After an exhausting yet haunting previous match, India and Australia marched to Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) to battle it out in their 2nd test match here on Saturday. Securing an easy 8 wickets victory in the previous match the hosts aspired to repeat it again. The Aussies won the toss and chose to bat first, later turning into a nightmare in no time soon.
The top order was edged by the lethal yet tricky bowling of Jasprit Bumrah being the top pick of the bowler registering (56/4) Ravichandran Ashwin (35/3) which made it easy to freeze the Australians in the sub-par 195 to lead in the day 1 lead by standing-in captain Ajinkya Rahane. The hosts did note some crucial partnership on top but, as the game proceeded further the bowlers had their wicket when they appeared menacing.
India did show the positive intent on the ground and the most appreciated field placements gave India the desired results when Marnus Labuschagne (48) aimed to drive his team on the right track, introducing the pacy debutant Siraj with his exceptional bowling managed to get a flick on the legside of Marnus and was caught by Shubhman Gill who was stationed there.
It was business as usual where Bumrah beat the bat and penetrated the wickets. No batter could sustain in between for too long, Ashwin on the other end was equally contributing toying once again with Steven Smith for a duck. He scalped the most controversial wicket of the Aussie captain Tim Pain in leg gully to Vihari after the confusing run-out appeal before.
The tail-end were dismissed even before they waged, as the Indian pacers left no fingers in the butter as they did before. Constant dismissals and glued commitment of bowling fuller and straighter helped the visitors fold the host for a mere 195 all out.
The Indians were further tested in the limited time, losing early Mayank Agarwal for a duck which paved the arrival for Steel solid Pujara standing tall (7*)with debutant Shubhman Gill (28*)and his shining armor of form as India ended high on 36/1 stumps on Day-1.