Jasprit Bumrah’s fiery spell saw the pacer picking up four wickets as India managed to end Australia’s first innings on 195 runs in the Boxing Day Test here at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday.
Apart from Bumrah, it was Ravichandran Ashwin’s three-wicket haul that throttled Australia’s batting line-up.
After opting to bat first, Australia got off to a worst possible start as pacer Bumrah dismissed Joe Burns for a ten-ball duck in the fifth over. Marnus Labuschagne then joined Mathew Wade in the middle and the duo tried to stitch the innings for the hosts as both batters saw off the early spell of Bumrah and Umesh Yadav.
However, Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Wade (30) as he skied the ball, and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja took a spectacular catch while running back. In his next over, Ashwin dismissed Steve Smith for a duck to put visitors on top.
The Indian spinner’s back to back wickets left Australia on 38/3. Labuschagne and Travis Head played cautiously and took the team over the 100-run mark in the 38th over, steading the hosts’ innings after the early blows.
Head then picked the tempo and smashed Bumrah for back-to-back boundaries. But just when it looked like the duo would give Australia the upper hand, Bumrah spoiled the party for hosts. The Indian pacer dismissed Head (38) to pull back Australia from the commanding position they were heading into. Labuschagne and Head stitched an 86-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Just before the concluding minutes of the second session, debutant Mohammad Siraj dismissed Labuschagne, who was just two runs short of completing his half-century. Tim Paine and Cameron Green then took the field. Paine, in the 55th over, survived a run out after a mix-up with Green.
Siraj struck again as Green (12) was given LBW, reducing Australia to 155/6. The fall of wickets did not stop as Ashwin and Bumrah got hold of Paine and Mitchell Starc respectively, putting the hosts under pressure.
Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon then came out to bat. Lyon played with an attacking mindset and struck regular boundaries. He struck a six and boundary to Bumrah but the pacer made a scintillating comeback to dismiss Lyon (20). Jadeja then removed Cummins as Australia’s first innings came to an end.
Brief scores: Australia 195 (Marnus Labuschagne 48, Travis Head 38, Jasprit Bumrah 56-4) vs India.
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