AUSTRALIA. Melbourne: Indian bowlers and immaculate field placing by Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane have helped to restrict the Australian score to 195 at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on the first day of the second test match. Meanwhile, India has made four changes in their playing XI. Shubhman Gill and Mohamad Siraj have made their debut in test cricket with today’s match. Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant were also brought in the team for the ‘Boxing Day’ test. The Australian team has made no changes in their team. After winning the toss, Australia decided to bat first.
Indian fast bowler Jaspreet Bumrah made the first breakthrough by removing Joe Burns for naught. Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne passed some anxious moments before settling in. A sudden rush of blood by Mathew Wade led to his downfall.
Trying to hoist Ashwin, he was brilliantly caught by Jadeja who had to run ten yards back to make the catch. He did not lose the ball even after colliding with Gill. Ravichandran Ashwin’s brilliant spell removed Steve Smith. Smith was caught at leg gully by Cheteshwar Pujara on Ashwin’s bowling. With 38 for 3, the Australia team was in a troublesome situation.
Solid fourth-wicket partnership
After Smith’s departure, Labuschagne found an able partner in Travis Head who was a bit circumspect initially. But he quickly settled in and began to score. His straight drive to Bumrah was the ‘Shot of the match’. The duo added 86 runs before Head was caught at the gully of the bowling of Bumrah. He scored a good 38 runs. Labuschagne did not last long either. Debutant Siraj got his first wicket by removing him. He scored 48 runs.
Quick wickets after tea
After tea, Siraj claimed his second victim by trapping Cameron Green. Ashwin’s magical bowling weaved a web to remove Australian captain Tim Paine for just 13 runs. After Paine, Mitchell Starc came in to bat. But, he was soon removed by Bumrah for 7 runs. Australian spinner Nathon Lyon’s cameo stretched the score of Australia to 191 for 8. He hit Bumrah a six and a four in consecutive balls. However, Bumrah had the last laugh when he trapped Lyon in front of the wicket. After that, Jadeja took the final wicket of Pat Cummins. Due to this, Australian innings bundled out on a paltry sum of 195.
India’s shaky start
With 10 overs to play, India made a shaky start. With no run on the scoreboard, Mayank Aggarwal was out lbw to Starc. It was a very testing moment for newcomer Gill and ‘India’s batting mainstay’ Pujara. Gill got a lifeline when he was dropped by Labuschagne at the second slip. However, Gill recovered from that debacle and scored some attractive shots. His forward defense has more solid technique than Prithvi Shaw who had a yawning gap between his bat and pad. At the close of the
day, India scored 36 for 1 with Gill and Pujara remained not out on 28 and 7 respectively. Now, with good work done by bowlers, the onus will be on Indian batsmen when they will bat tomorrow.
Australia – 195 All Out ( Labuschagne- 48, Head- 38, Bumrah – 4/56, Ashwin- 3/35, Siraj- 2/40)
India – 36/1 ( Gill – 28*, Pujara – 7*)