INDIA TOUR OF AUSTRALIA, 2018-19
Cricbuzz Staff •
Pat Cummins dismissed Kohli in his first over. © Getty
India’s first session of the much-hyped series couldn’t have gotten off to a worse start, with four of their batsmen falling to the drive. Winning the toss came as an advantage for Virat Kohli but the batting, yet again, failed to come to terms with Australia’s persistence.
Josh Hazlewood set the tone early with his probing first over which also resulted in KL Rahul edging a full, wide ball to third slip. With the template set, Australia’s pacers continued to induce false drives that resulted in catches all across the cordon behind the wicket with the exception of first slip.
Murali Vijay was tested on both edges by Hazlewood, the short ball by Starc before finally falling through a soft drive. Kohli, came in with similar intent and it yielded similar results for Australia. Cummins got the Indian captain in his first over with much credit to Usman Khawaja’s stunning one-handed grab at gully. At 19/3 in the 11th over, the toss advantage had been nullified.
With the introduction of Lyon, Australia could have had a fourth straightaway with Rahane turning one to short leg. Peter Handscomb couldn’t latch on to the sharp chance but that triggered a small one-upmanship battle between the Lyon and the Indian vice-captain. Rahane would step out in the next over to loft Lyon for a six, and then continue to use his feet to unsettle the spinner.
Just when there was a semblance of partnership building though, Australia struck for a fourth, again through Hazlewood and again through an inexplicable, loose drive from Rahane.
At 41/4, the scoreline resembled India’s previous batting travails overseas but for this game they had gone in with the extra batting cushion in Rohit Sharma at No. 6. Sharma quickly showcased a driven four and a pulled six before the Lunch break to signal that a fight could still be on, with an unbeaten Pujara for company.
Brief Scores: India 56/4 (Josh Hazlewood 2-17) vs Australia