London: England won the toss and elected to bat against India in the first Test of four at Lord's on Thursday.
India chose to omit off spinner Harbhajan Singh and include medium-pacer Ajit Agarkar instead, leg spinner Anil Kumble the only specialist slow bowler in the side. For England, Craig White won the battle for the final place over fellow all-rounder Dominic Cork. Meanwhile wicket-keeper Alec Stewart became his country's most capped Test player in his 119th match, surpassing fellow former England captain Graham Gooch's record.
At the other end of the spectrum Glamorgan fast bowler Simon Jones, son of former England quick Jeff, made his Test debut with fellow pace bowlers Darren Gough, Andrew Caddick and Alex Tudor all injured. Also missing through injury was England opening batsman Marcus Trescothick. Mark Butcher was promoted back to the top of the order with John Crawley recalled to the batting line-up. England beat Sri Lanka 2-0 in a three-match Test series earlier this season while India's last Test campaign saw it go down 2-1 away to the West Indies. India has not won a Test series outside of the sub-continent since 1986 when Kapil Dev captained them to a 2-0 victory in England.
Teams: England: Nasser Hussain (captain), Mark Butcher, Michael Vaughan, Graham Thorpe, John Crawley, Alec Stewart (wicket-keeper), Andrew Flintoff, Craig White, Ashley Giles, Simon Jones and Matthew Hoggard.
India: Saurav Ganguly (captain), Virender Sehwag, Wasim Jaffer, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Venkat Sai Laxman, Ajay Ratra (wicket-keeper), Ajit Agarkar, Anil Kumble, Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan.
Umpires: Rudi Koertzen (RSA), Russell Tiffin (Zimbabwe).
Third umpire: Peter Willey (England).
Match referee: Mike Procter (RSA)