VVS Laxman, former Indian batsman praised stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane for his captaincy in the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test here at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday as India restricted Australia for 195- their lowest total in Boxing Day Test batting first.
The Indian bowlers once again stole the show as they folded Australia for 195 in the first essay. It was an all-round bowling performance that saw pacer Jasprit Bumrah picking four while debutant Mohammad Siraj got two wickets.
Ravichandran Ashwin was once again in his elements as he picked three wickets, including the all-important wicket of batting mainstay Steve Smith who departed without scoring.
VVS Laxman: Bowlers Were Sensational And Both Debutants Looked Confident
VVS Laxman hailed India’s “sensational” bowling performance on an opening day and said the most important aspect of the visitors was that they didn’t carry the baggage of the horrific collapse suffered in Adelaide.
“Excellent days play for India. Bowlers were once again sensational, both the debutants looked confident, Rahane captained the side really well but most importantly they didn’t carry the baggage of the loss from Adelaide,” VVS Laxman tweeted.
Excellent days play for India. Bowlers were once again sensational, both the debutants looked confident, Rahane captained the side really well but most importantly they didn’t carry the baggage of the loss from Adelaide. #INDvAUS
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) December 26, 2020
In the 1st Test, India registered their lowest Test score of 36 after a batting collapse in the 3rd day’s play in 2nd innings and handed Australia initiative despite taking a first-innings lead of 53 runs. Australia then comfortably chased down the 90 runs target.
India’s Debutants Shubman Gill Shines With Bat And Mohammed Siraj With Ball
At stumps, India’s score read 36/1 with debutant Shubman Gill batting on 28 and Cheteshwar Pujara giving him company on 7 at end of 11 overs. The visitors’ trail by 159 runs with nine wickets still left in first innings.
For Australia, it was Mitchell Starc who picked the lone wicket of Mayank Agarwal to finish the day with figures of 1/14 from four overs. Pat Cummins had identical figures as he bowled without luck to finish wicketless despite bowling four fiery overs conceding 14 runs.
But it was the Indian bowlers who once again proved their consistency and the reason behind being considered one of the best in the business at present. With Tim Paine winning the toss and batting first at the MCG, the hosts would have thought of putting on a decent score on the board.
But led by Jasprit Bumrah (4/56), the Indians made short work of the Australian batting as they finished their first essay on 195. Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets conceding 35 runs while debutant pacer Mohammed Siraj took two scalps as no Australian batsman could score even a half-century.