Kapil Dev ‘disturbed’ with the reactions over coach selection process

Kapil Dev 'disturbed' with the reactions over coach selection process

Kapil Dev expressed that he is “disturbed” by the reactions over the WV Raman’s selection process as the Head Coach of Indian Women’s Team. 


The BCCI had formed a new ad-hoc committee to finalize Indian Women’s Cricket Coach which comprised of former India cricketers Shantha Rangaswamy, Kapil Dev, and Anshuman Gaekwad and they had selected WV Raman as the Head Coach of Indian Women’s Team after a thorough selection process. But that was termed an ‘illegal step’ by CoA member Diana Edulji.

 

“I am very disturbed about what all is happening. I don’t want to take names but the ego of one particular individual shouldn’t be an impediment towards developing the women’s game in the country,” Kapil Dev told PTI on Saturday (January 5). “Someone might have his or her personal likes or dislikes but that is not above the interest of the national women’s team,” he further added, in reference to the Edulji CoA Chief Vinod Rai’s difference of opinion.

Moreover, he was also disappointed with the questions about the credentials of the ad-hoc committee and he pointed at the excellence of the candidates the committee had shortlisted from the process.

“Look at the names who applied,” he told. “Gary Kirsten, who coached India to World Cup. Venkatesh Prasad, who was Indian men’s team bowling coach. Raman has earned respect from everyone with his technical knowledge. If anyone has problem with these names, then he/she doesn’t have best interest of Indian cricket in mind.”

Also Read: A tribute to Kapil Dev on his 60th Birthday

The former world cup winning captain, Dev, however, expressed that he wasn’t used to following the Women’s cricket even a decade ago but the players like Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur have raised the bar so high that everyone has started following women’s game and even people like him also want to contribute to the cause.

“Just tell me where was women’s cricket at least 10 years back. Who raised the profile? It’s the players like Mithali and Harman. They have raised it to such a level that even someone like me, who didn’t keep a track of what was happening a decade back, wanted to contribute,” Kapil added.

“Tell me one thing. Myself, Anshu and Shantha, we all have other commitments also. When we were approached, we agreed because all of us thought that we would be able to make a difference. Is it a fair thing to rake up controversy and derail the development that has happened over the years?”, he further questioned.

Rishabh Pant becomes the first Indian wicket-keeper to smash a century against Australia in Australia

Rishabh Pant becomes the first Indian wicket-keeper to smash a century against Australia in Australia

Rishabh Pant became the first Indian wicket-keeper to smash a century against Australia in Australia in the longest format of the game. 


Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant smashed a sublime century on the second day of the fourth test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Pant’s second test century came in 137 balls. He was batting at 96 and hit Marnus Labuschagne for a boundary at mid-wicket region and brought up his maiden Test century on Australian soil in style.

With this century, he broke former India wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer’s record (89) of highest score by an Indian wicket-keeper in Adelaide, Australia in 1967. Pant also became the only Indian wicket-keeper to score two Test centuries outside Asia. He scored 114 against England at the Oval in September 2018. 21-year 92-day old Pant became the second youngest Indian to score a century in Australia after Sachin Tendulkar; who scored two centuries at SCG and Perth in 1992 at the age of 18 years and 256 days and 18 years 285 days, respectively.

List of Indian wicketkeepers’ highest score in Australia:

Rishabh Pant – 100* at SCG in 2019

Farokh Engineer – 89 at Adelaide in 1967

Kiran More – 67* at MCG in 1991

Parthiv Patel – 62 at SCG in 2004

MS Dhoni – 57* at SCG in 2012

Pant’s century broke Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s 12-year old record of the highest score by an Indian wicket-keeper in an overseas Test. Previously Dhoni had scored 148 against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2006. Pant crossed the milestone in the second day of the final Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Pant was batting on 145 when he smashed Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood for a boundary over mid-off, surpassing Dhoni’s 148. He remained unbeaten at 159 off 189 balls before captain Virat Kohli declared India’s innings at 622/7 at the SCG. His 159* comprised of 15 boundaries and a six.

The 21-year-old now also holds the joint record of the highest score by an Asian wicket-keeper outside the sub-continent. Bangladesh’s Mushfiqur Rahim also scored 159 against New Zealand in Wellington in 2017.

As he broke the records, Twitteratis started wishing him for this:

Also Read: Five lesser-known facts about Rishabh Pant

Harmanpreet Kaur – I don’t think there is any problem between me and Mithali

Harmanpreet Kaur - I don't think there is any problem between me and Mithali

India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur said in a recent interview with Mumbai Mirror that there has been no problem between her and India ODI captain Mithali Raj.


