During the coin toss, Australia’s Tim Paine called Tails while India’s Virat Kohli went for Heads.
Kohli won the immunity and chose to bat first at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
India made two changes to the starting XI.
KL Rahul returns as Opener alongside Mayank Agarwal as Rohit Sharma sits out due to the birth of his new daughter.
That means Hanuma Vihari moves back to No.6.
Secondly, Kuldeep Yadav replaces Ishant Sharma who’s out over a rib strain.
K. Yadav will bat at No.9 plus be the second spinner behind Ravi Jadeja.
India’s Starting XI
- Mayank Agarwal
- KL Rahul
- Cheteshwar Pujara
- Virat Kohli, Captain
- Ajinkya Rahane, Vice-Captain
- Hanuma Vihari
- Rishabh Pant, Wicket-Keeper
- Ravi Jadeja
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Mohammed Shami
- Jasprit Bumrah
On the other hand, Australia also has made two changes.
Marnus Labuschagne replaces Aaron Finch as he slots at No.3 with Usman Khawaja opening the batting.
Peter Handscomb replaces Mitchell Marsh and will bat at No.6 behind Travis Head.
Australia’s Starting XI
- Marcus Harris
- Usman Khawaja
- Marnus Labuschagne
- Shaun Marsh
- Travis Head
- Peter Handscomb
- Tim Paine, Captain
- Pat Cummins
- Mitchell Starc
- Nathan Lyon
- Josh Hazlewood, Vice-Captain
Australia got off to a great start when Josh Hazlewood dismissed KL Rahul on nine.
Hazlewood pitched up straight with a great length towards the off-stump as Rahul edged it early towards Shaun Marsh at first slip.
It’s the fourth time that Hazlewood captured KL Rahul in this series as Cheteshwar Pujara comes in the middle.
Agarwal stayed on and fired off with simple straight bat shots in play such as the use of footwork to provide excellent placement.
That way it helped play his natural game as Agarwal continued to be aggressive and attack with quickfire runs.
On the other hand, Cheteshwar Pujara may have fired off slow and steady.
But so far, Pujara’s picking the right shots & keeping his technical game simple as he backs Agarwal up.
Lunch Day 1: India 1-69
India did very well to keep the technical game simple when Mayank Agarwal scored runs quickly.
Agarwal has this David Warner style approach where he can rotate his shot selection as well as keeping the head/stance still.
He’s not hesitating or taking the ball off his eyes which proved evident as to why he scored 42* in this session.
The same goes to Cheteshwar Pujara on 16*.
He keeps his technical simple by blocking 100s of good balls.
So Pujara or “The Wall” has a fantastic batting brain on where to score runs off loose balls.
As long as he continues to stay in the middle, then Pujara can do very well and score a 100.
Credit to Josh Hazlewood on that wicket of KL Rahul.
Hazlewood knows how to make his attacking flair click where he made the batsman play off a good length full ball.
However, the rest of their bowler gone too wide or straight as Agarwal & Pujara cashed in on those poor deliveries.
Plus the fielders need to be entirely focused in case a catch comes in.
Remember, be ready and call your name out as one mistake such as a dropped catch will give the batsman another lifeline.
Australia will need to improve on attacking the stumps short or straight as well as making the fielding sharper.