India are smelling blood, says Langer

07 December, 2018, 12:25 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Virat Kohli looms large for India

However, they are still 59 runs short of India's total of 250.

India claimed the wickets of both Australian openers in the first session, including Aaron Finch for a third-ball duck.

Travis Head (61) and Mitchell Starc (8) were at the crease for the hosts and Australia will hope they can carry on for a while.

"Ashwin will also come into play. But it's nice to see the ball moving around and I think we've all been preparing brilliantly for this Test series with a little period off after the Shield game".

In reply to India's first innings of 250, Australia's batting order struggled against the offspin of Ashwin, who has three for 38 from 22 overs. The odd ball is skidding on, and the odd ball is holding a bit more from the grass. The No. 3 batsman crafted a brilliant 123, studded with seven fours and two sixes, before being run out at the stroke of stumps on Day 1. It was the Pujara show all day in the face of some disciplined Australian bowling.

Handscomb struck five boundaries, while Head hit a four as well, as the duo put on 30 runs for the fifth wicket, taking Australia past 100 in the 48th over.

"To be honest we should have batted better but they also bowled well in the first two sessions and I knew that I had to stay patient and wait for the loose balls".

Ahead of their first Test against India, Paine said the Aussies, still recovering from the ball-tampering scandal, has identified the areas that needed improvements. The move yielded rich dividends in Pat Cummins' first over.

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Quizzed about targeting India's lone spinner R Ashwin in this match, he replied the game-plan is going to be quite similar for even the Indian batsmen.

As soon as Australia's innings reached 80 overs, Kohli took the new red cherry and handed over the responsibility to Bumrah and he didn't disappoint. Sometimes when you are seeing it on TV, it doesn't look like it is doing a lot but when I batted in the first and second sessions, I felt it wasn't easy to bat on.

The pace trio of Starc (2/63), Pat Cummins (2/49) and Jose Hazlewood (2/52) shared six wickets, while spinner Nathan Lyon accounted for another two as India limped their way on a good batting surface.

Cricket Australia chief Kevin Roberts has said ticket sales are not tracking well, and Marsh's troubles are unlikely to help rectify this.

Marsh's eyes lit up at the sight of a wide delivery floated outside off stump by Ashwin but, rather than crack it through covers, the veteran managed a thick edge that dislodged the leg bail.

He, however, needed some support from the other end and the situation was ideal for someone like Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant to make a statement.

Talking about the team for the opening Test, Langer said Marcus Harris is likely to make his debut but a decision is yet to be made about whether Peter Handscomb or allrounder Mitchell Marsh will feature in the playing XI.

India Bowling: Ishant Sharma 15-6-31-2, Jasprit Bumrah 20-9-34-2, Mohammed Shami 16-6-51-0, Ravichandran Ashwin 33-9-50-3, Murali Vijay 4-1-10-0.

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