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India bowlers keep Australia at bay

India have enjoyed a great opening day of the Boxing Day Test match against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, courtesy of the bowlers led by Jasprit Bumrah. 

An unchanged Australia elected to bat first, while Ajinkya Rahane-led India handed Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj brand new Test caps among their four changes in the playing XI.

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India rattled Australia for 195 runs 72.3 overs. In reply, the tourists lost opener Mayank Agarwal in the fiery first over from Mitchell Starc. With 3.3 overs remaining dry of runs, Gill drove Pat Cummins straight for a boundary to bring his first Test runs as well as India’s first runs in the innings.

Gill’s 38-ball 28* and Cheteshwar Pujara’s 23-ball 7* took India to 36/1 in 11 overs at stumps.

Earlier in the morning, Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Joe Burns for a ten-ball duck in the fifth over. Aggressive Matthew Wade, who hit 39-ball 30, threw away his wicket while trying to hit Ravichandran Ashwin out of the ground.

Steve Smith’s eight-ball duck added to Australia’s batting woes as he was caught at leg-slip off Ashwin.

Siraj got his first wicket in an unusual way – a flick from Marnus Labuschagne ended up in Gill’s hands at backward square leg. Labuschagne top-scored with 48 runs from 132 deliveries, hittng four boundaries.

There was controversy too in the action packed day. Aussie skipper Tim Paine was given not out on a close run out call. He was later caught down the leg-side off Ashwin for 13.

After Labuschagne and Travis Head’s (38) fourth wicket stand of 86 runs ended, the hosts collapsed. Nathan Lyon’s 17-ball 20 could only extend Australia’s first innings total.

Bumrah scalped four wickets for 56 runs with Ashwin adding 3 for 35. Siraj took 2/40 on debut.

Brief scores:

Australia 1st innings: 195 allout in 72.3 overs (Labuschagne 48; Bumrah 4/56, Ashwin 3/35, Siraj 2/40)

India 1st innings: 36/1 in 11 overs (Gill 28*, Pujara 7*; Starc 1/14)

India trail by 159 runs

Stumps – Day 1 

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