Skipper Virat Kohli may have returned home in order to be with his wife Anushka Sharma for the birth of their first child but he seems to be keeping a keen eye on the proceedings of the ongoing Boxing Day Test match between India and Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
After having lost the toss, it seemed like the Indians had been pushed on the backfoot even before the first delivery of the Test match was bowled. But a relentless and hostile display of bowling by the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ravichandran Ashwin, and debutant Mohammed Siraj ensured that Australia could not make the most of the advantage that seemed to have gained after Tim Paine elected to bat first.
Jasprit Bumrah needed to the step-up big time in the absence of Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami, and, boy, didn’t he do that with disdain. Bumrah, who had claimed nine-wickets during his last outing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground [MCG], was relentless right from the first ball he bowled. He pitched it up and moved the ball off the seam and was eventually rewarded when Joe Burns finally nicked off.
Ajinkya Rahane was absolutely brilliant in his field placements and bowling changes. He introduced Ravichandran Ashwin in as early as the 11th over of the day and right from the outset gave him a very attacking field. Ashwin got considerable turn as well as the bounce from the track and it didn’t take him much time to be among the wickets.
Matthew Wade squandered his start by playing a horror shot while Steve Smith was once again dismissed by the off-spinner- this time courtesy an edge to leg-slip. Mohammed Siraj was equally brilliant on his debut as he knocked over Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green. Green’s dismissal was particularly brilliant as the fast bowler set him up brilliantly by bowling a series of out-swingers before getting one to nip back in.
Tim Paine survived a controversial run-out call but he could not make the most of the opportunity and was dismissed by Ashwin for 13. Bumrah and Jadeja then proceeded to mop up the tale ensuring that the home side failed to cross the 200-run mark. India lost an early wicket of Mayank Agarwal but a classy Shubman Gill and patient Cheteshwar Pujara ensured that the visitors finished the day at 1/36.
Needless to say, Virat Kohli was delighted to see his team stage a fightback after a mauling in Adelaide. He took to his official Twitter account where he wrote-
”Top day 1 for us. Great display from the bowlers and a solid finish too”
Top day 1 for us. Great display from the bowlers and a solid finish too. ???
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) December 26, 2020