Cricket - Pujara rebuilds for India after Panesar's wickets

Stumps, day one - Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai - India (267-6 - Cheteshwar Pujara 114 not out) v England, having won the toss and chosen to bat first.

Cricket - Cook back into top 10 in rankings

View photo

CRICKET, Cheteshwar Pujara, India, 2012 (Reuters)

Cheteshwar Pujara's unbeaten 114 lifted India to 266 for six on day one after England's bright start to the second Test.

Pujara, who made 206 not out and 41 not out in Ahmedabad, has still yet to be dismissed in the series, and in partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin (60 not out) saw the home side into a solid position on a spin-friendly wicket at the Wankhede Stadium.

Monty Panesar, recalled to the side after being missed in the first match, was the pick of England's bowlers, finishing with four wickets for 91 after 34 overs.

The tourists, who also brought in Jonny Bairstow for the absent Ian Bell, lost the toss on a track where they would have preferred to bat first, but responded well.

James Anderson struck with just the second ball to remove Gautam Gambhir with a full delivery that straightened and trapped him in front.

With a hint of swing, however, the seamers were wasteful, Stuart Broad in particular plumping for too many short deliveries after being seduced by the bounce. He ended the day wicketless, his 12 overs costing 60 runs.

Captain Alastair Cook switched to Panesar early, and he justified his selection by clean-bowling Virender Sehwag, playing his 100th Test match, with 30 to his name, and then beating Sachin Tendulkar with a beauty which pitched on middle-and-leg and took the top of off for eight.

Pujara played with what is fast-becoming his customary aplomb, patient when required, elegant when permitted. With Virat Kohli by his side, the hosts made it to lunch without further loss, but two wickets in two overs left them in trouble.

Kohli was beaten by a bit of extra spin, playing a loose shot which gifted Nick Compton a catch at extra cover for a third Panesar wicket. And Graeme Swann accounted for Yuvraj Singh for a duck, bowled by an off-break which turned just enough.

MS Dhoni made slow progress with Pujara as the ball took chunks out of the pitch in the afternoon session. Pujara gave away half a chance off Panesar into the gully, but Anderson could not cling on to a one-handed diving catch.

Swann did take a sharp low catch soon after tea, however, leaving India 169 for six and looking in trouble, until Ashwin's counter-attacking effort and Pujara's continued masterclass.

England thought they had their man when Pujara whipped a ball into the leg side, catching the boot of Cook at short leg and flicking up to midwicket for a catch - but replays showed that he had thundered the ball into the ground before it hit Cook. It allowed him to continue on towards a deserved century, while Ashwin plundered a brisk 50 as India finished strongly.

The true test of how well both sides fared will come tomorrow, when England get a chance to bat. India, judging by the decision to replace the injured seamer Umesh Yadav with spinner Harbhajan Singh, are anticipating a turning track, and one that deteriorates as the game goes on.

If they are right, and the dusty pitch worsens, England may have a tricky innings ahead.

View comments (29)