India v England, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 1st day November 15, 2012

Green field, spinning top

Plays of the day from the first day of the first Test between India and England in Ahmedabad

Detail of the day
If anyone knows about the strengths of the England attack, it is their former coach, Duncan Fletcher. It was under Fletcher than the England team first mastered the skill of reverse swing. It helped them win the Ashes in 2005 and it has been a key part of their armoury ever since. So we should not be surprised that Fletcher, ever one to focus on details, ensured that the Ahmedabad outfield was unusually green and lush. Not only that, but there were no used pitches on the square and nothing else abrasive that may have accelerated the wear of the ball. So, instead of finding reverse swing as early as the 10th over as they did in the warm-up game against Haryana, England were forced to wait until tea before gaining any real assistance.

Drop of the day
Virat Kohli was on just four when Jonathan Trott, a new face at slip, failed to cling on to a tough one-handed chance, to his left off the bowling of Graeme Swann. Kohli had endured a tough start to his innings - he did not get off the mark until he had faced 30 deliveries and, perhaps frustrated, attempted to cut but edged to Trott. The decision went to the third umpire after Trott, who lost control of the ball as he turned, allowed it to bounce and then found it in his forearms, admitting he was not sure if he had held on to it. It meant all the pressure England - and Swann and James Anderson, in particular - had built up upon Kohli was wasted.

Telling moment of the day
The ball from Tim Bresnan was not that short. Nor was it that wide. But such was Virender Sehwag's confidence on a pitch of minimal bounce that he had the time - and the power - to pull it through mid-on with an ease that bordered on the disdainful. It underlined the lack of pace and bounce in the wicket and the tiny margin for error high quality batsmen will allow in such conditions. England's bowlers, with one or two honourable exceptions, were not up to the challenge. Sehwag hit the next ball for six back over Bresnan's head to underline his dominance.

Misjudgement of the day
Cheteshwar Pujara was on eight when he mistimed a stroke off Bresnan and saw his leading edge loop in the air towards mid-on. Anderson, sensing the chance, dashed in only to realise he had over-committed himself and the ball was dropping agonisingly out of reach behind him. He tried to backpedal but it was too late. The ball fell to ground and Pujara hardly played another false stroke on the way to stumps unbeaten on 98. Sehwag, on 80, was also dropped by Matt Prior, down the leg side off Anderson.

Stroke of the day
It says much for Pujara's abundant class that his batting bears such striking resemblance to Rahul Dravid. While only time will tell if Pujara has the defensive technique to survive against all bowlers in all conditions, he certainly has some of The Wall's attacking flair. One drive through extra-cover bore the hallmark of real class: seizing on a fraction of extra flight from Swann, Pujara skipped down the wicket and drove beautifully between the fielders. It was a fine shot and typical of a fine innings.

Debut of the day
Nick Compton has taken the scenic route to international cricket but, aged 29, he received his first cap from Graham Gooch before the start of play. Compton is just the second man, after Chris Tremlett, to follow his grandfather into the England side. Denis Compton played for England between 1937 and 1957, while Maurice Tremlett played three Tests in 1948.

Milestone of the day
There was not too much to cheer about for England on the first day of this game. But at least Swann, who offered control and bite for England, finished with four wickets and overtook Jim Laker's tally of 193 Test victims. That means Swann has taken more Test wickets than any other England offspinner. Swann went past Laker with the wicket of Sehwag, who was bowled attempting to sweep. Bearing in mind that no other England bowler has yet taken a wicket, perhaps Swann may yet surpass Laker's more memorable record: 19 wickets in a single Test, achieved against Australia in 1956.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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