Australia’s Tim Paine went for Heads while India’s Virat Kohli called for Tails.
As a result, Kohli won the toss and chose to bat first on Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
- Mayank Agarwal
- Hanuma Vihari
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Virat Kohli, Captain
- Ajinkya Rahane
- Rohit Sharma
- Rishabh Pant, Wicket-Keeper
- Ravindra Jadeja
- Mohammed Shami
- Ishant Sharma
- Jasprit Bumrah
- KL Rahul
- Murali Vijay
- Umesh Yadav
- Aaron Finch
- Marcus Harris
- Usman Khawaja
- Shaun Marsh
- Travis Head
- Mitchell Marsh
- Tim Paine, Captain/Wicket-Keeper
- Pat Cummins
- Mitchell Starc
- Nathan Lyon
- Josh Hazlewood
- Peter Handscomb
Day 1, Morning Session
India fired off nicely with plenty of patience at the crease from Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari.
Agarwal bats classicly and at times similar to his captain Virat Kohli has scored lots of runs in the first-class level.
He’s able to retain his head and body balance so he can execute the ball under his eyes for the runs he’s after.
On the other hand, Vihari may have gone slow and steady this time in an upgraded role as an Opener.
But Vihari’s staying in the middle as long as he can in backing Agarwal up in whacking up offensive shots & score the right runs himself.
Though, Vihari had trouble against the short ball play thanks to some pace and bounce from Pat Cummins.
Credit to Cummins on that breakthrough by attacking the three stumps straight.
Vihari let his hands distract the hand-eye coordination by ducking and flatting his bat up high to Aaron Finch’s hands on eight.
Agarwal stayed on 34* while Cheteshwar Pujara began to adopt his approach & fired off at least past ten*.
Day 1 Lunch: India 1-57
India has batted patiently through the watchful eye from the experienced first-class batsman, Mayank Agarwal.
Remaining it simple plus adapting the attacking approach like Virat Kohli is the way to move India & Agarwal forward.
If Agarwal can remain through at least tea, then he will have a chance to secure his maiden Test 50 & even 100 on debut.
Apart from Agarwal, moving Hanuma Vihari to the opening spot from No.6 is a risk v reward scenario.
Unfortunately, Vihari hadn’t fired off with the big runs when he couldn’t avoid the short ball play blindfolded.
Though, he has another chance to redeem himself when India bat again later in the 3rd innings.
And on Pujara, great start to add some quickfire runs on the board after seeing Vihari leave early.
Pujara will have a job to do in protecting himself & Agarwal in the crease after the 40-minute break.
Yes, most of the work with the ball have fired off slow and steady.
Mitchell Starc began to look somewhat tired when he bowled one free low-bounce play straight down towards the rope.
The same went to Mitchell Marsh & Josh Hazlewood regarding the fast bowling department.
At one point, they tried to change tactics to spin with Nathan Lyon into the attack.
But that didn’t work either.
Though, introducing another quick in Pat Cummins have at last ticked off India’s first wicket fall.
Australia should try a bit more with the attacking flair after lunch in trying to top the off-stump.
Keep being aggressive whenever it will be the short ball play or moving back to spin, they will be on the right track as soon as they get rid of the Indian Top 7.