Australia vs India, 2018-19: 3 things you might have missed from day 1 of the first Test
The much anticipated India-Australia Test Series got off to an exciting start. After winning a rare toss, India's captain Virat Kohli opted to bat first. The decision did not go in favour as the Australian quickies wreaked havoc to leave the Indian batsmen reeling.
Within 11 overs of play, the Indian top 3 were back in the dugout. Poor shot selection against the Australian pace trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc was largely responsible for India's dismal show with the bat.
Openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay failed to provide a good start to the team yet again and perished in the temptation to drive which resulted in catches at the cordon. Captain Kohli and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane too perished in the same attempt.
Comeback man Rohit Sharma had a promising start and was playing ball to the merit but he too could not last more and was out for a 61-ball 37. On the other end was Cheteshwar Pujara, who was at his usual calm-best. Calm as a sage, he was looking at the turmoil going on at the other end.
He kept playing his shots, trusting his defence and gradually steadied the Indian innings. He stitched a brief 45 runs partnership with Rohit, 41 with Pant and 62 runs with Ashwin. As he started running out of partners, Pujara upped the ante. He brought out cuts, pulls and eye-grabbing punched-drives from the closet as he racked up his 16th Test hundred.
He got run-out at the stroke of stumps but till then he had done what he has been doing best- rescuing the team from trouble. Let's have a look at three possible things that you might have missed from Day 1.
#3 The opening pair of Muarli Vijay and KL Rahul failed for the tenth straight time outside Asia
It is rightly said that the openers set the tone of the innings. They are pivotal if the team has to score a good total. However, this has not been the case with Rahul and Vijay. In the ten innings in the SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries, this Indian opening pair has failed to post even one 50+ opening stand. Even today, the opening stand could last only 3 runs.
#2 Nathan Lyon conceded 200 sixes in Test matches
Nathan Lyon was a successful bowler today. He bowled the most overs today (28) and scalped the wickets of Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant while conceding 83 runs.
However, in this process, he achieved a feat he would not have wanted. He became the first bowler to concede 200 sixes in Test Cricket. Second and third on the list are Sri Lankan spinners Muralitharan (195) and Rangana Herath (194) respectively.
#1 Pujara reached 5000 Test runs
It was indeed a special hundred from Pujara that has more or less inspired some fightback from the Indian Team. In a counter-attacking century, Pujara soaked all the pressure and in the process racked up his 16th Test ton.
Pujara's innings was marked by calm temperament and determination that the world knows him for. He did not hurry to play his shots. He propelled India to some respectable total and was dismissed run-out at the stroke of stumps.
His 246-ball 123 is the most runs scored by a subcontinent batsman in the opening day of a Test in Australia.
His 16th Test century happens to be the first in the Australian soil. With his 16th century, he has now equalled the record of Sourav Ganguly who also has 16 Test centuries to his name. He racked up 5000 Test runs when he was batting at 95.