Cool Head keeps Australia alive
Adelaide, Australia (AFP) — Travis head hit a stubborn half-century to keep Australia in the hunt yesterday after their top order slumped under sustained pressure from india’s bowlers, leaving the first Test in Adelaide finely poised.
Batting on his home ground, Head kept his cool in the humid conditions to be 61 not out at stumps on day two, with Mitchell Starc unbeaten on eight.
His efforts helped steer Australia to 191-7 in reply to India’s 250.
Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin bowled beautifully to take three wickets, while Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah grabbed two each.
It was Head’s second 50 in his third Test, with the Adelaideborn 24-year-old playing the sort of gutsy innings that his more experienced teammates couldn’t match.
All of Australia’s top four were back in the pavilion without passing 30, with Aaron Finch (0) and Shaun Marsh (two) notable failures.
It once again reinforced how much Australia are missing Steve Smith and David Warner, who remain banned over their part in the South Africa ball-tampering affair.
India resumed on 250-9, after a battling 123 from Cheteshwar Pujara, but they were unable to add to the total with tailender Mohammed Shami out for six on the first ball of the day, caught behind by Tim Paine off Josh Hazlewood, leaving Bumrah unbeaten on 0.
Hazlewood finished with 3-52. Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon all took two wickets each.
In reply, Australia got off to a horror start with Finch’s credentials as an opener again called into question after he was spectacularly bowled without scoring on only the third ball he faced.
A lovely delivery from Sharma took out his middle and off stumps after getting an inside edge as Finch attempted a drive.
Debutant Marcus Harris looked in good nick and unruffled by the occasion, hitting three fours in a solid 26.
But he was undone by a drifting ball from Ashwin, getting an edge to Murali Vijay at silly mid-off and ending a 45-run partnership with a slimmed-down Usman Khawaja who was back after knee surgery.
Ashwin’s off spin was causing problems and Marsh needlessly slashed at a wide
Australia’s batsman Travis Head (left) celebrates with teammate Pat Cummins after scoring his half-century against India during day two of the first Test cricket match at the Adelaide Oval yesterday.
Australia’s batsman Travis Head (centre) plays a shot as Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant (left) looks on during day two of the first Test match at the Adelaide Oval yesterday.