Before the Test, once England's twelve-man squad was named, I would have said that the top-seven really picked itself. Alastair Cook and Sam Robson open, Ian Bell at three, Joe Root four, then Gary Ballance, Moeen Ali and Matt Prior. Naturally, the England management saw differently, preferring to put the batsmen at three, four and five in alphabetical order. Given that Gary Ballance rarely bats higher than five in county cricket, I'd say that putting him at three is a brave move.
Nonetheless, the middle-order looks surprisingly good at the moment. With Bell, Root and Prior appearing to have nailed down four, five and seven respectively, I expect those positions in the order to remain constant. Root especially looks like he's in the right place - at third-drop, he averages about eighty, with two of his three centuries. Moeen Ali, too, looked classy and comfortable, despite falling on 48, but he is occupying the spot that was dramatically claimed by Ben Stokes in the winter.
The trouble is this, though: what happens when Stokes comes back? You'd expect him to bat at six, which means that one of Robson, Ali or Ballance has to miss out, and one has to bat at number three. The one who does so in county cricket is Moeen Ali, while Robson is now the opener in possession. Despite his nervous push outside off, I expect that he has far more to show in due course. I wouldn't want to drop Ballance yet, but I reckon he might be the easiest man to drop when Stokes returns.
That would leave the team horribly un-balanced, though, with five seamers (Stokes, Jordan, Plunkett, Broad, Anderson). One of those would surely have to make way for a specialist spinner; options for that spot would include Scott Borthwick, who had a decent first Test despite limited county performances, Simon Kerrigan, who knows Peter Moores very well, and perhaps Middlesex's Ravi Patel, a young spinner with a decent record who is firmly on the English radar. My pick would be Borthwick, though, because should he bowl badly, he can still contribute with the bat and in the field, while Moeen Ali could bowl some overs as a stock spinner.
Of course, six hours in is not the time to start assessing the success of a Test side, and Day One of the Test is not the time to play selection roulette, but if I was planning a team for the India series, I'd be looking at this: Alastair Cook, Sam Robson, Moeen Ali, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Matt Prior, Scott Borthwick, Chris Jordan, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson. Ballance, Woakes and Plunkett would remain around the team as back-up batsman, all-rounder and seamer respectively.
And finally, well batted England.