Harmanpreet Kaur denied the reports of a rift with Mithali Raj saying that she had no problems with her and she always respected the veteran.

 

“I have met [Mithali] and spoken to her after all these events and we seemed to have moved on. I don’t think there has been any problem between me and Mithali. I can speak for myself. You have to speak to her and ask if she has a problem with me,” Harmanpreet told Mumbai Mirror.

India’s semi-final exit after losing by 8 wickets against Australia from the first stand-alone tournament ICC Women’s World T20 last year made a big controversy as the most experienced Mithali Raj was dropped from the playing XI. Where Mithali Raj claimed of coach Ramesh Powar’s poor treatment, their coach Ramesh Powar said that he found Mithali “aloof and difficult to handle.”

While talking about this, Kaur said that a team is like a family and sometimes these troubles can happen as well but these shouldn’t be taken personally.

“When you play at an international level, you are mature enough to not let these things affect you. At the end of the day, what matters is you are playing for your country. A team is like a family where there are troubles and such issues keep cropping up, but they shouldn’t be taken personally,” she added.

When she was asked about what happened in the West Indies and how the team reacted after the incident, Harmanpreet said that the issues were not highlighted so much. Moreover, she thinks when the team is doing well on a certain path, then everyone has to think on that way only.

“No player is bigger than the team. When a team is doing well, all the members have to think on these lines only. I still feel that the situation should not have come to this but sometimes such things happen. I don’t think the issues should have been highlighted so much. But everyone has their personal views and I won’t comment on that.”

Harmanpreet Kaur explained how Ramesh Powar has changed the situation. Under Powar’s coaching, India lost only 2 matches out of 13 matches including ODIs and T20Is within the three months.

“Earlier our team was too dependent on senior players. The thinking was that the senior players had to take all the workload. But during the recent ICC T20 World Cup, coach Ramesh Powar told all of us that each and every player in the team is not only equal but equally important. He met all the players individually and gave clear message to them. In the three earlier editions of the T20 World Cup before this one in West Indies, we were not able to reach even the semis. After those chats, the players realised their importance. These one-on-one sessions went a long way in how we performed.”

“But of course, there are areas where we are lagging. Like we are starting tournaments well but are not able to win tournaments. I think we are lacking a bit of mental stability during the knock-out phases. We have to work on this area specifically if we want to win big tournaments,” Harmanpreet further added.

The result of the Mithali Raj-Ramesh Power public spat led to the appointment of the new coach of the women’s team; where WV Raman appointed as the new head coach. While talking about that, Harmanpreet said that she knows Raman and is looking forward to working with him. Raman’s first assignment with Indian Women’s Cricket Team will be the upcoming New Zealand tour which is scheduled to be played from January 24, 2019. The tour is comprised of 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is.

“I had met Raman sir at the National Cricket Academy a couple of times. I know he comes with a lot of experience. I have heard from several people about Raman sir’s technical and tactical acumen. I think these things will help the team.”

India T20 captain was recently named the captain of the ICC T20I Team of the Year 2018 for her swashbuckling performance throughout the year. While asking about how it felt, she told she was happy.

“I am really happy about it. To be honest, I had never thought about it. I had always wanted the team to do well in the T20 format. We were doing well in the 50-over game but this year we have done well in the T20 format also. This reward is both recognition of how well the team has done and also a motivation for the future,” Harmanpreet expressed.

Kaur is currently in Australia, playing in the Women’s Big Bash League. She further said that it’s time to start a T20 league in India as well, where younger players will get the chance to showcase their talent.

“You have to create the depth (in talent). This can’t be used as an excuse to not have a women’s T20 league in India. Even if we don’t have (it now), one day we will have to make a start somewhere. You can’t be waiting for a day when other nations have reached a level where it becomes impossible to catch them. It’s important that we start a league at the earliest so that young players get a chance to rub shoulders with overseas players. This will help increase the confidence,” she said.

Moreover, she said that she has followed the Under-19 tournament. There are few girls who have been performing consistently and have the potential to do big in future.

“I followed a bit of the Under-19 tournament this year and some girls were really impressive. Now they are looking for a platform. The earlier we get a league going in India, the better it will be. For the first few years it would not be right to have too many expectations. But I can guarantee that improvement will be there with each passing year,” Kaur confidently told.

