Rajkot: Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara batted steadily to help India to 162/1 at lunch on the third day of the first cricket Test against England at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Friday.
Vijay was batting on 57 while Pujara was unbeaten on 62 at the break.
Opener Gautam Gambhir was the only Indian wicket to fall in the pre-lunch session. He was trapped leg before by pacer Stuart Broad on 29.
The Delhi left-hander, who has made a comeback to the Test squad after a prolonged period, hit four boundaries during his 72-delivery stay in the middle.
Gambhir and Vijay, who produced an opening stand of 68, could only add five runs to India’s overnight score before the former moved too far across his stumps to be hit on his pads in front of middle and off.
Pujara then joined Vijay in the middle and the duo ensured that the hosts lost no more wickets before lunch with an unbeaten partnership of 94 runs.
Pujara did face some trouble against the England pacers, particularly from Chris Woakes, who hit him three times on the helmet.
Both Pujara and Vijay were much better against the England spinners however, and the latter brought up his half-century in style with a six over long-on off left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari.
Vijay however was lucky to survive on three occasions, getting a leading edge when looking to drive Ansari against the turn, edging Woakes wide of slip, and not picking an Rashid delivery in the last over before lunch.
India (First Innings): 162/1 (Cheteshwar Pujara 62 batting, Murali Vijay 57 batting) vs England 537.
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