Day 1 of the Second Test saw an enthralling day of game’s play wherein both teams didn’t surrender and kept on fighting until the final ball of the day’s play.
The Australians opted to bat after winning the toss. It was expected that the fiery pace attack of the Indians would dismantle the Kangaroos batting line-up. Those expectations were lowered after Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch posted a gritty 112-run partnership. This advantage, however, was soon surrendered as Australia lost a flurry of wickets post lunch session. Both the openers along with Usman Khawaja departed, thus diminishing the Aussies to 145/3 at tea.
Peter Handscomb was sent back to the pavilion via a beautiful Virat Kohli catch off an Ishant Sharma delivery. The score, at that juncture, was 148 runs for the loss of four wickets. It again seemed that the Aussies will bottle-up, being restricted to below 250. This time Travis Head and Shaun Marsh came to the Baggy Greens’ rescue with an important 84-run partnership.
As the ball got old and the Indians were saving their seamers for the new ball, the pair of Marsh and Head started attacking the spinners Hanuma Vihari and Murali Vijay. Marsh, trying to cut Vihari for a boundary, found a thick outside edge which was comfortably grasped by Ajinkya Rahane at slips.
The new ball was taken in the 81st over and soon Ishant got the better of Travis Head. Head was caught out to Mohammed Shami at third man. Pat Cummins along with his skipper Tim Paine then soldiered along, making sure that the hosts did not lose any more wickets at the day’s conclusion.
For Australia, Marcus Harris top-scored with 70 runs while Travis Head (58) and Aaron Finch (50) also scored half-centuries. Ishant Sharma and Hanuma Vihari pitched in with two wickets apiece.
Australia are on the advantage at the end of day’s play having scored 277 for the loss of six wickets. If they are to make an excess of 350 runs, then India would be in pressure.
India on their part need to reduce the Aussies below 350 and then try and take a lead of 80-100 runs. Batting fourth at this pitch would be tough, and hence India really would have to give their all when they bat at some point tomorrow.