India vs Australia test 3rd day 1 match highlights:
- India ended day 1 on 215-2 with Pujara and Kohli at the crease
- Mayank Aggarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara hit half-centuries for the visitors on a wicket that was
- Pat Cummins was the only successful bowler for Australia, picking up both the wickets to end the day with figures of 2-40
India vs Australia test 3rd day 1 match highlights – Australia Vs India test 3 day 1 was a day when India’s top order roared loud, decimating the Australian bowling attack at will as they made short work of them to out bat the home side in all three sessions. Riding high on debutant Mayank Aggarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara’s half-centuries, the tourists piled on the runs for fun, making short work of an Australian pace battery that had claimed itself to be the best in the world before the third test had begun.
India knew half the battle was won for them when the coin landed heads in Virat Kohli’s favour. It was a toss that was of extreme importance to win on an unpredictable drop-in wicket with more than 15mm of grass on it. Choosing to bat first on this track, India knew they would have to make the most of this initial advantage won by them if they were to put the hosts under pressure in what is without doubt the most crucial match of the four match Domain test series.
Going in with an opening pair that has till date not faced a single ball together, India knew that it was a punt that needed to fall their way. Having given KL Rahul and Murali Vijay the boot, out stepped a relatively young and inexperienced partnership of Mayank Aggarwal and Hanuma Vihari to help provide the much needed weight age at the top of an Indian order that has been India’s biggest failing this calendar year.
With the 32 degrees baking an already slow and docile pitch, India’s openers knew that the first two days would be the only time the pitch would act as a heaven for batsmen. And they made the most of it, taking time to dig their feet in their new roles and playing the opening unit of Mitchell Marsh and Shaun Marsh with caution.
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While Hanuma Vihari, India’s make-shift opener in the absence of an injury ridden Prithvi Shaw played the anchor role, Mayank played the antidote to his innings. He was aggressive from the off go, playing like a batsmen whose truly come off a rich vein of form in the Ranji trophy, taking on Australia’s bowling attack irrespective of reputation. Such was the command he along with Vihari had in the opening exchange that Tim Paine was forced to call upon his wrist spinner Nathan Lyon in as early as the eight over, the quickest a spinner has been introduced in a test match at the MCG.
Australia finally got the breakthrough they were toiling for with Pat Cummins plan of bowling the short stuff consistently paying dividends. Having rattled Vihari earlier with a delivery that grunted into his helmet, Cummins doled up another short one that Vihari failed to read. It ended up catching his glove and landing into Khawaja hands at slips to bring end to a 66 ball 8 run innings which was worth its weight in gold for seeing out the new ball and frustrating Australia to no end.
There was no stopping Mayank though who now in the rich company of Pujara got a chance to open his arms even more. His 76 run inning saw him hit the ball all around the park, opening his arms to send the ball all around the ground. He and Pujara provided the perfect platform to India’s middle-order with an 83 run partnership, one that was unlucky to see its end after Mayank ended up edging a wildish delivery to Tim Paine.
Post tea, India took complete control of the match with skipper Virat Kohli and Pujara stringing together an unbeaten 92 run stand to grab the game by the scruff of its neck. It was a partnership that grew in strength with each passing over with either batsman complimenting the other with their huge variety of shot making. Settling back in the crease, both allowed the ball to come to them, shifting way before the ball was even pitched to hit some absolutely scintillating shots.
While the end of Australia Vs India test 3 day 1’s play saw Pujara reach his half-century, Kohli decided to wait it out, ending unbeaten on 47. The script for day 2 will be the same for the visiting side, keep batting on a pitch that has nothing to offer for the pacers and reach atleast a total of 400, one that will prove to be apt of gold come day 4 and 5.