Australia gained a upper hand after four sessions in the first Test after Mitchell Starc continued his excellent for, picking up two wickets in the first sessison on the second day. Starc’s two wickets were that of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, who was dismissed for a duck.
At Lunch, India were 70 for 3, still 190 runs behind Australia in the first innings. KL Rahul, who opened the innings with Murali Vijay, was unbeaten on 47 while Ajinkya Rahane was unbeaten at six at the break.
Starc began the innings with the new ball and Australia handed the new ball from the other end to spinner Steve O’Keefe. But both did not trouble the Indian openers and it was only the introduction of Josh Hazlewood that handed Australia the breakthrough.
Hazlewood was introduced in the sixth over and off the fifth ball, he had Vijay caught behind. He got some swing on the ball that pitched on good length and Vijay got an outside edge.
Rahul, struggling for runs in his previous matches, played some fluent drives through cover and on the on-side and looked far more composed against the Australian pace attack and spinners O’Keefe and Lyon.
Starc was re-introduced by Smith and he delivered. First he got the wicket of Pujara, getting some extra bounce from the pitch. Pujara got a faint edge and was caught by Wade behind the stumps.
Two balls later, Starc bowled a wide delivery and Kohli followed it. He got the outside edge of his bat and it flew to Smith at first slip. This is the first time in three years that Kohli was dismissed for a duck in Test cricket.
Starc reduced India to 44 for three with the wicket-maiden over and Rahul needed to rebuild the innings with new man Ajinkya Rahane. Australia continued to attack but Rahul and Rahane made sure India do not lose another wicket before Lunch.
Earlier, Australia were bowled out for 260 in their first innings after Starc was caught by Jadeja at deep mid-wicket off R Ashwin for 61. He hit a four off the second ball of the day and then tried doing it again off the fifth but was caught at the ropes.
With the final wicket of Australia, Ashwin moved past Kapil Dev’s record of 63 wickets in a single Indian home season with 64 wickets.