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1st Test: Australia’s pacers leave India reeling on 56-4 at lunch

07:33  Australia’s pacers leave India reeling on 56-4 at lunch:  

Australia’s fast bowlers chipped away at the wickets in the morning session to leave India reeling on 56 for four at lunch on Day 1 of the first Test at Adelaide on Thursday.

Josh Hazlewood picked up two wickets, while Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins claimed one wicket each.

Having elected to bat, India suffered an early jolt when opener KL Rahul was caught in the slips off Josh Hazlewood before Murali Vijay was caught behind off Mitchell Starc for 11.

Cummins then delivered India a big blow in the form of captain Virat Kohli, who was brilliantly caught by Usman Khawaja at gully for 3.

Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane played a poor shot to give his wicket away, as he was caught in the slips off Hazlewood for 13.

Earlier, India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first in the series-opening Test against Australia at Adelaide Oval.

India confirmed that specialist batsman Rohit Sharma would take the number six spot vacated by the injured fast-bowling all-rounder Hardik Pandya, with spin bowling all-rounder Hanuma Vihari missing out.

Australia named their 11 on Wednesday, handing a debut to opener Marcus Harris and dropping vice-captain Marsh in favour of specialist batsman Peter Handscomb.

07:32  Australia’s pacers leave India reeling on 56-4 at lunch:  

Cummins back as he replaces Rohit. He gets a full delivery to move away late as Rohit is drawn into the foul shot, playing away from his body, and is lucky not to have edged it.

Cummins tries the short ball as Rohit this time pulls it powerfully over square leg for a six.

The next ball is fuller as Rohit looks to defend but gets the edge which goes on the bounce to second slip.

A watchful Pujara plays out the last over of the session, from Starc, to end the morning session.

07:23  Rahane out for 13; India 4 down:  

Rohit watchfully defends the over from off-spinner Lyon as India look for a good partnership to rally them after the cluster of wickets early on.

Hazlewood gets Pujara to edge one but it falls short of the slips before he manages to play out the rest of the over.

Rohit steers a wide delivery from Lyon past the slip fielder for a couple before he plays a nice drive through the covers for a four as the spinner pitches it right up.

Rohit looking good against the spinner as he hits the fifth ball on the off-side for a single.

Starc comes back for a short spell before the lunch break, with another 10 minutes left for the interval.

After a couple of full wide deliveries, Starc tests Rohit with the short ball, who goes for the pull and ends up mishitting it fine for one. That could have easily gone straight to the fielder at fine leg.

Another short ball, this time to Pujara, who ducks under it as India reach 50 for four in 25 overs.

Pujara has battled hard for 11 from 56 balls, while Rohit is on nine.


07:10  Rahane out for 13; India 4 down:  

Pujara gets on top of the ball as he punches a short wide delivery from Hazlewood square on the off-side for his first boundary.

Hazlewood makes a good comeback as the ball comes in sharply and cuts Pujara in half, narrowly missing the stumps.

Cummins bowling fast and in the right channel as Rahane watchfully defends the pacer’s second over.

At the first drinks break, India are struggling on 25 for three in 13 overs.

Spin introduced early as off-spinner Nathan Lyon comes into the attack, replacing Hazlewood, who bowled a good first spell of one for 16 in six overs.

The first ball is on the mark as Pujara is hit on the pads before he clips the third ball to deep square leg for one.

Rahane gets himself in a tangle as he comes down the track and tries to flick, getting the thick inside edge but Peter Handscomb is unable to take a sharp catch at short leg and gives away a single.

Rahane plays a nice drive through the covers as Cummin overpitches for two runs and then takes a single.

Pujara then gets a thick inside edge but again short of the fielder at short leg.

Rahane showing some intent against spinner Lyon as he comes down the track and lofts him over long-on for a six.

Cummins bowling a good spell as Pujara picks a single on the leg side before Rahane gets an edge which falls well short of the slips.

Rahane in trouble again against Lyon as he comes down the track and has to adjust but gets a thick inside edge which falls away from the short leg fielder.

