3 Things we learnt from day 1 at Adelaide
The first session of the much-anticipated Border Gavaskar Trophy had an uncomfortably familiar ring to it for the Indians. Making first use of a decent looking pitch, India’s much-vaunted top-order had yet again failed spectacularly overseas.
KL Rahul was the first to depart in the second over when he wafted at a wide delivery. Murali Vijay followed soon after as Starc got one to straighten to take the outside edge of the opener’s bat.
Like many a time, Kohli again walked in with his team under strife. However, the skipper couldn’t extract his team out of trouble this time around as a loose drive and a spectacular catch contributed to his downfall.
Rahane fell quickly after to Hazlewood. Pujara and Rohit stitched a 45-run partnership for the 5th wicket before Rohit threw his wicket away to Nathan Lyon. Pant then strode out with intent and played his shots before perishing to the only defensive shot he played.
However, for all of India’s struggles in the first two sessions, they were much better in the third. Pujara combined with Ashwin to launch a superb rear-guard action. With the former racking up his 16th Test century, India ended the day on 250 for 9.
Australia meanwhile would’ve been proud of the way they bowled throughout. Apart from a brief half an hour period towards the end, where they looked flat, the bowlers were impeccable with their execution.
Despite being just a day old, the Adelaide Test match has moved on pretty quickly and promises to be an intriguing encounter in the days to come.
Let us take a look at three things that we learnt from the first day at Adelaide.
#3 Pujara looks primed to have an extraordinary series
The first session hardly went to plan for India. After electing to bat, the visitors were under the cosh after some loose stroke-play. However, one man who stood between Australia and a considerable advantage was Cheteshwar Pujara.
Pujara set out his stall and didn’t give the Aussie bowlers an inch. He bided his time at the start and only started to display his full repertoire of strokes after getting his eye in.
While the others around him fell like ninepins, the Saurashtra batsman was a picture of concentration. He was judicious around his off-stump and only attacked the balls that were in his arc or on his pads.
Though Pujara’s temperament has never been in question, he portrayed an apparent weakness against the incoming delivery in previous overseas assignments.
However, in Adelaide, Pujara negotiated the threat of the incoming delivery with aplomb. The right-hander wasn’t falling over while playing on the leg-side and displayed exemplary judgment around his off stump.
These aspects point to the fact that Pujara could have a massive role to play in the series. If India is to mount a serious challenge, they need to score heavily and on today’s evidence, it looks likely that Pujara would have to shoulder the lion’s share of the burden.