Editor’s note: This is a developing report and will be updated throughout the day.
Australia skipper Pat Cummins on Friday won the toss and elected to bat first in their bid to bounce back in the second Test against India in Delhi, which was Cheteshwar Pujara’s landmark 100th Test.
The tourists, who were well beaten in the opener in the four-match series, made two changes at New Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium.
Travis Head, controversially left out last time, returned in place of Matt Renshaw. Left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann makes his Test debut with Scott Boland making way.
India made one change from their innings-and-132-run victory last week with fit-again Shreyas Iyer replacing Suryakumar Yadav.
At the toss, Pat Cummins said, “The middle looks like there’s grass but bare at both ends. Plenty of turn there, will be a good Test.”
Meanwhile, Rohit at the toss also admitted to wanting to bat first. He said, “The pitch is dry, but I think the application we showed last game put the toss away from the game. You just have to come out and play good cricket, and that’s been the chat in the group to not worry about the toss.”
He added: “(On Pujara’s 100th Test) We are all thrilled for him, his family is here as well. 100 Test matches isn’t easy, there have been plenty of ups and downs in his career.”
India haven’t lost a Test at the venue – previously called Feroz Shah Kotla – since 1987.
India’s morning off was to a solid start as Mohammed Siraj bowled a brilliant first spell, troubling David Warner and Usman Khawaja. Warner faced a barrage of short balls by seamer Mohammed Siraj and took a couple of blows, on the elbow and the back of the helmet.
But just when it looked the left-handed opener had settled in, Shami produced a peach of a delivery that pitched and held its line from around the wicket for the keeper to take the edge.
However, the limelight was beautifully taken by R Ashwin who took two wickets in one over. He first got Marnus Labuschagne lbw for 18 on a decision given not out by the on-field umpire but successfully reviewed by India. Then, he got Smith caught behind for a second-ball duck.
Australia were left reeling on 94/3 at lunch on Friday’s opening day of the second Test but the left-handed Khawaja, who was batting on 50 looked in good touch after the early blows.
It was another shared session between the two sides as India grabbed three wickets but Khawaja kept up the batting charge after he got to his fifty as he and Handscomb played the spinners bravely on a turning pitch following Travis Head’s departure, for 12, soon after lunch. Khawaja put on a key 59-run fifth-wicket stand with Peter Handscomb before Ravindra Jadeja broke through with his 250th Test wicket.
A stunning one-handed catch by KL Rahul ended Khawaja’s gritty knock of 81 as India took further control against Australia. Rahul’s acrobatics at point as the opener dived full stretch to his right to grab the ball on a reverse sweep caused Khawaja to fall to his knees in disbelief.
Ravichandran Ashwin soon got wicketkeeper Alex Carey for a duck – the bowler’s third wicket of the day – as India once again called the shots after a mini Australian fightback. Australia took tea at 199/6 with Handscomb was batting on 36 with skipper Pat Cummins on 23 at the break.
Australia were bowled-out for 263 on Day 1 in Delhi as fast bowler Mohammed Shami took four wickets, with Peter Handscomb hitting 72 not out.
Handscomb and Usman Khawaja (81) both played gritty knocks to boost their side’s total on a challenging pitch.
Spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja each got three wickets each.
Shami wrapped up the Australian innings in the final session as he bowled left-arm spinner and debutant Matthew Kuhnemann for six. Handscomb scored nine boundaries in his 142-ball knock.
India’s opening duo KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma also held on to their wickets on a pitch that wasn’t a minefield but where there was occasional turn and the odd ball stayed low as India ended the day at 21/0.
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Srikar Bharat (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj
Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (capt), Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Matt Kuhnemann
Umpires: Michael Gough (ENG), Nitin Menon (IND)
TV Umpire: Richard Illingworth (ENG)
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (ZIM)
With inputs from AFP