BIRMINGHAM: Rain brought an early lunch on day one of the rescheduled fifth Test between England and India at Edgbaston on Friday. But before that, veteran pacer James Anderson removed openers Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara to leave India at 53/2 in 20.1 overs in the first session of the much-anticipated match.
Pushed into batting first, Gill began the innings with a sweetly-timed flick through mid-wicket off Anderson. Gill continued to hit three more attractive fours quickly, including a straight drive off Anderson, which was followed by a short-arm pull off Stuart Broad through square leg.
England got very little movement as they found only 0.61 degrees of average swing in the first ten overs. But that was of little value as Gill looked a little tentative to balls outside the off-stump, edging a couple of them which didn't carry to the slip cordon.
Anderson's persistence bore fruit when he got rid of Gill with a ball which the batter should have left on line and length, but poked at it and nicked to second slip.
Pujara was very watchful and showed good discipline to balls going outside the off-stump while Hanuma Vihari looked assured in leaving deliveries despite his tentative prods falling short of slip cordon. Anderson, Broad and Matthew Potts were able to beat the duo with balls making some movement close to off-stump, especially the wobble ball doing some action for the seamers.
The duo also earned a reprieve each: Pujara got beaten on a nip-backer from Broad in the 14th over, and was adjudged caught behind immediately. He took the review which showed the ball missing the inside edge and brushed only the thigh pad. Three overs later, Vihari nicked away and was dropped by Zak Crawley at second slip.
Anderson, in his second spell and bowling a little shorter, struck again when his fuller ball swung late and had some extra bounce, which took the shoulder edge of Pujara's bat to Crawley at second slip.
The atmosphere at Edgbaston went a notch higher when Anderson brought out the inswing as well as outswing in his much-anticipated battle with Virat Kohli, who stood outside his crease to negotiate the seam movement. But rain came in the way, forcing the players to go off the field as the opening session belonged to England and Anderson.
Brief Scores: India 53/2 in 20.1 overs (Shubman Gill 17, Hanuma Vihari 14 not out; James Anderson 2/15) against England