Manchester: "You can't win a Test match on a first morning, but you can certainly lose it," goes an old cricketing view that many pundits have preached. The first session of the fourth Test between India and England was a classic example of this.
Ajinkya Rahane. Pic/AFP
Under cloudy skies, the ball swung prodigiously and for the first time, the edges flew to the slip cordon. India collapsed metrically in the first 45 minutes of the match and this could well be fateful.
The pitch was slightly damp, but it did not induce great seam movement like Lord's or Southampton on the first morning. It was the classic conventional swing bowling that had Indian batsmen surrendering their wickets at will.
In-form opening batsman Murali Vijay enjoyed great success in the series so far, but yesterday on a pitch with superior carry, the edge ended up in the hands of first slip.
Gautam Gambhir's style of not offering the full face of the bat and the bounce in the wicket resulted in a healthy edge to gully.
Virat Kohli was set up by James Anderson superbly. He received a booming inswinger first up and shouldered arms. Next ball, Anderson tilted the seam towards third slip and Kohli, failing to see the subtle change, played for the inswinger only to find the ball snapped up by Cook.
Cheteshwar Pujara's shot was uncharacteristic of a player who is regarded as technically sound. Ajinkya Rahane negotiated the swing perfectly.
But with lunch beckoning, he tried a square drive instead of a cover drive and the open face of the bat led to his downfall.