It was a throwback to yesteryear as England crawled to 199-5 from 97 overs on the first day of the fourth and final cricket test against India in Nagpur.
England, who are 2-1 up in the series, opted to bat first but found going extremely tough against India's spin heavy attack - a total of 78 overs were wielded down by India's four spinners on the first day, a sign of things to come during the next four.
Kevin Pietersen top-scored with 73, from 188 balls, and combined with Jonathan Trott (44) for an 86-run third-wicket partnership, while debutant Joe Root (31 not out from 110 balls) and wicketkeeper Matt Prior (34 not out from 84 balls) have stitched together 60 runs for the sixth wicket.
"It is tough and it is the toughest wicket I have played test cricket on in terms of trying to play strokes," Pietersen said after a day when 483 of the 582 deliveries were dot balls.
"I think we have done okay at 200 for 5 but what the wicket is going to do from now on, I haven't got a clue because it looks pretty similar to what it did when we started the day. The key today was to try and bat for as long as possible because I don't think that wicket is getting any better.
"My guess is as good as anyone's in this room as to what that wicket is going to do. I don't know, but goodness, it is slow."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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