Shaky start for India in first Test against Australia

By: AFP      Published: 11:13 AM, 17 Dec, 2020
Shaky start for India in first Test against Australia

India was rocked in the first session on first day of first cricket Test against Australia in Adelaide on Thursday.

Both Indian openers were sent to the pavilion clean bowled by Starc and Cummins. Prithvi Shaw was bowled out on the second ball of the day without scoring. Mayank Agarwal scored 17. India were 41 for two in the first session.

Earlier, Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat in the opening day-night Test against Australia. The Indians won their maiden series in Australia in 2018-19, including victory at the Adelaide Oval, and the hosts are gunning for payback.

"Looks like a nice wicket, nice and hard," said Kohli, who will return home after the Test for the birth of his first child.

"Runs on the board are priceless, especially away from home. We've prepared really well, the boys have had a lot of time in the nets, couple of tour games as well." 

India announced their team on Wednesday, opting for Prithvi Shaw to partner Mayank Agarwal at the top of the order in preference to Shubman Gill, with regular opener Rohit Sharma still regaining fitness after an injury.

Umesh Yadav will be the third seamer alongside Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, while Ravi Ashwin won the race to be their lone spinner and Wriddhiman Saha was preferred ahead of Rishabh Pant to keep wicket.

Australia kept faith with Joe Burns despite a miserable run of form, with Matthew Wade elevated to open alongside him in the absence of the injured David Warner and Will Pucovski.

That made room for young all-rounder Cameron Green to make his debut in the middle order.

"The message for us, as always, is to keep things as simple as we possibly can," said Australia captain Tim Paine.  "Happy to bowl first, to be honest."

A limited, socially-distanced, crowd was allowed into the venue to watch on a cool, overcast day.

Australia: Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

India: Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (capt), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravi Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

Umpires: Paul Reiffel (AUS), Bruce Oxenford (AUS)

TV umpire: Rod Tucker (AUS)

Match referee: David Boon (AUS)

Injured Warner targets Boxing Day Test return

Star Australian batsman David Warner Thursday said he was aiming to play the Boxing Day Test against India in Melbourne, calling his injury-enforced absence from the opening clash in Adelaide "devastating".

Warner limped out of Australia's second one-day international against the tourists last month in agony after straining his groin.

"I am (hopeful), that's one that I never want to miss out on," Warner told Australian sports radio network SEN about the Melbourne Test.

"(Adelaide's) my first missed Test through injury so I'm obviously very disappointed with that.

"With the big series that it is, it's devastating to miss a Test but I know that the guys who are walking out there are going to put their best foot forward."

With only nine days until the Melbourne Test, Warner said that he planned to increase the intensity of his rehab work.

"Hopefully I can get up and about and start running at a higher tempo," he said.

"I managed to get up to 14 kilometres an hour (8.7mph) so I've got to work towards a max of 26 to 30 kilometres an hour by next week.

"If I can run between wickets and move laterally and do some ground fielding by the end of next week, I should be ready to go. Fingers are crossed."