• Sunday, Mar 07, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:43 am

India skittle Australia on Boxing Day

  • Published at 02:37 pm December 26th, 2020
India's Ravindra Jadeja takes the catch of Australia's Matthew Wade after colliding with Shubman Gill during day one of their Boxing Day Test in Melbourne Saturday

Australia found it hard going against Bumrah (4/56), Ashwin (3/35) and Siraj (2/40), making his debut for injured Shami

A resilient India bounced back from their embarrassing first Test exploits to bundle out Australia for just 195 and take a grip on the second Test in Melbourne after a riveting opening day Saturday.

After their horror show in Adelaide last week, where they lost by eight wickets and were skittled for 36 in their second innings, the tourist were desperate to start well.

And they delivered after Australian captain Tim Paine won the toss and chose to bat in front of 27,615 socially-distanced fans, just short of the maximum allowed under novel coronavirus restrictions at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

On a pitch offering turn and bounce, the host found it hard going against a high-quality attack led by Jasprit Bumrah (4/56), Ravichandran Ashwin (3/35) and the impressive Mohammed Siraj (2/40), making his debut for the injured Mohammed Shami.

Marnus Labuschagne top-scored with 48 but that was as good as it got.

It left Indian openers Shubman Gill, also on debut, and Mayank Agarwal needing to negotiate 40 minutes at the end of the day.

Agarwal was not up to the task, trapped lbw by a Mitchell Starc inswinger in the first over.

India handed debuts to young opener Shubman Gill and fast bowler Mohammad Siraj Friday for the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne.

Posted by Sports Tribune on Friday, 25 December 2020

Gill was dropped on five by Labuschagne but otherwise looked comfortable, smacking five boundaries to reach 28 and help steer India to 36 for one at close with the experienced Cheteshwar Pujara unbeaten on seven.

He added that the plan Sunday was for the batsmen to be positive, rather than conservative.

With Ajinkya Rahane captaining the side in place of Virat Kohli, who has returned home for the birth of his first child, India got off to a perfect start, getting Burns (nought), Matthew Wade (30) and Smith (nought) before lunch.

It left Australia in trouble but Labuschagne rode his luck, surviving two review decisions, to lead a recovery, putting on 86 with Travis Head (38).

Head had a nervous start but grew in confidence before Bumrah enticed an edge which carried to Rahane at gully, sparking a collapse.

Labuschagne looked set for a ninth half-century but a brilliant catch by Gill ended his vigil and handed Siraj his first Test wicket.

All-rounder Cameron Green ground out 12 before he too fell to Siraj, then an excellent catch by Hanuma Vihari off Ashwin accounted for Paine (13).

The "baggy green" worn on Test debut in 1928 by Australia's greatest batsman Donald Bradman has sold for Aus$450,000 (US$340,000), a record for one of the cricket legend's caps.

Posted by Sports Tribune on Thursday, 24 December 2020

Nathan Lyon hit a cameo 20 but Australia's tail otherwise failed to wag.

With David Warner still injured, the host went into the clash unchanged, with Burns opening alongside Wade.

Burns hit an unbeaten 51 in Adelaide to relieve some pressure after a long lean spell, but his performance Saturday will once more raise questions over his place in the team.

He looked tentative against Bumrah and got a nick to a delivery he should have left.

At the other end, Wade had an escape on four but started finding the gaps before attempting a big hit off Ashwin, which proved his downfall for 30.

Ravindra Jadeja took the catch, but only just with Gill also underneath it. 

The pair collided but Jadeja managed to hang on.

Ashwin then claimed the crucial scalp of Smith, who was undone by an off-break with Pujara holding a catch at slip after the world's top batsman faced just eight balls.


INDIA 36/1 in 11 overs (Gill 28*, Pujara 7*) trail AUSTRALIA 195 in 72.3 overs (Bumrah 4/56, Ashwin 3/35) by 159 runs

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