From triple century to half-century in consecutive Tests; Mayank Agarwal is here to stay

From triple century to half-century in consecutive Tests; Mayank Agarwal is here to stay

How many of you remember, who was the leading run-scorer for India in the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2010? Or when he scored his maiden triple century in the first-class cricket last year? I am sure many of you remember his triple century very well along with the batsman who scored. He is none other than Mayank Agarwal. 


Having started at a very early age, Mayank Agarwal came to limelight with his wonderful performances in the U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy in 2008-09 and in 2010, he became the highest run-getter for India in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.

 

Mayank Agarwal scored his maiden triple century (304*) in the first-class cricket for Karnataka against Maharashtra in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy. Moreover, it was the 50th triple century scored in first-class cricket in India. His triple ton came in November 2017 and during the same month, he smashed 1,000 runs in the first-class cricket as well. Even, he was the highest run-getter in the 2017–18 Ranji Trophy season, finishing the tournament with a dominating 1,160 runs.

Not only this, in February 2018, Mayank Agarwal was the leading run-getter in the 2017–18 Vijay Hazare Trophy where he scored 723 runs in eight matches. He amassed 2,141 runs across all formats which were the highest total by any batsman in an India domestic season. Mayank Agarwal was awarded the ‘Madhavrao Scindia Award’ For The leading Run-Scorer in Ranji Trophy by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Mayank Agarwal was the leading run-getter for his state Karnataka in the 2018–19 Vijay Hazare Trophy where he scored 251 runs in seven matches. In October 2018, he got selected in India B’s squad for the 2018–19 Deodhar Trophy also. He scored a century in the Karnataka Premier League in the year 2010 where he was adjudged the ‘Man of the Series’.

After having a prolific domestic career, Mayank Agarwal had been ignored by the selectors for a longer period of time. Finally, he got his maiden call-up in the national team for the test series against West Indies in September 2018 but did not get the chance to play. Again in December 2018, he was named in India’s Test squad for Australia series, after Prithvi Shaw was ruled out due to an injury.

Mayank Agarwal made his Test debut against Australia on 26 December 2018. Agarwal slowly built his innings where the first boundary of the day came from his bat only. The first six of the innings hit by him as well. After lunch, a couple of boundaries off Nathan Lyon took Agarwal to his maiden Test half-century. He scored 76 runs in the first innings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). This was the highest score by an Indian on a Test debut in Australia, surpassing the record of 51 runs by Dattu Phadkar, at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in 1947.

Mayank Agarwal scored his second successive Test half-century in the ongoing test against Australia. Though he was constantly troubled by short balls, he survived and scored 77 before he missed Lyon’s delivery and ended up hitting it in the air towards long on where Starc picked up a comfortable catch. Agarwal again failed to convert his fifty into a hundred. Hope he continues to score big and able to convert his half-centuries into hundreds, because he is here to stay, for a long time.

Bumrah 9-wicket haul; India claims a convincing victory over Australia

Bumrah 9-wicket haul

After having washed out the first session due to rain, India took only 27 balls on the final day to register a convincing win over Australia. 


On the fourth day of the third test, Pat Cummins (61*) and Nathan Lyon (6*) stood strong at the crease and reached 258 at the end of the day. Cummins had registered his highest Test score as well. It took 27 balls for India to bundle Australia and win the test with 2-1 on the last day in the four-match series.

 

After an early lunch due to rain, India’s bowlers didn’t take much time. Jasprit Bumrah took Pat Cummins in an outswinger while Pujara took a low catch at first slip. This was Bumrah’s 9th wicket in the match.

“The credit has to go to our bowlers, especially Jasprit, they have been outstanding,” Captain Kohli said after the match. “The way Jasprit bowled in Perth it was almost criminal not to get wickets, but the management told him they would come in bunches.”

Cummins’ dismissal brought Josh Hazlewood on the crease; who faced Bumrah at first. On the very next over, Ishant Sharma did the final job done. Lyon got dismiss while edging a pull and Pant took an easy catch which gave India a daunting 137-run victory. With this wonderful victory, the Border-Gavaskar trophy has been retained.

Still one more test is left in the four-match series. “Nothing will distract us from winning that last Test,” Captain said. “we’ve worked really hard for this,” he further added.

With this win, some records have been made by India. Bumrah’s 9-wicket haul by giving 86 runs is the best figure by an Indian pacer in Australia so far while Rishabh Pant made the record of most dismissals (42) by a Wicket-Keeper in his debut calendar year and equaled Brad Haddin’s dismissal (2008). Cheteshwar Pujara became the only batsman to score 50+ in all of India’s four away wins in 2018. Along with this, Virat Kohli equaled Sourav Ganguly’s record of most wins in overseas Tests as captain.

