On the opening day of the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday (December 26), Australia registered their lowest ever total on a Boxing Day as India dismissed the hosts for the score of 195. Justin Langer wouldn’t have imagined that his side will record this all-time low just a week after his bowlers thrashed India for their lowest ever Test score. Australia’s previous lowest total in a Boxing Day Test after batting first was 198 against the West Indies in 1981.
Tim Paine won the toss and elected to bat first. India, without the likes of Virat Kohli and Mohammed Shami, led by stand-in skipper, Ajinkya Rahane made 4 changes to the eleven while Australia retained the same team which won the Adelaide Test.
India in command after Day 1 in Melbourne
By the end of Day 1, the Aussie batters have not vindicated Paine’s decision of batting first- however, considering the past few years at the MCG, it was the correct choice by the skipper.
Jasprit Bumrah struck out Joe Burns in the fifth over. Matthew Wade, who was looking in his aggressive mode, trying to go for a big shot fell to Ravichandran Ashwin, who was introduced as early as in the 11th over. The off-spinner, in his third over, dismissed Australia’s talismanic batsman, Steve Smith- for the second time in two Tests.
Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne stitched a 86 runs partnership before both the batsmen departed in tandem to Jasprit Bumrah and debutant Mohammed Siraj.
From 124/3, the hosts slipped to 195/10. Jasprit Bumrah took 4 wickets, while it was Ashwin with his 3/35 in 24 overs was the wrecker in chief. Siraj picked a couple of wickets on his debut and Ravindra Jadeja scalped Pat Cummins as the final nail in the Aussie line-up.
The scars of Adelaide came back soon as Mitchell Starc got rid of Mayank Agarwal in the very first over of India’s batting. However, another debutant, Shubman Gill along with the ever-stoic Cheteshwar Pujara steadied the ship as India went unscathed after Agarwal’s wicket to end the day with the score of 36/1.