Mitchell Starc gave Australia the perfect start and India’s top order endured a thorough pace examination to reach tea on 41 for two on the opening day of the day-night first test at Adelaide Oval on Thursday.
India skipper Virat Kohli won the first toss of the four-match series and chose to bat but Prithvi Shaw’s spell at the crease lasted for just two balls before Starc struck.
Starc thrives with the pink ball in hand and swung a good length delivery into the out-of-form Indian opener, who edged it onto the stumps with the inside of his bat.
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Starc and Josh Hazlewood continued to threaten in the early exchanges and it was not until the final ball of the 10th over that Mayank Agarwal struck the first boundary to take India’s tally to five runs.
There were a few half-chances for the Australians but none of them stuck and the restricted crowd of 21,000 had to wait until half an hour before the first break for the second wicket.
Australia’s third frontline quick Pat Cummins opened his fifth over with a fizzer of a delivery that nipped in and took out the top of Agarwal’s middle stump to dismiss the opener for 17 runs.
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Debutant all-rounder Cameron Green, who needed to pass concussion protocols to take his place in the side, was given two overs just before the break, conceding five runs.
Cheteshwar Pujara, unbeaten on 17, and Kohli, who had scored five runs, will resume for the second session holding India’s hopes of building a decent first-innings tally in their hands.
Pujara scored 123 and 71 to lead India to victory in the corresponding test in 2018, setting the tourists on their path to their first series triumph in Australia.
Kohli, ranked second to Steve Smith in the world batting rankings, will be keen to make his mark on the series in his only test before he returns to India for the birth of his first child.
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