Hazlewood comes back into the attack and strikes with the wicket of Rahane, who is caught at second slip for 13.

Another poor shot from an Indian batsman as Rahane also perishes chasing a wide one, only to get the edge as Handscomb takes a good sharp catch.

India in big trouble on 41 for four, in the 21st over.

A big test for Rohit Sharma, who is making a comeback into the Indian Test team. He is greeted by a bouncer which he ducks under before getting off the mark with a single on the leg side.

06:25  Kohli falls for 3; India in trouble:  

Pat Cummins strikes in his very first over, with the big wicket of Virat Kohli, who is caught by Usman Khawaja for three.

Kohli played away from his body, looking to drive a wide one as he gets a thick outside edge and Khawaja dives full length to his left and comes up with a stunning catch. That was an unbelievable catch!

Kohli walks back after scoring just three to leave India in trouble on 19 for three, in the 11th over.

Australia’s bowlers have been rewarded for their persistence, pitching it up and forcing the Indian batsmen to make a mistake. All three wickets a result of the batsmen trying to play a drive through the off-side, going after full wide deliveries.

New batsman Ajinkya Rahane gets a full toss first up, which he drives through the covers for two runs to get off the mark.


06:18  Openers perish as India lose early wickets:  

Pujara turns Hazlewood on the leg side for a single before Virat Kohli also plays a similar shot two balls later for one to get off the mark.

In the next over, Kohli drives Starc through the off-side but the fielder in the covers does well to stop it.

The India captain keeps strike with a single from the last ball on the leg side.

Hazlewood keeps it short against Kohli who ducks under the bouncer and then defends another short one on the off-side. He gets a thick inside edge off the fifth ball on the leg side for a single as India reach 19 for two in 10 overs.


06:06  Starc strikes; Vijay out for 11:  

Hazlewood bowls it right up as Vijay drives it through the covers for two runs. Two balls later, he goes hard at a wide delivery as he hits it uppishly past point for the first boundary of the Indian innings, in the seventh over.

The last ball is short and aimed at the body as Vijay manages to turn it to fine leg for one.

Starc keeps it short against Vijay, who defends the first ball but the next couple of balls are down the leg side.

Vijay then gets on top of the short delivery aimed at his body as he guides past the slips for two runs.

The last ball is full as Vijay goes hard, trying to drive it through the covers but gets the edge and is caught behind by wicketkeeper Tim Paine for 11. That was a loose shot from Vijay, playing a loose shot away from his body.

Both openers have perished cheaply to leave India reeling on 15 for two in seven overs.


05:54  Rahul out for 2; India lose early wicket:  

Vijay gets a beauty from Starc, some extra bounce and moving away as the right-hander is beaten comfortably.

He turns the second ball on the leg side for a single before new batsman Cheteshwar Pujara watchfully defends the first ball he faces. He gets off the mark with a single through the leg side off the last ball.

In the next over, Pujara clips Hazlewood on the leg side past the short leg fielder for one.

Hazlewood then gets one to bounce extra as Vijay does well to keep it down on the off-side and then manages to defend the rest of the over.

Starc gets the ball to angle away from Pujara as he offers no shot to the first two balls before he pokes at the third, which is fuller, and is beaten.

The fifth ball is short and aimed at the body as Pujara looks to block and is hit on the gloves but there is no short leg fielder is place, infact he has has been pushed back a bit.

05:42  Rahul out for 2; India lose early wicket:  

KL Rahul and Murali Vijay walk out to open the batting for India, while left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc will bowl the first over for the hosts.

The first ball is pitched up and shapes in slightly as Rahul defends it back to the bowler with a straight bat.

The next ball is pitched right up as Rahul gets a big inside edge back on to his pads, trying to drive it through the off-side.

He offers no shot to the third ball before clipping the next through midwicket for a couple to get off the mark.

The fifth ball is full and very wide as Rahul opts to leave before he is beaten by the last ball.

