Khan injury hands Trott the initiative

ENGLAND batsman Jonathan Trott believes India may rue passing up a golden opportunity to take the initiative on the opening day of the first Test at Lord’s, on which the tourists saw Zaheer Khan suffer a potentially series-defining injury.

With overhead conditions favouring swing bowling India’s captain MS Dhoni needed no second invitation to insert England – and his decision was vindicated early on when Khan accounted for both openers, Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss, with the score on 62.

But several missed run-out opportunities and two dropped catches from Rahul Dravid meant India would have been disappointed not to have made further inroads, while their frustration was compounded by Khan’s hamstring pull (right).

Trott, dropped on eight by Dravid and reprieved again on 32 when the same fielder ignored an edge induced by a Khan snorter, contributed an unbeaten 58 to England’s 127-2, before rain stopped play for the day shortly before the tea interval.

“Yeah [maybe they were a bit sloppy] and I had one that went through the slips off what was a very good delivery,” said Trott.

“But that happens in cricket. It works in roundabouts and I was just happy to get through the day with Kevin Pietersen.

“It is all about the first half hour [on Friday] and cementing our position in the Test. The key is not to look too far ahead.

“[Playing India] is a good measure of yourself and as a team, it is just the first day of 20 days of cricket and it is really exciting.”

Khan, the spearhead of the touring attack, bowled magnificently and caused problems for each of England’s batsmen before he pulled up midway through his 14th over.

India assessed his injury last night and will do so again today before making a decision on his imminent involvement.

But the initial prognosis suggests he will play no further part in this Test at the very least. Trott, however, will prepare as if the left-armer is fit to play.

He said: “With Zaheer being injured it’s not for us to take that for granted and expect him to be fit and raring to go.

“Whoever has the ball in their hand will be threatening in the Indian side and we are going to have to combat that.”

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STAT OF THE DAY
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REASON FOR SMUGNESS
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