Stokes hopeful England batters can pile on runs

ENGLAND all-rounder Ben Stokes is targeting a fast start to day two of the second Test against India at Lord’s.

A century from Ajinkya Rahane was the highlight for the tourists as they ended the opening day on 290-9 after fighting back from 145-7 as England failed to fully capitalise on a pitch ripe for fast bowling.

Stokes admitted his side had wasted an opportunity to dismiss the tourists cheaply and gain an early upper hand.

“We got ourselves into a brilliant position,” Stokes said. “The tail wagged a bit and credit to Rahane, he played a really good knock.

“Hopefully we can take this last wicket sooner rather than later and then the batsmen can really pile it on. It’s one of those wickets where it is a struggle to start with, but once you get in, you get the pace of the pitch and you can really go big, as Rahane showed.”

England bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad both passed landmarks after captain Alastair Cook won the toss and opted to field on a green pitch with plenty to offer his side.

Anderson took the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan to become England’s highest Test wicket-taker on home soil while Broad claimed India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni as his 250th Test scalp.

“Jimmy and Broady have been fantastic performers,” Stokes added. “They have proven how good a bowling unit they are for England.”

England’s failure to push on from a promising start, however, will frustrate under-pressure skipper Cook. India put on 90 runs for the eighth wicket as Rahane was ably supported by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who chipped in with a valuable 36.

Rahane’s hundred came from 154 balls and proved to be a proud moment for the India batsman.

He said: “I’m really happy with this special 100 at Lord’s.

“We had a great day. Playing Test cricket outside your country is a challenge and I love challenges.”