Josh Hazlewood from the other end. Murali Vijay defends the first ball solidly but gets a thick inside edge off the next which falls to the left of short leg.

Hazlewood gets the third ball to leave him as Vijay is beaten before he gets another inside edge for a single to get off the mark.

Hazlewood strikes early with the wicket of Rahul, who goes for the big drive through the off-side but gets an edge and is caught by Aaron Finch at third slip for two.

A big blow for India early in the contest as Rahul suffers another failure.


05:29  India elect to bat vs Australia; Rohit included:  

Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah form a strong pace attack for the opening match at the Adelaide Oval, as Virat Kohli’s side bids to become the first Indian team to claim a series win in Australia.

Top order batsman Murali Vijay, who was dropped following the second Test against England at Lord’s in August, was also included. He will partner Lokesh Rahul at the top of the order, with young opener Prithvi Shaw ruled out from the Test with an ankle injury.

Australia vice-captain and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh was left out of the first Test as selectors backed the team’s three specialist seamers to bowl a full workload at Adelaide Oval.

Marsh’s place in the side for the series-opener, which starts on Thursday, has been taken by middle order batsman Peter Handscomb, recalled for the first time since the tour of South Africa in March and April.

Marcus Harris, who makes his Test debut, will open the batting with Aaron Finch in the opener of the four-match series, Australia’s first home Test since Steve Smith and David Warner were banned over the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Check out the playing XIs of the two teams:

Tim Paine (captain,w/k), Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (w/k), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma

05:06  India elect to bat vs Australia; Rohit included:  

India captain Virat Kohli has won the toss and elected to bat against Australia in the first Test in Adelaide.

The visitors have included Rohit Sharma at No. 6 ahead of Hanuma Vihari.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma are the three frontline fast bowlers for India, while Ravichandran Ashwin is the lone spinner.

“He is one guy who can play really well with the tail. He has got all the shots you can play in Australia,” Kohli reasoned.

Australia have handed Marcus Harris his Test debut, he is set to open the innings.


04:58  1st Test: India ready to grind it out in Australia:  

Welcome to the coverage of the first Test between Australia and India in Adelaide on Thursday.

An Indian team brimming with confidence will aim to finally shed the poor travellers’ tag when it takes on a circumspect Australia in what is being perceived as the tourists’ best opportunity to win a Test series Down Under in 70 years.

While the narrative remained same during the earlier tours of South Africa (1-2) and England (1-4), Virat Kohli and his men will like to walk the talk as India’s tough cycle of away assignment ends with this four-Test series beginning at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

The series is even more important for Kohli as it would also define his legacy as a leader having already established himself as world’s premier batsman.

India’s past Test record in Australia is quite abysmal. In 44 Tests on Australian soil, they have only managed five wins thus far.

In 70 years and over 11 tours, only two drawn series, under Sunil Gavaskar in 1980-81 and with Sourav Ganguly in charge in 2003-04 is more a reflection of temperament of touring sides over the years rather than quality.

While the idea will be to play aggressive cricket but Indian team management’s choice of 12 with both Rohit Sharma and Hanuma Vihari in the mix is an indicator that they have climbed down from their aggressive five-bowler ploy in order to get 20 wickets.

Injured all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s absence does upset the balance of the side but getting an Australia side, which is still reeling under the after-effect of the ball tampering scandal with Steve Smith and David Warner serving their respective one-year suspensions.

Rohit Sharma is a prime contender for the extra batsman’s slot in Pandya’s absence.

He last played Test cricket in South Africa, and had a torrid time, managing only 78 runs in four innings while batting at number five. He is back in the mix, once again on the back of limited-overs’ form, and his ability to play horizontal bat shots well.

Tested against the English bowling attack at the Oval, rookie Vihari looked comfortable in scoring his maiden half-century there.

The Indian team management has gone to great lengths trying to explain that the two scorelines aren’t necessarily true reflections of the contests, it remains to be seen if the lessons from those two prior tours have been learnt.

Source: Rediff