering quickly. Two of the six.
Over 4: First runs come from the majestic blade of Alastair Cook as he eyes a short dobley one and leaps into a cut shut. Just four from the over. Video up of the first runs of the day, but Cook adds a single to his tally.
Over 3: Khan is getting some supper zip off the track as it pitches and shoots away. Bowling three maidens over.
Over 2: Praveen Kumar says, "Anything you can do I Khan do better," and duplicates the maiden. Some serious movement out there people.
First session, Over 1: Zaheer Kahn fires the first one down and play is underway! Ball's moving around a touch. Would rather be in the sheds than with wooden handle in the middle when it's like this. Watchful.Maiden. First ball... video up.
India has won the toss and surprise, surprise, they've chosen to bowl. Not rocket science that one Dhoni but you can't bag a man for making the right call. Will he lead his side to the win, or is it Strauss and his boys that have the edge? Less than 30 mins to the start of play people.
Toss just about ready....
?? mins to start: Covers been dragged on again I see... damn. No , they're off again. Lovely.
34 mins to start: Tossing up about the toss actually... no one's really sure when it's going to be.
35 mins to start: Toss delayed... a touch.
40 mins to start: Toss in 10-15 minutes time.
... that's the latest call from the middle. Play to begin on time. Overcast... toss ever so important. What quick in the world wouldn't want a bowl on a hard, grassy block with clouds brewing above? "Chuck me the cherry Charlie, I'll have a crack," would be pretty common banter to the captain from all directions.
Conditions are improving and ground staff are working hard - and fast - to get things up to good nick. She's the green, green grasses of home out there... err, well not like back home for the Indian team begin at 11:00 local time (10:00 GMT) (10pm NZ Time). Talking about a bouncey, bouncey one... some bounce and swing may see Broad left out. Time will tell that.
Some of the world's finest cricketers will be on show when England and India launch a four-test series at Lord's today, but the spotlight may fall on the umpires rather than the players.
Umpires will receive no help from technology commonly used in other international cricket matches, mainly because India rejects key parts that can help umpires to give leg before wicket decisions.
The umpires, New Zealander Billy Bowden and Pakistan's Asaf Rauf, will be feeling the pressure even more after Australian umpire Daryl Harper quit cricket early, accusing Indian cricketers of adopting "bullying" tactics on the field during the recent series against West Indies.
England will be confident after a convincing series victory over Sri Lanka, and the home team could once again be helped by cool, overcast conditions that assist seamers like James Anderson and Chris Tremlett.
Pugnacious fast bowler Stuart Broad is likely to get the nod from coach Andy Flower over Tim Bresnan. Flower denied Broad was being used as an "enforcer" to unsettle batsmen. "His job is to create pressure and to take wickets and to do that you generally bowl at off stump," Flower told the Guardian newspaper.
India, the world No. 1 test team and one-day world champions, have the most feared batting lineup, but will be without explosive opener Virender Sehwag for at the least the first two tests because of a shoulder injury.
"We've heard that he'll be over here maybe the third and fourth test, so we're crossing our fingers for that," said India coach Duncan Fletcher, a former England coach.
Fletcher is keenly aware that his batting lineup, which includes Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, is comfortable with English weather conditions and should not be overly troubled.
"They're in a good space at the moment and they can carry on," he said. "Over here it could be different because the outfield should be miles faster than in the West Indies."
India's batting still revolves around Tendulkar, the little master who at the age of 38 will be looking for his 100th international century at Lord's.
With 14,692 test runs and 18,111 one-day runs, Tendulkar could be central to India's efforts to prevent England taking over the top spot of test teams.
The Indians have had only one warmup game in England, but were given a stiff working-over during the three-test series in the Caribbean, which they won 1-0 without impressing. A three-day game against Somerset allowed England captain Andrew Strauss to bat himself back into form with an unbeaten century against a weakened India bowling attack.
India's weakness, if it has one, is its bowling, although Zaheer Khan is a veteran seamer and Harbhajan Singh is still one of the world's best spinners.
England's batsmen, especially openers Strauss and Alastair Cook, are in strong form, as is South African-born Jonathan Trott, who has succeeded in reaching a test average of 62 while infuriating opposing fielders with his laboured preparations for each delivery.
Kevin Pietersen is yet to recover the form that made him the best batsman in the world a few years ago, but remains a potent force and a potential match-winner.
The world waits to see if Sachin Tendulkar can crown a great career by scoring his 100th international hundred at Lord's this week.
Two milestones are in place already: This will be the 2,000th test and the 100th between England and India.
Tendulkar scored his 99th hundred against South Africa in the World Cup on March 12 in Nagpur. Since then his scores in ODIs have been 2, 53, 85 and 18.
His last international innings was in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka in April when he lasted just 14 balls.
He played for Mumbai Indians in the IPL then came to England early to prepare for the tour, rather than head to West Indies with the national team.
