Virat Kohli waged a lone battle with the bat squaring off against Tim Paine’s Australia on Day of the 1st Test in Adelaide on Thursday. Starting their first-ever day/night Test down under, the Indian cricket team concluded their Day 1 proceeding at 233/6. Mitchell Starc claimed 2 to keep the hosts alive and kicking ahead of Day 2 at the Adelaide Oval.
The gamble of playing Prithvi Shaw backfired in so many ways that Virat Kohli and Co were trending throughout the day on social media for not giving Shubman Gill a chance to open beside Mayank Agarwal. Shaw left the crease on the 2nd ball of the Test as he dragged one back to the stumps off Starc.
Winning the toss, Kohli opted to bat first on a typical Adelaide wicket which looked pretty good for the batters. Shaw’s departure became a major setback for the visitors’ plan to put on runs on the first day. Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara looked settled as they carried on with the innings. Both the batsmen negotiated the swing and bounce of the pitch very well as they began to knead a partnership.
But Pat Cummins disturbed Agarwal’s timber with a nip backer in the 19th over after a drink break. Agarwal left a full-length delivery which came back in to knock the bails off. Adelaide buzzed as Kohli came into bat. Kohli’s touch spoke of the form he is in as he dealt every ball with confidence. Pujara and Kohli were well on their way to steady the ship. They put up a 68 runs partnership before Nathan Lyon dismissed Pujara.
The ever-patient Pujara took no risks throughout the day but Lyon managed to get the better of him. The former got an inside edge to leg slip, confirmed by DRS to end an obdurate 160-ball 43.
Kohli continued to show dominance with vice-captain Rahane at the opposite end. Rahane’s free-flowing cricket helped Kohli manage the pressure better as the duo racked up 88 runs from 168 deliveries between them.
However, disaster struck when Rahane pulled out of a single call which saw the Indian captain stranded in the middle and run out three overs before the second new ball became available for Australia. Kohli returned on a well-made 74 off 180 balls. The run out gave the hosts a much-needed upper hand they were looking for.
Kohli’s departure saw Rahane’s confidence shaken as he failed to tackle a Starc delivery that struck on his pads. The new ball did the job for Australia as Hazlewood came back to dismiss Hanuma Vihari with another LBW. India’s cautious approach with the bat now hangs on Ravichandran Ashwin and Wrddhiman Saha who remained unbeaten at the end of Day 1.