Skipper Virat Kohli and middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara survived some anxious moments to take India to 92/2 at lunch on the opening day of the second Test against England at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday.
Electing to bat, Kohli (35 not out) and Pujara (37 not out) resurrected the innings after England’s leading pace pair James Anderson and Stuart Broad dealt early blows by sending back openers Murali Vijay (20) and Lokesh Rahul (0) early in the session.
Rahul, who returned to the playing XI after being sidelined with an injury during the last series against New Zealand, lasted only five deliveries before pacer Stuart Broad, in his very first over, induced an edge which went straight into the hands of Ben Stokes at third slip.
The visitors dealt India a second blow in the fifth over of the morning when comeback man James Anderson accounted for the wicket for in-form opener Murali Vijay.
The Chennai opener looked good for his 21-ball innings, laced with four boundaries. But Anderson took Vijay by surprise with a short ball which looped off his gloves giving a simple catch to Stokes at gully.
The early dismissals brought in Kohli and Pujara together, who managed to survive some anxious moments from a disciplined England attack on a fresh Vizag pitch, hosting its first ever Test on Wednesday.
The right-handed combo steadied the innings with an unbeaten 70-run stand for the third wicket.
Playing his 50th Test, Kohli gained momentum once he got the feel of the track. His knock came off 61 deliveries, which contained five boundaries.
Pujara, who hit a defiant century at his home ground in Rajkot in the first Test, once again looked good in the middle. His patient 37 came off 81 balls, including four hits to the fence.
For the visitors, Anderson and Broad were the wicket-takers.