England were held up by Ajinkya Rahane’s second Test century as India recovered from 145-7 to close day one of the second Test on 290-9 at Lord’s.
Rahane’s counter-attacking 103 steered the tourists away from trouble after England had won the toss and made early inroads in bowler-friendly conditions at the Home of Cricket.
On a green pitch offering plenty of assistance for England’s seamers, Rahane defended well early on and then went on the offensive in the evening session to add to the century he made against New Zealand in Wellington earlier this year.The India No 5 struck 15 fours and one six, sharing a 90-run partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the seventh wicket before both men fell shortly before the close.
James Anderson claimed 4-55 and in doing so surpassed Fred Trueman as the leading English wicket-taker in home Test matches, while Stuart Broad toiled hard for 2-79 from 22 overs.
Anderson, who will face a preliminary hearing next Tuesday on his Level 3 disciplinary charge, following the altercation between him and India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, struck the first blow in the third over when Shikhar Dhawan (7) edged a vicious away swinger into the hands of Gary Ballance at third slip.
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior, under pressure to retain his place behind the stumps, then handed Murali Vijay a life when he was unable to pull off what would have been an outstanding low catch after Broad found his edge in the fourth over.
Vijay, who scored 146 and 52 in the first Test at Trent Bridge, failed to make England pay, offering a leading edge to Liam Plunkett and presenting Ballance with a second slip catch of the morning.
England will have been disappointed to have taken just two wickets in the morning session and their mood worsened after the final ball of the session when Prior dropped Virat Kohli standing up to Moeen Ali.
Kohli (25), after two failures in Nottingham, added impetus with three early boundaries but was the first of four wickets to fall between lunch and tea when he edged an Anderson away-swinger through to Prior, who made amends with a tumbling catch.
Cheteshwar Pujara’s 117-ball vigil worth 28 was then ended during a fiery spell from Ben Stokes, who claimed a deserved scalp when he got a delivery to nip back up the hill and into the India No 3's middle stump.
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni looked all at sea in seaming conditions and it came as no surprise when Broad found his edge with a full swinging delivery to claim his 250th Test wicket.
Number seven Jadeja was given a hostile welcome from the crowd but his stay was brief as Ali trapped him lbw pressing forward before he and Anderson had a chance to renew hostilities.
Rahane and Stuart Binny were tasked with repairing the damage after tea, but Anderson put England firmly on top when he trapped the latter lbw for nine to leave India in big trouble on 145-7.
But Rahane came to the rescue for India, punishing England for a loose spell of bowling before the arrival of the second new ball.
In parternship with Kumar, who became just the second No 9 to post back-to-back 50s in a Test match at Trent Bridge last week, Rahane gradually batted India into arguably the stronger position at the close.
Kumar was sent packing for a useful 36 when Broad clean bowled him with the second new and Rahane, just three balls after inking his name on the Lord's Honours Board, joined him back in the pavilion when Anderson claimed a reflex one-handed return catch.