Impressive knocks from KL Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara help India get a good hold of the first test match against Australia at Adelaide. The home side continued batting from their overnight score of 191 for the loss of seven wickets at the end of Day 2.
It took India only four overs to find the breakthrough when Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Mitchell Starc for 15 runs. Travis Head continued his fine form with the bat as he was supported by Nathan Lyon at the other end. Mohammed Shami was welcomed by Lyon with a gorgeous six over his head. But the bowler made a strong comeback and picked up two wickets in two deliveries in the form of Travis Head and Josh Hazlewood to end the Australian innings for 235 runs, thus giving India a lead of 15 runs.
Indian openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay were expected to give India a solid start and they obliged to the task. Rahul was the aggressive batsman of the two. He struck a couple of beautiful boundaries to start his innings. Vijay at the other end was much more vigilant and patient with the bat. The duo brought up a fifty run partnership for the first wicket in the 14th over of the innings. It was in the 19th over when Australia got their first wicket thanks to Mitchell Starc. He picked up Vijay whose poor shot fell straight in the hands of Peter Handscomb at second slip.
Rahul looked to play positive cricket despite losing his partner. However poor shot selection brought his demise as Hazlewood picked up his first wicket and reduced the visitors to 76-2. His end brought Virat Kohli to the crease who was welcomed with a huge roar from the crowd. Kohli and Pujara looked to construct a slow partnership as they looked to soak in all the pressure from the Australian pacers. Both the batsmen were cautious with their shot selection. They helped India reach the 100 run mark. Pujara survived two scares, thanks to the DRS system. He was given out both the times but good use of DRS helped him keep his wicket. Nathan Lyon was successful in picking up the Indian skipper when an edge popped up Kohli’s bat and the ball was easily caught by Aaron Finch at forward short leg. India ended the day with 151 runs for the loss of 3 wickets, thus leading by 166 runs.
India would be hoping to get a decent total to set up a match-winning target. Erstwhile, the Aussies would look to end the Indian innings as soon as possible to start their chase.
India 1st Innings: 250-10 (88 o.)
Cheteshwar Pujara: 123
Rohit Sharma: 37
Josh Hazlewood: 20-3-52-3.
Australia 1st Innings: 235-10 (98.4 o)
Travis Head: 72
Peter Handscomb: 34
Jasprit Bumrah: 24-9-47-3.
India 2nd Innings: 151-3 (61 o.)
KL Rahul: 44
Cheteshwar Pujara: 40*
Mitchell Starc: 10-3-18-1.