India skipper Virat Kohli might have left the Australian shores but he is very much involved as India take on Australia in the second Test match in MCG. Kohli, who was the captain when India were shot out for 36 in Adelaide, had reportedly gave the team members a prep talk before leaving for India for the birth of his first child. India gained the upper hand on Day 1 as they bundled out Australia for a paltry 195 and the skipper approved of the performance as he tweeted: “Top day 1 for us. Great display from the bowlers and a solid finish too."
Top day 1 for us. Great display from the bowlers and a solid finish too. 🇮🇳👏— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 26, 2020
Menwhile India took the honours on Day 1 of the second Test at the MCG courtesy a fine bowling performance by their ace fast bowler and lead spinner. Bumrah returned with 4 wickets while Ashwin bagged 3 as India bowled out Australia for 195 after losing the toss on Boxing Day in Melbourne. In reply, India had moved to 36 for the loss of Mayank Agarwal’s wicket at close of play of what was a highly eventful Day 1 in the capital of Victoria.
Australia won the toss and without a hesitation opted to bat - the team batting first had won 3 of the previous 5 Tests at the MCG. The average first innings (of the match) score at the MCG in the previous five years was 446. Moreover, Day 1 had been the best day for batsmen in the Boxing Day Test over the last 5 years. The average team score on Day 1 was 240.6 and the average number of wickets lost was just 3.2! All the patterns seemed to have reversed today.
India entered the Test with 4 changes after the drubbing in the Day and Night opener in Adelaide. Jasprit Bumrah, as he so often does, got the breakthrough with the new ball when he induced the edge from Joe Burns for an easy catch to the wicket-keeper, Rishabh Pant. Australia had lost their first wicket in the 5th over and their struggles with the opening partnership continued in the absence of David Warner.
Matthew Wade was looking positive and developing a good partnership with Marnus Labuschagne before a brilliant bowling change by the stand-in-captain, Ajinkya Rahane, gave Australia a double jolt. Rahane introduced Ashwin early into the attack as first-change over Mohammed Siraj - in just the 11th over of the innings - a tactical master-stroke by the captain and a move which perhaps Virat Kohli would not have made. Ashwin obliged and gave the hosts two successive blows in his second and third overs respectively - getting rid of the left-hander to a brilliant running catch by Ravindra Jadeja in the outfield before taking the big wicket of Steven Smith - this time caught at leg-slip for a duck. Ashwin seems to have got the better of the Australian genius. He had also got him caught at slip in the first innings in Adelaide.
Labuschagne and Travis Head resurrected the innings and had put 86 for the fourth-wicket before Bumrah returned to get the southpaw caught at gully. It was time for the debutant, Mohammed Siraj, to stand up and be counted. And he did exactly that! The tall right-arm fast-medium bowler struck twice getting the wickets of the dangerous Labuschagne and the highly rated all-rounder, Cameron Green. The latter’s dismissal was particularly pleasing for the bowler as he set Green up with deliveries that go away before pitching one fuller that slanted back to strike the batsman plumb in front of his wickets. Ashwin saw the back of Australia’s captain in the very next over - a huge wicket given what Tim Paine did in the first innings in Adelaide. The home team were reduced to 155 for 7.