Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21, 3rd Test: Pucovski, Labuschagne put Australia on top at stumps on Day 1
First Published Jan 7, 2021, 7:10 AM IST
India locks horns against Australia in the third of the four-Test series to defend its Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The series is currently locked 1-1, as India would look to win this Test to retain the title. India is off to a steady start on Day 1.
Australia shook off its shaky start to finish on top at stumps on Day 1 of the third Test for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, at the Syndey Cricket Ground (SCG), on Thursday. Twin half-centuries from Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne did the job for the host, while the Indians could get just a couple of wickets.
Australian skipper, Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat first, as David Warner and Will Pucovski made their way in, while Travis Head missed out. Meanwhile, India saw the return of senior opener, Rohit Sharma, while pacer Navdeep Saini makes his debut.
The Australians were off to a rusty start, as with just six runs on the board, Warner departed for mere five to the pacer, Mohammed Siraj, after the former edged it to Cheteshwar Pujara in the slips. Meanwhile, Warner looked far from being 100% fit, as he struggled while running, while he also looked to attack every ball from the start.
The pair of Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne stayed in the middle, unbeaten on 14 and two, respectively. At the score of 21/1, the rain poured in, forcing the players off the field, while the umpires called in an early lunch.
The post-lunch session began almost an hour later, as the rain continued for a considerable amount of time. Following the resumption, the pair began from where they left off, as it looked to be in total control.
However, Australia could have lost Pucovski, only for two of his catches being dropped by the wicketkeeper, Rishabh Pant. Nonetheless, the opener struck his maiden Test century on debut, as he stays unbeaten on 54, along with Labuschagne (34*), while Australia was 93/1 at the tea break.
Following the tea break, it was at the score of 106 when Pucovski fell for 62 to debutant pacer, Navdeep Saini, who trapped him leg-before. Out came Steve Smith, as along with Labuschagne, the pair took charge for the rest of the day.
Meanwhile, Labuschagne brought up his ninth Test half-century, as he seemed to be in full rhythm. Smith contributed decently, staying unbeaten on 31, as the side finished on 166/2 at stumps on Day 1.
As for the Indian bowling, five bowlers have been utilised, with Siraj and Saini being the only ones to taste success, so far. Although the day saw a couple of rain breaks, the sky is expected to be clearer in the coming days.
Brief scores: Australia 166/2 (Pucovski 62, Labuschagne 67*, Saini 1/32) vs India.