India vs Australia:- 3rd Test, Day 01 Report

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India vs Australia:- 3rd Test, Day 01 Report

26 Dec 2018 019 Views Yash Mittal

It is highly doubtful that India will have a greater opportunity to zero in a history-making Test series win Down Under- a feat which has eluded them since 1947 than will dawn at the MCG tomorrow.

Having made first use of an MCG pitch, bereft of the prodigious seam and sideways movement that greeted the teams at Perth, the first day turned out to be a docile affair, and India's batsman made full use of it, finishing the day at 2-215 on the back of a great debut by Mayank Agarwal and gritty knocks by the duo of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli.

After last year's fiasco where 24 wickets fell across five days during the 4th Ashes Test between Australia and England, the spotlight was well and truly on the kind of track Melbourne dished out this time around.

Questions began to abound as a number of deliveries with the new ball barely carried to keeper Tim Paine. Both the wickets that Australia claimed came off rip-snorters from Pat Cummins, who set the template for the lengths to be bowled on the docile MCG track.

The first wicket came on the 113th ball of the opening session when Cummins bounced out Hanuma Vihari for 8 but not before the opening duo had blunted 18.5 overs.

Debutant Mayank Agarwal nailed pristine cover drives and was the dominant partner in an opening stand of 40. However, Pat Cummins showed that with his searing pace and accuracy, he could still extract something from the track. He hit Vihari with a bouncer on the helmet, followed it with a rip snorter that struck Agarwal on the back before having Vihari fend awkwardly to another well directed short ball straight to the slip cordon.

Cheteshwar Pujara and Agarwal continued to build on the 40-run opening start, stitching 83 runs for the second wicket. Mayank celebrated his maiden fifty with an important drive off Nathan Lyon while Pujara contained to play on the patience of Australian bowlers. With Agarwal looking increasingly confident, he looked primed to cap off a near perfect debut before another well directed short ball forced him to glove to Tim Paine.

Agarwal's dismissal at the stroke of tea came as a fillip, but momentarily as Virat Kohli came out with a positive mindset after tea before settling into the general pace of the day's play. Australia found some spice with the second new ball when Mitchell Starc bowled a fiery spell, inducing an outside edge off Kohli [47], only to be dropped by Paine.

Kohli's fortune underlined India's day as he [47] and Pujara [68] steered the tourists unscathed at 2-215 at Stumps.

Match in Brief

India [2-215, Agarwal 76, Pujara 68*, Pat Cummins 2-40]

Yash Mittal

Bharat Army Cricket Writer

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