Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21, 1st Test (D/N): Aussie pacers push India onto the backfoot on Day 1
First Published Dec 17, 2020, 11:43 AM IST
India are taking on Australia in a four-Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India are the defending champions, having won it during their last visit, in 2018-19. Both the sides are playing their first day-night match together, while India are playing their first in Australia.
Visitors India were off to a plodding start, as they are 233/6 at stumps on Day 1, against hosts Australia, in the first day-night Test for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, at the Adelaide Oval, on Thursday. The Australian pacers have been effective so far, while seamer Mitchell Starc has claimed the best figures of 2/49.
Winning the toss, Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, elected to bat first. Having already announced their playing XI on Wednesday, they went in with four pacers and a spinner. As for Australia, skipper Tim Paine stuck with Joe Birn, who was doubtful due to an injury, while Matthew Wade has been backed to open, as they too possess the same bowling combination as India.
The Indians were off to a shaky start, as opener Prithvi Shaw fell for an unfortunate duck in the very second ball of the game, since seamer Starc cleaned him up, with no runs on the board. In came Cheteshwar Pujara, as he, along with opener Mayank Agarwal, decided to take hold of the innings.
However, it was 32 runs later when fellow pacer Cummins knocked over Mayank, as he walked away for mere 17. His departure saw the early arrival of Kohli onto the pitch, as he, along with Pujara, ensured that they watch the session out, as they finished on 41/2 during the dinner break.
As of now, India have struggled with the seam movement in the opening hours of the session. Meanwhile, the Australians have used four pacers so far, who have been successful in containing the run flow and would be interesting to see if and when spinner Nathan Lyon comes into the action.
Following the dinner break, the pair of Pujara and Kohli ensured that they play it as long as they can, without any hiccups. Resuming at the score of 41/2, the couple went on to score 100 runs for the side.
However, it was then when spinner Nathan Lyon struck, as an inside edge allowed Pujara to be caught by Marnus Labuschagne, at the short fine leg, for 43. Following his dismissal, vice-captain, Ajinkya Rahane, made his way in, as he has managed to score a couple so far.
Meanwhile, Kohli has been batting steady, for now, staying unbeaten on 39, while India went in at 107/3 during the tea break. Although he suffered a brief injury scare on his thumb, following a short-pitched delivery, that led to some bleeding, he was safe enough to continue.
As the Indians resumed following the tea break, they went on to score 81 runs since. Meanwhile, Kohli brought up his 22nd half-century of the format and was going smooth.
However, at the score of 188, Rahane played a delivery off Lyon to covers, while he called for a single. However, he changed his mind at the end, as Kohli was run out at the score of 74.
Following his dismissal, the incoming batsmen did not look comfortable enough, as just eight runs later, Rahane, too, departed for 42 to Starc, who trapped him leg-before. While the pair of Hanuma Vihari and Wriddhiman Saha ensured that India reached 200, it was at the score of 206 when the former fell for 16 to pacer Josh Hazlewood, trapping leg-before once again.
As for the track, the seam seems to have worn out, but not entirely, while Lyon is giving a tough time to the batsmen with some unpredictable spins. It is indeed a sign for things to come for India when they come out to bowl.
Nonetheless, it was the pair of Saha and all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin who ensured that they stay at the crease until stumps on Day 1. Overall, the Australian pacers had a good day, despite falling an over short at the end of day's play.
Brief scores: India 233/6 (Kohli 74; Starc 2/49) vs Australia.