England will put India to the sword again in perfect conditions

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England batting coach Graham Gooch admits he’s satisfied with England’s start to their fourth Test against India – despite the rain disrupted first day.

England finished on 75-0 on the opening day at the Oval with Andrew Strauss hitting 38 and Alastair Cook 34.

However, things could have been even better for the home side had the weather in South London not been distinctly unseasonal.

Gooch said: “There was a fantastic crowd in so it’s disappointing we had the autumn-like weather.

“We were very lucky to get a start after the weather forecast, but it was disappointing because you want to end this Test on a high note.

“We won the toss and elected to bat, which I thought was the right decision. Although it was overcast, the wicket looked good.

“Obviously it could move around but it can do that at any Test match on the first day, but they applied themselves well.

“We’re very happy with that position. You’re trying to build a platform for the middle order to go on and get a big score so to go the first session without losing a wicket was ideal.”

The second day promises to be a different proposition with glorious sunshine predicted for the whole day.

Ishant Sharma was India’s only real threat in the attack yesterday so England should score heavily in the perfect conditions.

Backing Strauss, who is already on 38, to top score for England in the first innings looks the bet at 1/1, while there’s also value in backing England for the win at 2/1.

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