Life felt very much back to normal after over a year of UK lockdowns. Champagne was flowing in the Veuve Clicquot tent and a long queue had formed outside the Indian Street Food stall serving ‘kathi rolls’ with ‘masala fries’. At lunch time, the Bharat Army could be easily spotted near the nursery ground swigging champagne and enjoying a picnic of ‘samosas and dhoklas’.
Bobby Upple, from Rochester, said: “It is brilliant to be back at the home of cricket after such a long time – not just to see the cricket but to be back with the Bharat Army who are like a family to me.
“Lord’s is very civilised – you are not allowed flags or instruments or chanting – it is different to Oval, so here people are focused on the game and players. It is a different experience. India’s bowling attack is not as good as it should be today. Fair play to Root. England are on top.”
“For pedigree, occasion and theatre, Lord’s is a fantastic cricket stadium. Lord’s has a very educated cricket crowd who appreciate good cricket, whether India or England win. When Rahul got a century everyone was up,” said Ashok Bhudia from Essex.
“India had a fantastic first (first) day but now England have come back. India need wickets desperately as Root will take England over the target,” Bhudia added.
Root eventually scored 180 not out to help England to 391 in their first innings for a 27-run lead over the visitors.
Food kiosks sold everything from fish and chips, to Cornish pasties, to “Lord’s Butter Chicken”.