Brief scores: India 443/7 and 106/8 (Mayank Agarwal 42; Pat Cummins 6-27) beat Australia 151 (Jasprit Bumrah 6-33) and 261 (Pat Cummins 63, Shaun Marsh 44; Jasprit Bumrah 3-53, Ravindra Jadeja 3-82) by 137 runs.

Pat Cummins all-round performance made headline on the fourth day

Pat Cummins all-round performance made headline on the fourth day

India was just an inch away of becoming victorious at Melbourne but on the fourth day of the third test but Pat Cummins heroics didn’t allow India to win the match as he remained unbeaten on 103-ball 61. 


Having set a huge total of 399, India’s bowlers did a commendable job by picking eight wickets on the fourth day but Pat Cummins (61*) and Nathan Lyon (6*) stood strong at the crease and reached 258 at the end of the day.

 

Cummins had earlier registered his career-best bowling figures of 6/27 in the day and then scored his highest Test score as well.

After India’s declaration, Australia got off to a horrible start as the opener Aaron Finch was dismissed in the second over. He survived an lbw shout of the first ball off Bumrah and the next delivery saw his dismissal as he gave an easy catch to Virat Kohli at second slip. Another opener, Marcus Harris too couldn’t stay long as Jadeja picked up his wicket with Agarwal took the catch at short leg. Usman Khawaja and Shaun Marsh tried to steady the ship and added 30-run for the third wicket before Shami handed over the third breakthrough by picking up Khawaja. He got trapped in the leg before on 33 in the 21st over.

Later Shaun Marsh and Travis Head built a steady association of 51 runs before Marsh too got trapped in the leg before on 44. Mitchell Marsh soon followed his brother in the dugout. He scored 10 off 21 before getting dismissed by giving an extra cover catch to Kohli. Travis Head was next to follow when he got bowled by Ishant Sharma on 34. Jadeja and Shami chopped in Paine and Starc on 26 and 18 respectively. However, Pat Cummins showed immense patience and remained unbeaten on the fourth day on 61*.

Earlier in the day, India started on 5 for 54. Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant were the overnight batsmen but it became difficult to continue for long before the strong bowling line-up. Cummins picked up Agarwal on 42. Soon Jadeja too got dismissed after giving an easy catch to Khawaja. Cummins bagged 6 wickets while Josh Hazlewood took 2 before India declared.

Australia need 141 runs while India need 2 more wickets to win on the final day.

Brief scores: India 443/7 and 106/8 (Mayank Agarwal 42; Pat Cummins 6-27) lead Australia 151 (Jasprit Bumrah 6-33) and 258/8 (Pat Cummins 61*, Shaun Marsh 44; Ravindra Jadeja 3-82) by 141 runs.

Jasprit Bumrah’s six-for made a stable foundation for India

Jasprit Bumrah's six-for made a stable foundation for India

On the second day of the third test, India had declared at 443 and Australia scored 8 runs while the third day was full of a roller-coaster. Jasprit Bumrah‘s 6 for 33 and Pat Cummins’ 4 for 10 made the headline. 


The third day started with Australia’s batting. India planned to restrict Australia within a below par and bowlers executed the plan well as they bowled in a good line and length. The first breakthrough came for India through Ishant Sharma; who took Aaron Finch in the 11th over. Finch’s poor stroke cost him his wicket while Agarwal took a sharp mid-wicket catch and sent him in. Another opener Marcus Harris struck by a bouncer in the 14th over, while hitting a short ball again but ended up giving a fine leg catch to Rohit Sharma; which eventually was Bumrah’s first wicket.

 

While Sharma-Bumrah dominated the first hour, Jadeja too joined them while he took Usman Khawaja in the 20th over, with a short-leg catch by Agarwal. Khawaja hit a backward point boundary by reverse a sweep just before his dismissal.

Shaun Marsh tried to steady the ship but was not able to do it. Bumrah’s off cutter yorker trapped him leg before for 19, before lunch, leaving Australia in trouble. Post break, Bumrah picked up Travis Head when he missed the inside edge and got bowled. Later Mitchell Marsh joined them in the dugout after falling for 9 by giving a catch to Rahane at first slip while facing Jadeja.

