Perth Test: Australia 277/6 on Day one of 2nd test
Despite India clawing back in the game, half tons from Australian openers Harris and Finch put hosts in driver's seat with 277-6 on Day One of 2nd Test
Few minutes after the tea interval on the opening day of the second Test in Perth yesterday, Ishant Sharma removed Peter Handscomb for seven as Australia lost four wickets for 36 runs in space of 18.5 overs.
India clawed themselves back into the contest after a brilliant 112-run opening stand from Marcus Harris (70) and Aaron Finch (50). This was one of those moments for India to seize and wrest back the advantage.
The pitch had also quickened up considerably and Virat Kohli had four fast bowlers at his disposal. The first ball from Ishant to Travis Head (58) had him fending awkwardly. The ball flew over the slips for a boundary. Next over, however, Umesh Yadav bowled a half-tracker that was dispatched to the fence with ease by Shaun Marsh. A couple of overs later, neither Ishant nor Jasprit Bumrah were bowling and Head capitalised.
Head and Marsh went on to add 84 for the fifth wicket at 3.81 runs an over. In the 22 overs India bowled at the pair, part-time spinners Hanuma Vihari combined with Murali Vijay to bowl 12 of them. This was the period in the day when Kohli needed his fourth seamer in Yadav to restrict the runs. But it was a task that proved too difficult for Yadav to accomplish.
Throughout the day, Yadav struggled for consistency and failed to apply pressure on the Australian batsmen. After the first day, the selection of Yadav ahead of Bhuvneshwar Kumar became debatable. Without Ravichandran Ashwin, India needed a workhorse who could create pressure and not a bowler that continuously leaked runs. When Australia reached 151-4, Yadav had already conceded one-third of the team's runs. He ended with figures of 18-2-68-1 as the hosts finished the day on 277-6.
One bowler who can hold his head high is Bumrah. The right-arm pacer was the prime reason for India's revival during the second session. Bumrah had a mediocre start, but his next three spells collectively read 12-7-13-1. He was also the man to break the opening stand and could easily have finished the day with three or four wickets.
Bumrah told Fox Sports: "I thought I bowled pretty well but was slightly unlucky." Meanwhile, Aaron Finch stated that Australia would have taken 277-6 at the start of the day. Finch was also all praise for his opening partner Harris.
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