Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

India hold advantage as valiant Head fails to mask Australian batting failures

India hold advantage as valiant Head fails to mask Australian batting failures

Pundits have nonetheless backed Kohli's side to do what no other Asian team has done and win a test series in Australia, though for that to happen the skipper will need his team mates to chip in with more runs than they did in series defeats in South Africa and England.

While the IPL Auction 2019 is around the corner, the bigger story is the start of the Test series between India and Australia.

Australian bowlers came with a simple and straightforward plan of bowling full and outside off which proved to be enough to cause mayhem in India's top-order on Day 1 of the opening Test at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

KL Rahul, who has been struggling for runs, flopped again, caught by Aaron Finch at third slip off Hazlewood for two.

With Australia losing wickets in regular intervals, Ravichandran Ashwin was looking to dismiss Khawaja to put India in the driver's seat and Pant was heard shouting "Not everyone is Pujara here, lads" on the stumps mic.

Cape Town - The term "practice like you play" is one that is often heard in sport, and Indian captain Virat Kohli clearly does just that. So much has been written and said about the superstar's batting, records, aggression, captaincy, profile and income in recent weeks. On a couple occasions, he drove the ball to get the score moving but ultimately this led to his dismissal. Ishant pitched the ball up, Finch went for the big booming drive and left a big gap between bat and pad. However, their stand was broken as soon as the second new ball was taken.

His figures of 14/184 in the previous Test not only helped his side level the series but also help him record the second-best figures by a Pakistan bowler in Tests, behind only Imran Khan's 14/116.

In 38th over, Sharma hoisted the ball towards square leg reason where Marcus Harris tried his best to catch the ball right at the ropes.

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Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane (13) then came together for the fourth wicket, trying to put up a semblance of a partnership.

Batting after Kohli won the toss, the visitors crumbled in a disastrous morning session under a pace barrage before digging in later in the day with Pujara and Ravi Ashwin (25 off 76 balls) staging a fightback as the bowlers exhausted.

OUT! Ishant Sharma strikes.

The duo could add 45 runs for the fifth wicket.

Paine said his message to the team was to keep their cool but also play to their strengths.

The 30-year-old said although a majority (10) of his 16 hundreds are at home, it in no way suggests that he is more effective on Indian pitches.

India will be hoping that Shami and Bumrah score some 20 more runs.

Pujara was the last man to be dismissed on the second last ball with Pat Cummins' coming up with a direct throw. Anything close to 250 looked a mountain to climb with India reeling at 56/4 at lunch.

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