Leeds: India endured a tough morning's cricket to be 58 for one off 28 overs at lunch on the first day of the third Test against England at Headingley on Thursday. India's run rate was barely two an over as England's pace bowlers gave the batsmen a tough examination. At the break opener Sanjay Bangar, in his first Test of the series, was 22 not out off 84 balls including two fours and Rahul Dravid was unbeaten on 17 off 67 balls with one boundary.
Earlier India captain Saurav Ganguly won the toss and, despite overcast conditions favouring seam bowling, elected to bat first. India was forced to endure some testing early overs from Matthew Hoggard, on his home ground, and Andrew Caddick, back in the team after a side strain. And it was not long before India lost its first wicket. In the 7th over, Virender Sehwag drove loosely at a Hoggard outswinger and Andrew Flintoff, at second slip, took a sharp catch going to his left to leave India 15 for one. Sehwag, who scored a century in the drawn second Test at Trent Bridge, had managed just seven this time around having faced 23 balls.
England continued to attack, having up to six fielders in the slip and gully region on occasion. But Bangar and Dravid fought hard against the swinging ball. Dravid had a brief moment of dominance when he drove Hoggard through extra cover for four but India's runs were still coming at under two an over. Meanwhile Caddick, after an opening spell of six overs for 13 runs, was replaced by fellow quick Alex Tudor, recalled to the team after being out with shin splints.
At the Kirkstall Lane End, Hoggard bowled unchanged for 90 minutes returning impressive initial figures of 10 overs for 20 runs including one wicket and four maidens. India then came close to losing its second wicket when, with the score on 57, Dravid (then on 16) was almost run out. He pushed Andrew Flintoff into the off-side and saw Michael Vaughan's under-arm throw from cover just miss the stumps at the non- striker's end with Dravid short of his ground.