India claw back against Aussies

India claw back against Aussies

India claw back against Aussies

For many Australians, the first ball of a home test series marks the start of a gradual winding down, when workers breathe easier in the leadup to Christmas and enjoy tuning in to watch the toil of the country's best cricketers.

Quizzed about targeting India's lone spinner R Ashwin in this match, he replied the game-plan is going to be quite similar for even the Indian batsmen. However, Head who had overcome a nervous start against Ashwin, and Pat Cummins batted with patience and common sense to put together a 50-run stand for the 7th wicket against a rapidly softening ball. The two added 62 runs for the seventh wicket before Ashwin got a peach of a delivery from Cummins that he nicked to Peter Handscomb at second slip.

"They did go quite hard (at the ball) but we bowled exceptionally well for the first four hours, especially when the ball got soft and stopped moving around, the scoreboard never got away from us", Starc said about keeping the run-rate under control". Ashwin was pick of the lot with well controlled line and length, seamers were wayward but bounced back with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma taking two wickets each.

There was no chaotic collapse but also no batsman capable of scoring freely on a day when India delivered 31 maidens and Australia stroked 17 boundaries.

Pujara's 16th Test hundred and first in Australia helped India recover to 250-9 at stumps, after they had been reduced to 127-6 at one stage.

A closer examination reveals major issues, for he has failed to reach double figures in his past six innings (top score of seven) and has only done so twice in his past 10 knocks.

Openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay fell into a similar trap while vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane's dismissal was the worst of the lot, slashing at a wide Josh Hazlewood delivery. Ishant survived a loud lbw shout via DRS, but Mitchell Starc (2-63) bowled him with a fuller delivery thereafter. However, the ball landed just short. In an interesting duel between the off spinner and debutant Marcus Harris, the latter nearly handed a catch to Murali Vijay at silly point. There was a worry when Mohammad Shami went off to have his right arm looked at but he came back onto the field soon after. Introduced in the 12th over of Australia's innings, local boy Harris played on to his pads and was caught at silly point in the 22nd over. That is again Shaun Marsh's lack of rhythm ...

"I thought on this sort of wicket here in Adelaide, the extra bowling options would have been important for that variety in your attack", Warne said. Ashwin led the attack from the front, bowling unchanged through the session from one end.

After being bowled out, Indian opener Ishant Sharma gave his side the ideal start with by dismissing Aaron Finch in the first over, and Chappell said he foresaw Sharma causing the Australian problems.

Australia will resume its innings on day three with three wickets in hand, with Head and Mitchell Starc at the crease.

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