He has spent the time in his flat near Lord's, going to Wimbledon, and practicing regularly in the Lord's nets, taking his 11-year-old son Arjun with him.
In seven test innings at Lord's his scores have been 10, 27, 31, 16, 12, 37 and 16. There is no test ground in the world where he has played so many innings without scoring a fifty.
If England beats India by a margin of two tests they will leapfrog South Africa to go top of the ICC world rankings for the first time.
England has been unbeaten in its last eight series and has won its last five.
The four tests, starting on Thursday, will be played in 33 days.
Andrew Strauss returns as England captain after a successful one-day series campaign by his replacement Alastair Cook.
The only question in England's increasingly settled side is whether Tim Bresnan, recovered from a calf injury, will replace Stuart Broad. Bresnan took 11 wickets at 19.54 in the last two matches of the Ashes. Broad, who suffered injuries during the winter, has looked under-par this summer. He took eight wickets at 48.75 in three tests against Sri Lanka.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has captained India to the top of the world test rankings and they have won trophies in all three formats under his captaincy.
They won the World Cup for the first time since 1983 after he promoted himself up the order and scored 91 not out off 79 balls. In 2007 they won the inaugural World Twenty20 in South Africa under him. In 27 tests under Dhoni, he has won 15, and lost three. Only Ganguly, with 21 wins out of 49, has won more matches for India.
All of the tests Dhoni has lost have been the first match of a series.
India is unbeaten in its last 11 series.
Among the subplots to this series, Duncan Fletcher masterminded England's
2005 Ashes victory and returns as opposition coach. He was desperate to get some batting practice for his charges in the only warmup game at Taunton, but was refused permission to change the first-class match to a 12 or 13-a-side game.
As is usual nowadays, India has had very little time to acclimatise and this was flagged when it was bowled out for 224 after being 90-6 against Somerset.
Fletcher will become the first head coach for 100 matches.
England: Played 96: Won 42, Lost 30, Drawn 24.
India: Played 3: Won 1, Drawn 2.
Lord's pitches tend to be flat and England may struggle to bowl India out twice. Bresnan suffered a stress fracture to his left foot after bowling 50 overs in the Lord's test against Bangladesh last year. On the fifth day at the Rose Bowl, England took just two Sri Lanka wickets in 55 overs, which included a new ball after lunch.
Head to head:
Played 99: England 34, India 19, Drawn 46.
In England: 48: England 23, India 5, Drawn 20.
England has won only four and lost 10 of the last 27 tests between the sides.
England: Played 120, Won 46, Lost 27, Drawn 47.
India: Played 15, England 10, India 1, Drawn 4.
India's only victory at Lord's was in the first test in 1986. They played 11 warmup matches in the month before the game: Six three-day games and five limited-overs matches. It was England's sixth test defeat in a row and captain David Gower was sacked a few minutes after the match.
England is unbeaten in its last 11 tests at Lord's.
The average first-innings score at Lord's is 312.
Andrew Strauss made his debut at Lord's in May 2004 and scored 112 and 83 before falling victim to a Nasser Hussain run out that led to Hussain resigning the captaincy. Strauss has scored four of his 19 hundreds here in 15 tests and has 1,364 runs at 56.83. Only Graham Gooch with 2,015 and Alec Stewart with 1,476 have scored more test runs here.
Sachin Tendulkar is arguably the greatest batsman to have played the game.
He has played more tests, scored more runs and more hundreds than any other player. He made his first test appearance against Pakistan on Nov. 15, 1989 aged 16 in Karachi, and if anything, he seems even more in love with the game now, aged 38. He averages 56.94 overall in tests, but 61.42 against England, the highest against any side excluding Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
He has played 631 internationals made up of 177 tests, 453 ODIs and a T20.
He has 32,813 international runs: 14,692 in tests, 18,111 in ODIs and 10 in T20, and 200 wickets made up of 45 in tests, 154 in ODIs and one in T20. He says simply, "I'm not thinking of records. I'm just thinking of enjoying this tour."
This is the 2,000th test. The first thousand took from March 1877 to November 1984, more than 107 years. The second thousand have taken under 27 years, with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh added to the mix.
It is the 100th test between England and India. The first was in June 1932 and England beat a weak India side which was suffering from injuries as well as missing the captain and vice-captain. Fast bowler Bill Bowes took six wickets on debut.
Alastair Cook's last six scores have been 50 or more: 82, 189, 133, 96, 106 and 55. One more will equal the record of seven successive fifties held jointly by Everton Weekes, Andy Flower and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Jonathan Trott needs 133 runs for 2,000. This is his 22nd test and his next innings will be his 35th. Currently, Kevin Pietersen and Herbert Sutcliffe hold the England record for being the fastest to 2,000 runs with 22 tests apiece, though Sutcliffe took only 33 innings to Pietersen's 41.