Australia finished day one of the second Test marginally ahead on a difficult pitch as an improved performance with the bat saw the hosts end the day at 277/6.
India made two changes to the XI that had triumphed in Adelaide- one was on expected lines as Hanuma Vihari replaced the injured Rohit Sharma, but the other was a bit of a surprise as Umesh Yadav earned the nod ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, as the visitors chose to go with an all pace attack.
Having been elected to bat first on an unpredictable pitch, the Australian openers Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris played well through the first hour of the day, as the India’s pacers struggled to get their lines right.
However the visitors were more accurate in the latter half of the first session as runs dried up for the hosts.
Post lunch, the Aussie openers continued their good work with occasional boundaries and brisk rotation between the wickets. Both the openers brought up their respective fifties before the stand was broken by Bumrah, who trapped Finch LBW. The Victorian had looked scratchy in the first session, surviving a couple of close calls from Shami, but was absolutely plumb to a peach from Bumrah.
Yadav then got into the act by getting rid off the dangerous Usman Khawaja, caught by Rishabh Pant for a scratchy looking 5.
Vihari then got one to take off suddenly, and Harris, caught by surprise, could only edge to Rahane at slip. He had previously been dropped by Rahul off the bowling of Shami, but Rahane made no mistake on this occasion and Australia were reduced to 134/3.
India skipper Virat Kohli then produced a fantastic one-handed catch off Ishant to send Peter Handscomb back cheaply. That brought Australia’s best batsmen from the Adelaide test- Shaun Marsh and Travis Head, together, and the duo set about rebuilding their innings. They added 84 runs for the fifth wicket and took Australia past the 200 run mark.
Just as the partnership was beginning to look dangerous for India, Marsh became Vihari’s second victim, with Rahane taking a blinder at slip. He had earlier been reprieved off the same bowler when Pant dropped a regulation catch in the 67th over.
Head, who reached his fifty off 70 balls, threw his wicket away, caught by Shami while trying to square cut a wide Ishant Sharma delivery.
At the end, skipper Tim Paine and Pat Cummins saw the day without any further damage as they finished the day one with 277/6 on the board.
Sharma and part time spinner Vihari claimed 2 wickets apiece while Bumrah (1/41) and Umesh Yadav took one each.
Australia at Stumps on Day 1- 277/6- Marcus Harris 70, Finch 50 & Head 58. (Ishant 2/35, Vihari 2/53, Bunrah 1/41).
This post has been contributed by Shashi Kumar, editing done by The Cricket Blog.