London, Aug 19 : The Indian cricket team, which looked to get England out as soon as possible on the opening day of the fourth and final Test match at Oval cricket Ground here on Thursday, was denied the opportunity after lunch because of rain.
Openers Andrew Strauss (38 not out) and Alastair Cook (34 not out) put on 75 in an unbroken first wicket partnership against an under-strength attack when the rain, which had been lurking around south London all morning finally descended.
Left-arm pace bowler Rudra Pratap Singh, who had not played a test for more than three years, replaced Praveen Kumar, said it would be difficult to set a target for England''s dismissal.
"It is very difficult to say, let the match start again. But we will try to get them (England) out as soon as possible because it will be important for us. But it will be difficult to set a target," Singh told reporters.
"After three years. I was a bit nervous to start with that is why I bowled here and there in first over but after that I gradually picked up my line and length. I have learnt few more things. Now, I try to bowl in-swingers to left-handed batsman," added Singh.
India, who relinquished their number one ranking to England after being thrashed in the first three tests in the four-match series, lost their best remaining bowler Kumar before the start of play.
India''s leading bowlers, left-arm pace bowler Zaheer Khan and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, are also injured.
Strauss elected to bat after winning the toss, marking the first time in the series that the opposition side has not been inserted, and England''s only moment of real uncertainty before lunch came when their captain was hit on the helmet by Ishant Sharma.
The rain started to fall half an hour into the lunch break and Australian umpires Simon Taufel and Rod Tucker finally called play off with the pitch area fully covered and the floodlights on. England leads the four match series by 3-0. (ANI)
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