Also Read: India’s memorable moments at MCG

Pat Cummins joined his captain Tim Paine at the crease and both tried to build the partnership, adding 36 runs before Mohammed Shamibroke the pair. Cummins missed the delivery and got bowled after scoring 17. Paine soon followed him by giving a catch to Pant and became the fourth victim of Bumrah. Soon he picked up Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood and completed a six-wicket haul by giving mere 33 runs.

This was Bumrah’s third five-wicket haul of the year and he became the first Asian bowler to take a five-for in Test in South Africa, England and Australia in the same calendar year. His by far the best figure in Test gave India a 292-run lead in the first innings.

Despite a brilliant bowling show by India, they were not able to stay at the crease in the second innings. If the first half of the day was for Bumrah, the second was definitely for Cummins; who took four wickets within 8 balls and dismantled India’s batting line-up.

Vihari was first to fell for 13. Soon Pujara followed him after getting a duck while hitting Cummins’ delivery towards gully. Captain Kohli too got dismissed in the same way right after four deliveries. Rahane was next to fall for mere 1. Rohit Sharma survived the hat-trick ball but fell for 5 to Hazlewood later in the day and India reduced to 44/5. From there, Agarwal and Pant tried to build a steady partnership and ended the day with 54/5 and lead of 346 runs.

Brief scores: India 443/7 and 54/5 (Pat Cummins 4-10) lead Australia 151 (Jasprit Bumrah 6-33) by 346 runs

Dale Steyn becomes South Africa’s highest Test Wicket-Taker

Dale-Steyn-of-South-Africa-bowls-during-day-4-of-the-third-test-match-between-South-Africa-and-Aus

Dale Steyn became the highest Test wicket-taker of South Africa by taking Pakistan’s Fakhar Zaman in the first Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion, surpassing Shaun Pollock. 


Dale Steyn took the limelight away from the others during the first day of the Centurion Test against Pakistan when he broke Shaun Pollock’s record to become the leading wicket-taker (422) of South Africa in Test. Pakistan chose to bat first and lost Imam-ul-Haq in the second over. Fakhar Zaman along with Shan Masood tried to steady the ship but before they could move further Steyn picked up Zaman. Fakhar hit the delivery away from him but ended up giving the catch to Dean Elgar in the slip and Steyn achieved the feat of taking 422 wickets in Tests.

Steyn’s 422-wicket haul came in 89 matches, at an average of 22.60, while Pollock took 108 matches at an average of 23.11. Pollock was commentating on the television and congratulated him. “He is a true leader of the attack and deserves the record,” said Pollock. Steyn too acknowledged Pollok’s gesture while celebrating with the team-mates.

In June 2015, Steyn took his 400th Test wicket in his 80th Test but he was ruled out due to an injury in India later that year, before his two shoulder injuries. He returned in January this year for the series against India but injured his heel in the first Test which eventually caused him to miss the rest of the series and the series against Australia as well. Later he returned for the series against Sri Lanka where he took two wickets only. His injury kept him away for 27 Test matches. Before the injury, he had played 48 consecutive Test matches from December 2009 to November 2015 and remain at the top of the ICC Test bowling rankings for 263 weeks; which itself a record.

Steyn is now at the 11th on the all-time list, where New Zealand’s Richard Hadlee is before him who took 431 wickets. The list is led by former Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan; who bagged 800 Test wickets while England’s James Anderson, who took 565 wickets, is the leading fast bowler on the list.

As soon as Steyn reached the feat, everyone started praising him:

Pujara, Kohli, Rohit guide India to a competitive total in the second day

Pujara, Kohli, Rohit guide India to a competitive total in the second day

On the first day of the third test match against Australia at MCG, India were 215/2; where Cheteshwar Pujara and captain Kohli were unbeaten at 68* and 47* respectively.


Where the bowlers didn’t get much help from the pitch, India continued their batting dominance on the first day; while on the second day they declared after reaching 443.

 

The overnight batsman, Pujara hit his second ton of the series while captain Virat Kohli scored 82 along with Rohit Sharma’s 63 helped India to reach a decent competitive total of 443 after the loss of 7 wickets. The overnight pair added 170 runs for the third wicket and made a solid foundation as they batted for the first session. Before they could move further, Starc picked up the much-awaited as well as the first wicket of the second day, Kohli; who hit the ball in the air towards third man but it handed safely in Finch’s hand.

Also Read: Memorable Indian moments at MCG

Kohli got to his fifty in the first over of the day, while the threat of new ball was clearly visible by both the batsmen. Australia’s wait for a wicket ended in the second session as they picked up Pujara in quick succession after Kohli. Bowlers did a wonderful job as they continued to bowl in a proper line and length.

