Nudges, edges, appeals, ballooning balls and chin music were seen aplenty, but most importantly for India, they capitalised on scoring opportunities in a testing post-dinner session on Day One of the day-night Adelaide Test. India lost Cheteshwar Pujara's wicket to Nathan Lyon’s guile to end the session at 107 for three.
The Virat Kohli-Pat Cummins contest remained absorbing as the Australian pacers continued to test the Indian captain with probing lines. Still, it was Lyon’s introduction to the attack in the 32nd over which spiced up proceedings.
Pujara, who had shown zen-like attributes, looked tentative as he tried to attack more. On a slow surface that has steep bounce, Lyon got the ball to turn. He tested Pujara by pitching the ball just outside off-stump, while also varying his pace beautifully.
A punch through cover-point gave Pujara his first boundary. It came off the 148th ball he faced. The wait for the second boundary was much shorter as he whipped one past midwicket in the next ball.
Just when Pujara looked to get things moving, Lyon outsmarted him with a change of pace. Trying to defend hurriedly, Pujara got beaten by the extra bounce as the bat-pad lobbed to the man at leg-gully.
The decision went in Pujara's favour, but Australia reviewed, and the umpire had to overturn his decision. It was the tenth time Lyon had got Pujara in Tests.
At the other end, Kohli looked organised despite getting hit on the finger off Mitchell Starc. Tight bowling from Australia hasn’t allowed Kohli to be at his free-flowing best. How well the Indian batters counter the Lyon-and-Starc threat in the twilight hour post supper will be critical in determining the way the Test heads.
India lost their openers in the first session
Winning the toss and electing to bat, India lost Prithvi Shaw off the second ball to Mitchell Starc. Shaw got an inside edge to a ball that slightly swung back in. India also lost their other opener, Mayank Agarwal, in the first session to Cummins.
India 107 for 3 (Cheteshwar Pujara 43, Virat Kohli 39*; Pat Cummins 1 for 12) at Supper on Day 1 vs AustraliaPublished 17 Dec 2020, 15:40 IST