On February 24 morning, the Day 2 of the first test between India and Australia brought another success for the Indian squad as spinner R Ashwin extracted the last Aussie scalp with the morning light and restricted the guests at a total score of 260. The last wicket fell was Mitchel Starc who was caught by Ravindra Jadeja on Ashwin’s delivery and was dismissed at 61 (63). That was all team India wanted. An early wicket in the opening over and then they could come into bat. It will be tough for India as well as the pitch will help Australian spinners, Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe.
The Indian began with openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay who came to withstand the Pune pitch conditions. Steven Smith deployed Mitchell Starc and O’Keefe for the bowling attack followed by Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon, and it was a good luck chuck for the Aussie guests who hampered India quite early. In the 7th over, Hazlewood dismissed opener Murali Vijay at 10 (19) and got the breakthrough Aussies wanted. Vijay missed the line of the ball on that occasion and edged the ball into keeper Matthew Wade’s gloves.
After a few spells of Hazlewood, O’Keefe and Lyon, Starc was brought in at the 15th over and he caused other dents to the Indian batting line. Firstly, he dismissed Cheteshwar Pujara for 6(23) on the second ball while gulped skipper Virat Kohli in the 4th ball and he was dismissed for a golden duck.
Kohli attempted to drive the ball outside off stump, edged it to Wade and throws away his wicket on the second ball. Starc shows his true colours, first with the bat and now with the ball. While Starc tasted blood then, made Pujara cramp for the room, extra bounce came in handy as he picks up his first wicket.
Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul then took over the charge and taking their ship gradually towards the shore 260 runs. By the Lunch break, India are 70/3 after 25 overs. Lokesh Rahul: 47 (80), Ajinkya Rahane: 6 (27). KL Rahul is just 3 runs away from his half-century while India is trailing by 190 runs.