Vijay Hundred Sets Solid
Match Report | 9th July 2014
Murali Vijay recorded his first century outside of the Indian subcontinent during day one of the first Investec Test to give India the early advantage.
The Indian opener batted through the day to end on 122 not out and guide his side to 259-4 at the close.
At the beginning of the day, Stuart Binny was handed his debut for India as MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bat first.
Vijay immediately made that look the right decision as he took 12 off James Anderson’s first over.
Explosive opener Shikhar Dhawan was quick to back his partner up and by the middle of the seventh over, the visitors were comfortably rolling along at nearly a run a ball.
However, Anderson removed the dangerous Dhawan for 12, Matt Prior pulling off an an outstanding catch behind the stumps to banish all prior doubts over his fitness.
That was the last joy of the morning for the English bowlers though as Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara dug in for the long haul.
And the hosts must have been thinking it could be a long day in the field when the pair reached lunch on 106-1, Vijay on 55 and Pujara 38.
England needed a spark following the interval and whatever was said during the break seemed to do the trick.
An outstanding spell after the interval saw the Indians score only one run off the first five overs after lunch, for the loss of two crucial wickets.
Innovative fielding plans did for Pujara as Ian Bell pulled off another brilliant catch off Anderson to send him on his way for 38.
Higly rated Virat Kohli didn’t last long, as he fended at a wide delivery off Stuart Broad, Bell again on hand to complete the formalities.
The visitors were staring at a collapse with the score on 107-3, but Vijay found an able partner in Ajinkya Rahane.
After only 18 runs were scored in the first hour after lunch, the pair upped the scoring rate to push their side to tea on 177-3.
Once again after tea though, India were unable to stop an early wicket checking their progress.
Rahane was the man to fall to a smart catch from Alastair Cook off Liam Plunkett; England’s fielding a highlight throughout the day for the home side.
Vijay remained unmoved though and with captain Dhoni at the other end, he went on to bring up an historic hundred.
After batting for more than two sessions, the right-hander reached the landmark and with it brought up the hundredth Test century at Trent Bridge.
Dhoni continued to power on and in the last over of the day he also reached his own milestone, a half-century off just 64 deliveries.
The day ended with India on 259-4, a total the visitors will be happy with after winning the toss.
The home side, on the other hand, will be after quick wickets when play resumes tomorrow where they will look to utilise a still young ball.