Australia and India shared the honors on Friday on the first day of the second cricket Test at Perth Stadium, the newest venue in Test cricket.
The green-top pitch made it a back-and-forth contest between bat and ball after the home side lost its way following a 112-run opening stand between Marcus Harris (70) and Aaron Finch (50).
Skipper Tim Paine, 16 not out and Pat Cummins, 11 not out lifted Australia to 277-6 at stumps Friday in 90 overs after coming together at 251-6.
Four wickets fells in the afternoon, and only a 84-run stand between Shaun Marsh (45) and Travis Head (58) saved Australia from another batting collapse after it had won the toss and decided to bat first.
India, forced to play four fast bowlers after off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was not able to play due to a pre-match injury, overcame 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) heat to check Australia progress with regular wickets.
Swing bowler Ishant Sharma took 2-35 before leaving the field with a suspected side strain after just two overs with the second new ball.
In the absence of Ashwin, Hanuma Vihari, in the side as a batsman having replaced an injured Rohit Sharma, took 2-53 with his offpsin. Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav took a wicket each.
We take a look at biggest stats from the first Day of the second Australia-India Test in Perth:
- Perth Stadium also known as Optus Stadium became the tenth stadium to host a Test in Australia.
- India have never won an away Test while fielding first under the leadership of Virat Kohli. They have played 10 such Tests before today and lost seven while three ended in a draw.
- Australia have only lost six Tests in which their openers put up a century opening stand at home before today. And since 1996, it has happened only once.
- It was the first time since December 2016 that India conceded a century opening stand in Tests. The last pair before today to do so was Keaton Jennings and Alastair Cook at Chennai.
- With the wicket of Peter Handscomb today, Ishant Sharma went past Joel Garner (259) and Jason Gillespie (259) in the list of bowlers taking most wickets in Tests.
- India have dropped four catches in this series so far, while Australia have not dropped any catches so far.
- Hanuma Vihari's five victims in Tests are Joe Root, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Marcus Harris and Shaun Marsh.
- The last time when India went in without a specialist spinner in a Test was earlier this year against South Africa at Johannesburg. They played that Test with Ishant, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
With inputs from AP
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With the two white ball series (T20Is and ODIs) slated before the marquee four-Test rubber, the selection committee under Sunil Joshi's chairmanship is expected to pick a jumbo squad for all three formats when it meets later this week.
Ashwin, who famously Mankaded England's Jos Buttler in last year's competition, stopped his run-up and warned Aaron Finch when the Australian ventured out of his crease at the non-striker's end.
Tim Paine exuded confidence that making a transition from white-ball to red-ball cricket won't be an issue for the players.