Pat Cummins plays a shot during Day 1 of the second test match against India
Pat Cummins plays a shot during Day 1 of the second test match against IndiaPic: ANI

2nd Test, Day 1 | India 21/0 at stumps; trail Aussies by 242 runs

New Delhi, Feb 17: India captain Rohit Sharma and his deputy K.L. Rahul saw out the remaining nine overs to take the hosts to 21/0 in nine overs and trail Australia by 242 runs at stumps on day one of the second Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test at the Arun Jaitley Stadium on Friday.

Rohit and Rahul are not out on 13 and 4 respectively after senior pacer Mohammed Shami picked four wickets while the spin duo of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja took three wickets each to bowl out Australia for 263 in the first innings.

For Australia, who elected to bat first after winning the toss, left-handed opener Usman Khawaja was precise in footwork and pristine in strokeplay to make 81, the first fifty by a visiting batter on the ongoing tour. Peter Handscomb looked impressive in his 72 not out. But losing wickets in back-to-back fashion thrice may come to hurt them later on.

Rohit began by standing tall and punching past point off his Australian counterpart Pat Cummins in the opening over. Debutant Matthew Kuhnemann and Nathan Lyon found some extra bounce and turn as Rohit and K.L. Rahul were defending patiently. Rohit also got to overturn a ‘caught on forward short leg’ decision off Lyon on the stroke of stumps.

Earlier in the morning, after electing to bat first, Australia survived a fiery opening spell from Mohammed Siraj to get a 50-run opening partnership. But India bounced back courtesy of Ashwin, Jadeja and Shami. Shami had Warner trapped lbw in the opening over.

But the left-handed batter immediately took a review and was saved as replays showed an inside edge. Khawaja, on the other hand, was off the mark with a nice glance on an overpitched delivery off Mohammed Siraj. He then made use of fuller balls from Shami by hitting two boundaries through the vacant space in the off-side.

Warner was kept on a tight leash by Ashwin bowling from round the wicket. Though he was using his feet to counter the ace off-spinner, Warner was still all at sea as Ashwin found turn, bounce and grip. But he managed to get off the mark on his 21st delivery.

While Warner punched Siraj through the gap at cover, Khawaja was delightful in dancing down the pitch to loft Ashwin over mid-off for six. Though Shami and Siraj asked tough questions of the openers, Khawaja and Warner managed to get a couple of boundaries as they raised a 50-run partnership for the opening wicket.

But shortly after that, Warner’s 44-ball vigil ended as Shami, coming in from round the wicket, got the left-handed batter forward and found some movement to draw the outside edge and keeper KS Bharat took the catch to his left.

Khawaja was proficient in sweeping as well as bringing the reverse-sweep and slog-sweep, taking boundaries off Ashwin and Jadeja. Marnus Labuschagne began with an eye-catchy leaning drive off Shami and then whipped off Ashwin as well as swept off Jadeja.

But in the 23rd over, Ashwin struck twice in three balls. Labuschagne was first to fall, as Ashwin got an off-break delivery to spin in and beat the right-hander’s inside edge to trap him lbw in front of the middle stump.

He then closed the over by trapping Smith with a slider which the right-handed batter tried to meet by coming forward but gave a low catch behind to Bharat. Khawaja got to overturn an lbw decision off Jadeja and reached his fifty in the final over before lunch.

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