Australia vs India: 5 Unnoticed things from the First Test
The much-anticipated Test series for the cricket fans in 2018 has finally arrived. The under-fire Team India on the quest of winning an overseas tour began their pre-match preparations in full swing. Both the teams were ready for a thriller. On a seemingly good wicket to bat on, Indian captain Virat Kohli won the toss and decided to bat first.
But, soon the demons of every previous overseas tour resurfaced to haunt Indian batsmen, who once again failed to spend time and apply themselves to the wicket. Within no time India was reduced to 41/4 with all ridiculous shot selections. It was Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma who stitched together a decent partnership to keep the scoreboard ticking.
But, Australia was relentless in their attack to dismiss Indian batsmen at regular intervals. India managed to post a par score on the board, courtesy a magnificent and clinical century from Pujara.
Australia felt they had restricted India to a below-par score on the Adelaide wicket, but soon found themselves to be on the same boat. The pitch was indeed tricky unless batsmen spent time. Australia somehow came closer to India's first innings total with the help of quality half-century from Travis Head.
But, India successfully managed to get a slender lead of 15 runs. India's second innings began with cautious minds in form of KL Rahul and Murali Vijay. Both the openers stuck in there to see off the first spell from Aussie quicks. Rahul started to dominate the bowlers slowly with his aggressive shots.
But, both openers fell in quick succession to slow things down a bit. But once again Pujara got to the task and played a wonderful hand. Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane too compiled a resilient half-century. But India lost the last wickets very cheaply and India posted a total of 323 for Australia.
India believed they had too many runs on the board to take a lead in the series. The fourth innings pitch is never easy to score runs. Australia kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Shaun Marsh and captain Tim Paine looked very positive in their approach. Indians looked good for an easy victory after the Aussie captain was back in the pavilion.
But, Australia put up a rearguard with their tailenders to deny an easy victory to India. Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood hung in there till the end. It was Ashwin who got the all-important breakthrough to give India their First match Test victory in Australia! India won it by 31 runs and take the 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series.
Here are 5 unnoticed things from the match.
#1 Pujara played 200+ balls in both innings of the match
Before the series, all the hype around Kohli and his batting meant rest of the players to rise to the occasion. Pujara did exactly the same. He always loves zero attention and he proved it again. When everybody in the top-order failed to get going against the strong Australia attack, it was Pujara who adjusted his play according to the conditions and reaped rewards in the end.
In the first innings, Pujara scored a match-defining century to help India post a reasonable total on the board. He scored 123 runs in 246 balls. He followed it up with another fine half-century knock in the second innings where he scored 71 runs playing 204 deliveries. In the process, Cheteshwar Pujara became the fourth Indian batsman to face 200 balls on both innings of an overseas Test match after VS Hazare, MAK Pataudi and Rahul Dravid.