India have gained a slight advantage in the fourth Test, restricting England to 5-199 at stumps on day one at the VCA Stadium in Jamtha, Nagpur on Thursday.
Kevin Pietersen (73) was the best England batsman on show while Jonathan Trott (44) also chipped in and debutant Joe Root (unbeaten 31) and Matt Prior (unbeaten 34) showed great discipline to ensure India did not take control of the game.
On a wicket with variable bounce, Ishant Sharma claimed 2-32 in the morning session to put the visitors on the backfoot while debutant Ravindra Jadeja picked up 2-34 and Piyush Chawla chipped in with a wicket to keep England in check.
Alastair Cook (1) called correctly for the first time in the series but England were immediately on the backfoot when Nick Compton (3) edged Sharma to MS Dhoni behind the stumps.
With India playing just one paceman, Sharma had the responsibility of giving India early breakthroughs and the youngster did not disappoint, trapping Cook LBW to leave England at 2-16 in the 11th over.
India were eyeing further inroads but Pietersen curbed his aggressive instincts well and Trott displayed a good defensive technique to put on 86 runs on either side of the lunch break.
The English pair looked set for many more before an error in judgement saw the partnership broken as Trott shouldered arms to a Jadeja delivery that came in with the arm and clipped the off stump.
Ian Bell (1) was resolute in defence as he and Pietersen put on 17 runs in 11.1 overs but off his 28th delivery, he failed to keep a drive off Chawla down giving Virat Kohli at cover an easy catch.
India were right on top at the stage and looked to put Root under pressure but the youngster held on impressively and against the run of play, it was Pietersen who returned to the pavilion.
The right-hander came down the wicket to Jadeja and looked to play him in front of square leg but only managed to scoop a simple catch to Pragyan Ojha at midwicket.
The hosts, who have to win the Test to avoid a series defeat, looked set to polish off the England lower order but the aggressive Prior and the defensive Root put on 60 runs, the second highest partnership of the innings so far, to ensure England can still hope for a total of around 300.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 14 December, 2012 10:36AM AEST