India struggles to 41-2 against Australia's pace in 1st test

ADELAIDE, Australia (AP) — Australia put early pressure on India through its pace with the pink ball as the visitors struggled to 41-2 in the opening session of the first test at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday.

Mitchel Starc (1-17) bowled a terrific opening over in the day-night test to set the early tone after India captain Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bat.

The left-arm fast bowler bowled Prithvi Shaw off the second ball through an in-swinger and Cheteshwar Pujara edged Starc in the same over which fell just short of diving Australian captain Tim Paine behind the wickets.

Pujara was unbeaten on 17 off 88 balls and is yet to hit a boundary against the four-pronged Australian pace attack, while Kohli was not out on 5 off 22 balls at the break.

Josh Hazlewood, who shared the new ball with Starc and Pat Cummins (1-3), also bowled to a steady line and length as Australia conceded just two boundaries in the two-hour first session.

Cummins pinned down both batsmen by bowling four successive maiden overs before he knocked the top of Agarwal’s middle stump off a delivery which nipped back into the right-hander.

Agarwal hit a boundary each against Hazlewood and Starc on the off-side before getting dismissed for 17 off 40 balls.

Both Agarwal and Pujara survived some close chances inside the first hours against Starc’s pace. Pujara’s flick against the left-armer eluded diving Nathan Lyon at leg gully while Travis Head couldn’t grasp a hard chance at forward short leg off Agarwal.

Australia, which has won all its seven day-night test matches, awarded test cap to all-rounder Cameron Green, who is expected to bat at No. 6.

In the absence of regular opener David Warner, who is out with a groin injury, Joe Burns will open with Matthew Wade.

Kohli will return to India after the Adelaide test to be with his wife, Anushka Sharma, who is expecting the couple’s first child in January.

Australia and India finished all square in the limited-overs portion of the current tour, with Australia winning the ODI series and India taking the Twenty20 series.

India won the series here in 2018 for its first test series win in Australia.

The remaining three tests will be played in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.


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