(CNN) -- The 2,000 Test match got off to a rain-disrupted start at Lord's Thursday with England battling to 127 for two wickets by the close after being put into bat by India.
No play was possible after tea at the traditional home of cricket, with Zaheer Khan taking both the wickets to fall of openers and Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook.
But the experienced left-armer seamer went off with a hamstring strain in the afternoon session and India will be keeping an anxious eye on his fitness not just for the first Test, but for the remainder of the four-match series.
England can dislodge India from the top of the world Test rankings if they claim the series by a margin of two Tests or more and after being put into bat in helpful bowling conditions would be the happier of the two teams.
Jonathan Trott, who was dropped twice, was on 58 not out with Kevin Pietersen on 22 in the 100th Test between the two sides.
Their unbroken stand of 65 came after England captain Strauss miscued Zaheer to be out for 22 and leave his side 62 for two wickets.
Cook went earlier for 12, trapped lbw by Zaheer.
India coach Duncan Fletcher, who used to be in charge of England, had hoped for better from his side after winning the toss.
"From our point of view, we'd have been happy with three wickets," he told Press Association.
"It was difficult for our bowlers to get used to the swing. Zaheer Khan was the best at it but the others (Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma) lacked his experience and he was a big loss for us."
The ever-consistent Trott had his first let off when he had scored just eight.
He edged off-spinner Harbhajan Singh to slip but Rahul Dravid could not hold the chance.
On 32, Trott edged Zaheer, but India captain and wicketkeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni failed to move across to his right for the catch.