Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeecric Bureau
London: Play was called off due to torrential rain in the opening day of the fourth Test between India and England at The Oval on Thursday.
Play was held up due to rain during the lunch break, prompting the ground staff to bring in the covers and after an inspection, the umpires decided to call off the day`s play.
Electing to bat, England were had breezed to 75 for no loss at lunch.
England captain Andrew Strauss was batting on 38 while Alastair Cook was unbeaten on 34.
England went into lunch 75 for no loss in 26 overs as Captain Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook seemed all set to build a solid foundation for their middle-order. Even the overcast conditions probably affected the Indian team as there was no enthusiasm or vigor on show from the Indians.
The bowlers, as has been the case failed to utilise the morning conditions and for the English it was a bit like morning practice session. The Indians lacked the fight and the lunch break may turn around things.
Ishant Sharma had been bowling well and he produced a snorter chipping away the front of Strauss’s helmet. That is the kind of intent needed from the Indians.
Bowling after a lay-off of three years in Tests, RP Singh was evidently rusty as he sent down a very erratic first over. S Sreesnath who should consider himself to be lucky to be playing in the fourth Test failed to live upto his billing as well.
Oval pitch is the most batting friendly wicket and evidently Indian bowlers struggled in the morning session.
India, trailing the series 0-3, replaced injured Praven Kumar with left-arm paceman R P Singh. Praveen had suffered a thumb injury during the third Test at Edgbaston.
England had named an unchanged side that won the third Test.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Amit Mishra, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, RP Singh and S Sreesanth.
England: Andrew Strauss (C), Alastair Cook, KP Pietersen, Matt Prior, Ian Bell, Eoin Moragn, Ravi Bopara, James Anderson, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.
Umpires: Simon Taufel and R Tucker
TV umpire: Steve Davis
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle.