India dominate Australia on Day 1 of Boxing Day Test!
Galatta | Dec 26, 2020, 03:55 pm
The rivalry between India and Australia, especially in the longer format of Cricket, has become one of the most anticipated clashes in contemporary times. The two sides have been going blow-for-blow for quite some years now, making the matches all the more interesting. Even on this tour, Australia took the ODI series 2-1 before India came back to take the T20I series 2-1. India utterly dominated Australia for well over 2 days in the first Test, which happened to be a day-night encounter. However, India's biggest ever batting collapse brought them to their lowest ever Test score and Australia wrapped up the Test by seizing the right moment on the 3rd day! There were a of questions for India, coming into the 2nd Test. India's regular Captain - Virat Kohli has left the team and returned to India on Paternity Leave.
One of India's premier fast bowlers - Mohammad Shami, sustained an injury and was ruled out of the 2nd Test. The very team selection in itself, was a huge concern for India. However, for the Boxing Day Test, India handed out two debuts - to Shubman Gill and Mohammad Siraj. Pant was drafted in as the keeper, in place of Wriddhiman Saha and allrounder Ravindra Jadeja too was roped in. Australia won the toss and chose to bat first, something that India's stand-in captain - Ajinkya Rahane said, that he too would have done had the toss gone in his favour. It was time for India's bowlers to rise to the occasion and they did it in style. Jasprit Bumrah, one of the world's best bowlers and Ravichandran Ashwin, an offspinning legend in the making, combined to give the Australians a stern Test. Aided by Jadeja and Siraj, the Indian bowlers shot out Australia for 195, and the game tilted firmly in India's favour!
The match turned out to be a roaring success even before it started, for there were well over 27,000 spectators at the ground to watch it. Bumrah gave India an exciting start by removing Joe Burns for a Duck. Ashwin continued his mastery over Steven Smith, when he got the former Australian Captain for his first Duck in 4 years. Labuschagne looked in ominous touch and Travis Head was giving him good company, before the Indian bowlers took them both out, ensuring there was no half-century for any of the Aussie batsmen! India had just a little over an hour of fading light to play out in the day but Starc showed why he is such a feared bowler, probing Mayank Agarwal right from ball 1! After facing 5 balls from Starc uncertainly, Agarwal departed for a Duck, in the very first Over itself. However, the debutante Gill and the warhorse Pujara played out the rest of the day, ensuring no more wickets fell. Gill seemed assured in his stay at the crease and would do well to play out the initial few overs of Day 2, before bedding in for the long haul! At 36/1 at the end of Day 1, India are well and truly ahead in this Boxing Day Test but as we saw in the first match, anything is possible! Stay tuned!