London, Aug 10: Resuming from a precarious 75/4 at lunch, VVS Laxman and Suresh Raina tread cautiously. Laxman, was his usual self and played with ease. Raina on the other hand, seemed to be forever anticipating a barrage of short pitched stuff and was rooted deep inside his crease.
But just as it appeared that he might have withered the storm and was looking set for a good innings, out came Anderson and castled his furniture with a sharp delivery that was coming in. He could score only 4 and India was reduced to 92/6.
Laxman was the next to depart with the score reading 100/7. The stylish right-hander was playing the English seamers without any apparent discomfort until; Tim Bresnan dug one short and enticed him to go for the pull. Laxman obliged and was caught by a well-placed Stuart Broad at deep fine-leg.
Amit Mishra was the next to go caught behind by Matt Prior of Stuart Broad.
It was then left to skipper M S Dhoni to lend some respectability to the scorecard and he did just the right thing by reverting back to his natural game. He did show signs of a man struggling for form, but once he started attacking, the results soon came out and he began to flourish.
During that period, he admirably shielded Praveen Kumar from the barrage of short-deliveries that was being dished out by the English bowlers. And once Praveen settled down, Dhoni took the England bowlers to the cleaners.
By the time he reached his half-century of a boundary from Graeme Swann, he had already hit Anderson and Broad for a six each.
Praveen on the other hand, kept scoring the odd-boundary and in-between managed to hoist Graeme Swann for a huge six. However after forging a 84-run partnership with Dhoni, he was caught behind by Prior of Bresnan for a well-made 26 runs.
The Praveen-Dhoni partnership came at a brisk pace too as they scored the 84 runs in only 14 overs. At the tea-break India were better placed at 205/8 with Ishant giving company to Dhoni.