Australia ended the first day’s play at 277/6 in the second Test in Perth on Friday.
The hosts won the toss on a lively pitch and opted to put some runs on the board. The openers justified skipper Tim Paine’s decision and took the team off to a flying start with a 112-run stand. Both Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris negated the initial threat posed by the fast bowlers and took the team to a comfortable position before Jasprit Bumrah, trapped Finch right in front of the wicket with a fiery straight delivery. Finch missed the delivery and was caught right in front.
Once Finch departed, the other pace bowlers rubbed off from the momentum and next to fall was Usman Khawaja whos struggling innings was brought to an end by Umesh Yadav, who had the left-hander caught behind for just five runs.
The Indians, with this two dismissals, had bounced right back into the match and they found an unlikely hero in Hanuma Vihari who dismissed the big fish in Harris who gloved one to Ajinkya Rahane at slip. It wasn’t too long until Peter Handscomb was shown the way back to the pavilion courtesy a ripper of a catch from Indian skipper Virat Kohli who held on to the ball full stretch with his right hand.
But the left-handed duo of Shaun Marsh and Travis Head joined forces to bring Australia back into the game again and they did so successfully with a partnership of 84 runs.
Just when the fifth-wicket stand looked to take the game away from India’s control, Vihari had his second of the match and this time it was Rahane who held on to a superb catch at slip to have Australia on the mat again.
India would feel they edged out the resilient Australians towards the end of the day when Head, who had fought well for his 58 off 80 deliveries was dismissed by Ishant Sharma. Skipper Paine (16*) and Pat Cummins (11*) would aim to carry on with the proceedings on the second day.
Brief scores: Australia 277/6 (Marcus Harris 70, Travis Head 58; Ishant Sharma 2/35)