India suffered a major blow in the first day of the first test in the NatWest series, in the form of an injured Zaheer Khan. He seemed to have pulled his hamstring muscles during bowling one of his overs.
On the dull overcast Thursday morning at the Lord’s Cricket ground, Dhoni won a good toss to put England in to bat. The conditions were right for a bit of swing and the Indian bowlers were hoping for some early break through. Zaheer was the pick of the bowlers for India picking up 2 early wickets for his side, giving just 18 runs. Other bowlers, Ishant and Praveen were not as effective. The pressure was more on England it seemed as they scored slowly. The ball was doing enough to keep the batsman guessing but Ishant was not very precise with his line and length. There were a few moments when the ball went passed the outside edge but it was not much to unsettle the home side.
Zaheer went off the field immediately after his injury leaving Indian with not much of sting left in the bowling department. Dhoni seemed to be on the defensive as his field setting. As time went on, England batsmen looked to settle in. they had taken their time in the middle and now they started to score a few more boundaries with Zaheer missing from the picture.
Pieterson and Trott were in the middle and looking strong when rain disrupted play. The players had to wait till the rain passed the ground. There was already prior information about rain in the coming few days over the stadium. The rain also had delayed the start of the test match by about half hour. More rain is predicted over the next two days.
Zaheer has been out with hamstring injury more than once in the last few years. He even had an operation done a while back and has recovered form it well to come back into international cricket. This year, after the IPL season, he had been kept out of the West Indies tour. This was more of a comeback match for Zaheer who was back from a long rest and this injury could see him miss a few more matches, something that Dhoni and India would definitely not wish for.