London: Jonathan Trott was at the centre of England's revival as India dropped a couple of catches to allow the hosts to wriggle out of early trouble on the rain-marred opening day of the first Test at the Lord's.

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Only 49.2 overs of play was possible on Thursday in which home team reached 127 for two courtesy a patient half century by the England No 3.

The right-handed Trott was unbeaten on 58 and added 65 runs for the undefeated third-wicket stand with Kevin Pietersen (22 batting) after Zaheer Khan sent back both the openers.

The Indian pace spearhead dismissed Alastair Cook (12) and skipper Andrew Strauss (22), and could have had Trott too had skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni attempted for a regulation catch that went through him and the first slip after the batsman got squared up.

Zaheer who missed out on the trip to Caribbean due to injury, had excellent figures of 13.3-8-18-2, before he went away clutching the back of his right thigh, later diagnosed, according to reports from dressing room, as mere cramps.

Trott flourished in Zaheer's absence, completing his half century from 155 minutes batting, hitting seven fours from 89 balls.

His application, despite his lucky breaks, clearly showed why the right-hander has made 712 runs in his last eight Test matches which had three centuries including a double hundred.

The let-off in the slips wasn’t the only chance which came Trott's way. He was on 8 when Rahul Dravid at first slip was slow to react to an edge off Harbhajan Singh.

The opening day of the historic Test, the 2000th ever in Test annals and the 100th between the two nations, began half an hour late due to slight drizzle and stopped completely after 20 minutes before the scheduled tea break.

There was a possibility at the far end of the day when umpires decided to squeeze in an hour but rain again played truant.

Put into bat by Indian captain Dhoni, English openers really had a tough opening session when new-ball bowlers Zaheer Khan and Praveen Kumar probed away relentlessly on the off-stump and neither Strauss nor Cook were entirely comfortable.

England scored their first runs in the fourth over as the first three were maiden overs with both Zaheer and Praveen never drifting down the leg-side and slip fielders agog in anticipation.

Dhoni fortified his slip cordon and kept two gullies against the two left-handed openers of England after watching his bowlers keep a tight leash on the opposition.

The first runs came as Cook played a cut shot off Praveen which went past point region.

The much-anticipated Strauss vs Zaheer contest lived up to expectation as the England captain found the Indian left-arm pacer a far more difficult proposition than the warm-up game against Somerset.

After Strauss weaved and dodged Zaheer's seaming deliveries, he finally pushed a delivery into the covers for a sharp single against the paceman who is likely to give him some sleepless nights in coming weeks.

The single came after Zaheer had locked him up at one end for 14 deliveries.

Despite the excellent bowling, England were solid without being spectacular but for couple of anxious moments when Praveen went up for a leg before shout against Cook but the ball had pitched beyond the leg stump.

There was a more realistic chance of a breakthrough when Cook pushed Zaheer to mid-on in the seventh over and took a step out of his crease—only to find Strauss rushing down from the non-striker's end.

Ishant Sharma at mid-on fielded the ball but his throw at the non-striker's end was off-target with the rival captain well short of his ground.

Zaheer was almost at the end of his first spell when he got a ball to straighten up and hit Cook on the pads who missed an attempted flick after batting for 45 minutes to be wrapped on the pads. Umpire Asad Rauf adjudged the batsman leg before. Cook had scored 12 hitting a boundary in his 36-ball knock.

This is the first time in his last seven innings when Cook has failed to score a half century for England.

Zaheer gave himself one more over before ending his first spell with excellent figures of 7-3-9-1.

Strauss broke the shackles when Ishant, replacing Zaheer from the nursery end, bowled a short and wide delivery and the left-hander ferociously cut it for a four.

It was the 48th delivery that Strauss had faced in his innings for his first four. He followed it up with a superb thrust past midwicket off Praveen for another boundary.

Trott, the new man, was never in discomfort, and also helped himself to a boundary off Ishant, flicking him to fine leg and into the pickets.

Dhoni brought on Harbhajan in the 19th over to switch ends for Ishant and was almost immediately rewarded  with his first ball of the summer, a straighter one which took the edge of Trott's bat and eluded Dravid who perhaps was standing a tad too back at first slip.

England, who took the lunch at 43 for 1, made a strong recovery in the second session despite Strauss falling for the sixth time to Zaheer his fourth such dismissal to left-arm seamers this summer.

Zaheer claimed Strauss with a delivery that bounced quicker than the batsman had anticipated and who could never control a pull which went straight to fine leg fielder Ishant.

Pietersen showed signs of poor form and two of his fours, both off Praveen, were streaky shots past the slip cordon, the second one in fact quite lucky as he had aimed for flick and the ball took the outside edge of his bat.

Indians appeared to have lost their heart with chances not going their way before gloomy conditions, despite the floodlights being lit, first brought an early tea break and the subsequent rain completely wiped out the rest of the day's play.

Teams (from):

England:  Andrew Strauss (capt), Alistair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Chris Tremlett, Tim Bresnan.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt & wk), Gautam Gambhir, Abhinav Mukund, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Amit Mishra, Munaf Patel, Wriddhiman Saha, S Sreesanth.

Umpires:  Billy Bowden (New Zealand) and Asad Rauf (Pakistan).
Third umpire: Marais Erasmus (South Africa)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)

The match starts at 3.30 pm IST.