1st Test: India 250/9 at stumps against Australia

1st Test: India 250/9 at stumps against Australia

His record in Australia - a bowling average in the mid-50s - is brought up. He is 61 not out, and will be desperately hoping for a bit of support from the unbeaten Mitchell Starc (8) if Australia is to post any sort of lead. Ashwin was impressive today as he returned with figures of 3/50 in 33 overs. His spell allowed the pacemen to remain fresh and didn't allow the Aussies to cut loose at any stage.

Ishant Sharma produced a peach to snuff out Aaron Finch off the third ball of Australia's innings. The opener tried to hit the big drive but got the inside edge back onto the stumps.

The Indian bowlers were perhaps guilty of being a bit too short. There was an acknowledgement from the batsman who got out. Lyon watched footage of Ashwin prior to Australia's tour of India previous year, desperate to improve his form on the subcontinent. After Shaun Marsh gifted his wicket to him, Ashwin also sent the settled Khawaja to the pavilion before Tea.

In hot and windy conditions, debutant Marcus Harris looked in good nick and unruffled by the occasion, hitting three fours in a solid 26.

The conditions are not offering the same kind of assistance as they got in South Africa and England. India bowled exceptionally well. Tim Paine was looking shaky when he came out to bat.

Australia now trail by 177 runs. It is a battle of attrition. Pujara finally broke his jinx in Australia when he clipped Starc to the midwicket fence to reach his milestone.

Initially, Pujara was circumspect as India stumbled to 127-6 - his first 50 runs came from 153 balls.

In the morning session, Hazlewood (2-52) reduced India to 56 for four.

An unusually circumspect Australia were kept on the edge by a wonderfully disciplined Indian attack.

"Hopefully we will bat well in the second innings". That's something that worked in my favour because of the drift, the ball going away and coming back in. At the moment, the turn is slow and the batsmen can counter it but the off-spinner has been tough to get away.

"You can't judge a wicket until both teams have had a crack".

In the second session, the off-spinner accounted for two more wickets.

Despite getting run-out again, Pujara's knock has given India something to smile for in an overseas tour.

Several wasteful shots saw the visitors crumble and it would have been worse if not for Cheteshwar Pujara's fighting ton. Peter Handscomb had settled in well and India were starting to fret a little.

Despite the questions over Australia's batting, India's ambitious Virat Kohli did not consider the home team vulnerable as he attempts to become the first winning captain in this country. Replays showed the spinning delivery caught the thumb of Khawaja's bottom glove. But the umpire was unmoved. Australia were suddenly 87-4 and there was a sense of panic.

Another session and another early wicket.

The home side looked primed for a collapse but Pat Cummins and Head stood firm for Australia's first 50-run partnership.

India's bowlers didn't do anything particularly wrong. The day before the match, Ashwin had called up Parthiv Patel to bat in the nets, so he could work out the right line and angles to left-handed batsmen. If the home side's bowling attack can limit his influence, as was the case in last year's Test series in India, it will go a long way to recording a series victory. Day three is going to be moving day.

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