England reached lunch on 75 for 0 on the first day of the fourth Test against India at the Oval.
Captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and elected to bat despite the overcast conditions, instead opting to rely on The Oval’s reputation for being a good batting track with beneficial conditions for spin bowling in the fourth innings. The decision proved to be the right one as Strauss and his opening partner Alastair Cook cruised through the first session with no alarms.
RP Singh opened the bowling for India in the absence of Praveen Kumar – their best bowler of the series – but his lack of Test match appearances in recent years was evident as both batsman played him with relative ease. Ishant Sharma looked the most likely to break the partnership, getting Cook to play and miss at a couple and boasting a decent economy rate.
But the same pair will begin the afternoon session with Strauss resuming on 38 and Cook on 34.