Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21, 4th Test: Labuschagne's ton puts Australia in command at stumps on Day 1
Australia is taking on India in a four-Test series, Down Under, in a bid to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The series is locked at 1-1, as the deciding Test is being played in Brisbane. So far, both the teams have had their share of success.
Australia finished on top, on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, at The Gabba in Brisbane, on Friday. Marnus Labuschagne's century was the highlight of the day, as Australia has edged closer to 300 at stumps.
Australian skipper, Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat first, as the host made a change, with Marcus Harris coming in for an injured Will Pucovski. India, marred by injuries, made five changes to its side, along with a couple of debutants.
The Australians were off to a shaky start, with opener David Warner departing in the very first over, from Mohammed Siraj, as he fell for a mere single after edging it to Rohit Sharma in the slips, with just four runs on the board. He was quickly followed by Harris, 13 runs later, who handed it to debutant Sundar at short leg, off Shardul Thakur.
Nonetheless, as the openers fell for cheap, it was the pair of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith that took charge for the rest of the session and contributed to an unbeaten stand of 48. While Labuschagne was unbeaten on 19, Smith was on 30, as the lunch break was called in.
Resuming post-lunch at 65/2, the pair continued to play well and contributed to a 70-run stand. At 87, Smith fell for 36 to debutant spinner, Washington Sundar, after handing a catch to Rohit at the short fine leg.
The pair of Labuschagne and wicketkeeper-batsman, Matthew Wade, batted for the rest of the session, before the tea break. Meanwhile, Labuschagne brought up his 11th half-century in the format, while he was dropped on 37 by skipper, Ajinkya Rahane, at the slips.
Meanwhile, Saini suffered an injury scare, right after Labuschagne was dropped, as he seemed to have hurt his groin and left the field for a brief time. Nonetheless, he was back quick but did not bowl, he was taken off the field again to undergo scans.
At 154/3, Labuschagne and Wade continued their onslaught in the post-tea session, while the former brought up his fifth Test century. Nonetheless, at the score of 200, Wade departed for 45, after being caught by Shardul Thakur at mid-on, off debutant pacer, T Natarajan.
Just 13 runs soon after, it was Labuschagne, who headed back as well, for 108, following a reckless shot off Natarajan again, as Rishabh Pant held behind him. Nevertheless, the pair of Cameron Green (28*) and Paine (38*) batted out until the end of day's play, with an unbeaten stand of 61.
As for the Indians, they have utilised six bowlers so far. Anyways, Natarajan has tasted the most success so far, claiming a couple, while Siraj and Saini have been the most economical ones.
Brief scores: Australia 274/5 (Labuschagne 108; Natarajan 2/63) vs India.