Ahmedabad: When two teams conspire, as England and India did on the opening day of their Test series, absorbing cricket can be played even on the most lifeless of pitches. At the Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad, innings of authority from Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara, and combative bowling from Graeme Swann, ensured that it was not one-way traffic. India ended Thursday (November 15) on 323 for 4, well on top, but England fought hard to try and stay in the game.
For starters, Mahendra Singh Dhoni won an important toss and quickly chose to bat, the ninth time he has done so at home, never having lost in those instances. Even as James Anderson and Stuart Broad completed their opening overs, it was clear that the pitch was dry, and footmarks began to appear well before it was customary. But the pitch was no rank turner, not yet anyway, and lack of pace and bounce confounded England's bowlers.