Australia keep India at bay in opening session



Ishant Sharma struck in the opening over of Australia’s innings to send back Aaron Finch without a run on the board. © AFP

Three wickets fell in the first session of the second day, but for a large part of the morning session, Australia showed more discipline in staying in, going into the Lunch break at 57 for 2 with Usman Khawaja unbeaten on a patient 21.

It took Australia just one ball to end India’s first innings on Friday (December 7) as Mohammed Shami gloved one down the leg-side to the ‘keeper off Josh Hazlewood to finish the innings on the overnight score of 250. Ishant Sharma started well for India getting Aaron Finch to drag a big inswinger onto the stumps. The first four deliveries of the day had seen two wickets for no run, but thereafter, Australia buckled down through Khawaja and debutant Marcus Harris.

While Ishant remained a persistent threat due to his fuller length, his new-ball partner Jasprit Bumrah was guilty of not keeping the pressure on from his end. The runs came at a trickle for both left-handers, but they remained disciplined to steady the innings with some resoluteness and added 45 for the second wicket.

The introduction of R Ashwin’s offspin saw Harris become a little more adventurous and even saw him successfully loft one for a boundary. But Ashwin managed to win that battle eventually, beating Harris with some drift, to have him caught bat-pad at silly point for 26.

India though, lacked sustained pressure from both ends. Shami bowled four overs before walking off the field with a shoulder concern but was back on the field soon after. Meanwhile, Australia had made slow but steady progress in the attritional period of play.

Brief scores: India 250 (Cheteshwar Pujara 123; Josh Hazlewood 3-52) lead Australia 57/2 by 193 runs.

© Cricbuzz


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