While Kohli played some beautiful drives in his 82 runs knock with patience, Pujara stood strong at the other end and hit another ton. He got his ton after hitting Lyon for a wonderful straight drive before lunch. Kohli was troubled by a back pain which forced the physio Patrick Farhart to come in the ground. He was seen struggling. Kohli pulled in front of square for three right after that and then hit another pull for a boundary before getting dismissed.

Pujara’s innings came to an end soon after Kohli’s dismissal. Cummins’ delivery hit the off stump which sent Pujara in the dugout after a 319-ball 106 with 10 fours. His dismissal brought Rohit Sharma at the crease; who had missed the second Test due to injury. Along with him, Ajinkya Rahane too looked quite comfortable. Rahanegot an early life on 16; while Peter Siddle dropped a simple catch at backward square leg. However, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane both managed to add 61 runs before the latter trapped in the leg before by Lyon.

After his dismissal, Rohit added 76 runs for the sixth wicket along with Rishabh Pant, who also got an early life while Cummins dropped him at long-on off Lyon. Later on, Rohit hit a boundary at deep midwicket to reach 400 marks along with his 10th Test half-century and his second in Australia. Rohit and Pant both scored really well before Pant fell for 39 who tried to hit the ball but ended up giving a backward point catch to Khawaja. While Ravindra Jadeja was dismissed in the next over, Kohli declared at 443 for 7.

Pat Cummins scalped 3 wickets while Starc picked up 2. Hazlewood and Lyon took 1 each for Australia. They got 6 overs to bat before the stumps where Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris added 8 runs while facing Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja.

Brief Scores: India 443/7 (Cheteshwar Pujara 106, Virat Kohli 82, Rohit Sharma 63*; Pat Cummins 3-72) vs Australia 8/0

 

Agarwal, Pujara’s half-century, Kohli’s stable 47, India in a steady start on the first day

Agarwal, Pujara's half-century, Kohli's stable 47, India in a steady start on the first day

India reached 215-2 on the back of debutant Mayank Agarwal’s 76 and the steady association of Pujara-Kohli. 


Prior to the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, India, and Australia both won one Test match each. India won the toss and elected to bat. Having changed the opening pair, they gave Mayank Agarwal the opening slot along with Hanuma Vihari. Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja also returned to the team while Australia too have made one change in the playing XI, Mitch Marsh came in for Peter Handscomb.

 

Pat Cummins was the successful bowler on the very first day. He picked up Hanuma Vihari and handed over the first breakthrough to his team. It was the 113th ball of the opening session when Vihari tried to hit an outside off stump short ball but ended up giving an easy catch to the third slip to Finch. While he struggled to get off the mark and took 25 deliveries, Agarwal seemed confident on his shots. They both added 40 runs in the opening stand.

Agarwal slowly built his innings. His first 17 runs came through running. The first boundary of the day came from his bat only. He hit an outside off stump ball that just flew over Mitchell Marsh at gully in the 7th over. He too was not totally comfortable with Cummin’s bowling but was confident in his scoring abilities. Mithcell Starc and Josh Hazlewood too were successful in giving 12 maiden overs. Their short-ball strategy kept India batters in struggle and before lunch, India walked off at 57/1.

After lunch, a couple of boundaries off Nathan Lyon took Agarwal to his maiden Test half-century. The first six of the innings hit by him as well. He hit Lyon over long on for 6 runs. Before he could move further, his innings came to an end after getting dismissed by a short ball from Cummins down the leg side. Tim Paine took a brilliant catch which was eventually the last ball before tea.

His well-made 76 were greatly supported by Pujara on a slow surface which was showing the signs of up and down bounce. They both added 83 runs for the second wicket. Later to the tea, captain Virat Kohli joined Pujara at the crease. He looked confident and found the gap as well while Pujara stood strong at the other end. His 200-ball 68 on the first day comprised of six boundaries.

It was Mitchell Starc who made the situation of Kohli’s dismissal with the second new ball but was unfortunate to see Kohli being dropped on 47. The delivery went straight through and Kohli ended up driving for the in-swinger which eventually got the outside toe-end of his bat, Paine dived to his right, caught that but couldn’t hold. And, in the very next ball, India got a boundary. Kohli’s 107-ball 47* got stable support from Pujara. Their unbeaten 92-run stand helped India to cross 200 marks on the first day of the third test.

Brief Scores: India 215/2 (Mayank Agarwal 76, Cheteshwar Pujara 68*; Virat Kohli 47*, Pat Cummins 2/40) vs Australia