Travis Head scored a gritty, unbeaten 61 as Australia finished Day 2 of the first test at Adelaide on 191/7.
India had started the day on 250/9, but couldn’t add to their overnight score. The visitors lost their last wicket in the form of Mohammad Shami who caught down the leg side by wicket keeper Tim Paine off Josh Hazlewood.
Hazlewood was the pick of the Australian bowlers as he finished with figures of 3/52 in 20 overs.
In reply, the Australian innings started disastrously as Ishant Sharma struck early by rattling Aaron Finch’s stumps on the third ball of the innings. It was a peach of a delivery from Ishant, but an equally poor shot from Australian LOI skipper Finch.
However, debutant Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja kept the Indian bowlers at bay by adding 45 runs for the second wicket, before Ravichandran Ashwin claimed back to back wickets. He first got rid of the promising looking Harris, caught by Vijay for 26, and then Shaun Marsh, who chopped one onto his stumps while attempting to drive at a wide delivery.
Marsh’s 2 means that he now holds the unwanted record of being the first Australian test batsman ever to score six consecutive single digit scores.
Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb attemped to repair the damage with a 28 run stand for the fourth wicket, before the former became Ashwin’s third wicket, with a faint edge to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.
Khawaja’s dismissal brought Travis Head, playing on his home ground, to the crease. Handscomb and he put on yet another small partnership of 33 runs, before Bumrah got rid of Handscomb for 34.
Skipper Tim Paine didn’t last long, making only five before falling to Ishant Sharma, leaving the Australians wobbling at 127/6.
Head found a reliable partner in Pat Cummins and the two added a valuable stand for 50 runs to bring the home side back on track.
However Mumbai Indians star Bumrah struck with the new ball, with Cummins adjudged LBW after shouldering arms to an incoming delivery.
Head and Mitch Starc saw the day through as Australia finished on 191/7. It was a good day with the ball for India, with the Aussies moving at just over 2 an over- very slow by their recent standards.
Ravi Ashwin was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he finished with 3 wickets for 50 runs in 33 overs.
Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Mohammed Shami bowled well in patches and went past the edge on numerous occasions. Perhaps unlucky to not be on the wicketless column, but this will not help the commonly held belief that he only performs in the second innings of a test.
At the end of Stumps on Day 2. India 250 all out. ( Hazlewood 3/52
Australia 191/7. ( Travis Head 61*) ( R Ashwin 3/50,) trail by 59 runs.