Ajinkya Rahane left captain Virat Kohli out after a horror mix-up, which sparked a minor breakdown to give Australia a huge advantage over India after an intense opening day of the first day-night test at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday. Kohli looked on the range for a 28th century of testing after knocking down to stabilize the ship when it arrived at 32/2.
But at the last session of the day, Rahane pressed for a delivery from Nathan Lyon and headed off to get off. Kohli stayed in the middle of the field after his fight against 74.
It spoiled a struggling rebound from India that Prithvi Shaw lost to a fiery Mitchell Starc in the first game of the day and struggled when Pat Cummins snapped Mayank Agarwal.
To make matters worse, Rahane dropped to 42 shortly afterwards and then Hanuma Vihari went to 16, with the guests falling behind at 233 for six and Australia being responsible for the first test since the beginning of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wriddhiman Saha was not nine and Ravichandran Ashwin was unbeaten on the 15th.
Starc was the Australian bowlers pick at 2/49, with Josh Hazlewood, Cummins and Lyon each getting one.
A dogged Cheteshwar Pujara (43 of 160 balls) and Kohli had led the fight.
In his only test before going home to have his first child, Kohli was fortunate enough to survive at age five and knock a short ball of Cummins’ bowling off the racket, with Matthew Wade simply failing to get his hands under to get the ball.
He also benefited from an apparent mistake on the part of Tim Paine who chose not to check any hook behind him, which, according to reps, might have fallen off his glove.
Unimpressed, Kohli took an insistent 23rd half-century test on a Cummins single in front of a coronavirus-capped crowd.
Twilight was supposed to be the toughest time to hit in a day-night Test where the ball spun more than normal, but Kohli looked undisturbed until Rahane’s collapse.
– Spectacular start –
Lyon had previously made a major breakthrough removing Pujara, whose 123 and 71 India prepared for a 31-run victory in Adelaide en route to a first-ever streak win in Australia in 2018.
But it took a review, with reruns showing that he slid the ball onto his pad and pushed it down the leg groove towards Marnus Labuschagne.
It broke a dangerous 68-year partnership with Kohli after India lost two doors in a difficult first meeting when they were held by Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins.
Australia went into battle with their usual three quicks, but also with debut all-rounder Cameron Green who posted a handful of decent overs, and they got off to a spectacular start.
Opener Shaw was bowled clean by Starc, the world’s strongest pink ball bowler, on the second delivery for a duck and chopped his stump when he tried to drive.
It was a bad shot and will give Indian voters a lot to think about after choosing it over 21-year-old Shubman Gill who was on good contact.
Starc almost caught a provisional Pujara two balls later and caught an edge that was close to the first slip.
It was slow moving as Pujara and Agarwal only scored 21 in the first 10 overs before Cummins broke the partnership with the second wicket with a beautiful delivery that rattled in Agarwal’s center stump and removed it for 17.
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