By CricketCountry Staff
Melbourne: Dec 26, 2011
Brad Haddin and Peter Siddle’s added 63 runs for the seventh wicket and kept India at bay, pushing Australia towards a competitive first innings total on the opening day of the first Test at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Debutant opener Ed Cowan (68) and Ricky Ponting (62) hit half-centuries and their century stand provided the hosts a good platform for a big score, but poor show by skipper Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey with the bat ruled out all such possibilities.
Umesh Yadav shone with the ball for India, taking three wickets for 96 runs in his 20 overs. Among his dismissals in the day were David Warner, Shaun Marsh and Ponting.
In the first session, explosive opener Warner showed aggressive intents right from the start and kept scoring runs at a brisk rate, while debutant Cowan held fort from the other end.
Warner faced 49 balls and hit four boundaries and a six for his knock of 37, before falling to Yadav. Warner and Cowan added 46 runs for the first wicket in 13.1 overs.
Shaun Marsh, who was promoted up in the order at the third spot, failed to make a mark and was caught by Virat Kohli at gully off Yadav for a duck.
Ponting and Cowan then steadied Australia after Yadav’s double strikes, as Australia reached 68 for two at lunch.
After lunch, Ponting and Cowan continued to score at a brisk rate and added 113 runs for the third wicket. It was again Yadav, who provided India the much-needed breakthrough, dismissing the former Aussie skipper for 62 just before tea.
After making a nervous start in the morning, the former Australian skipper gained confidence and played his trademark strokes off Indian bowlers to complete his third half-century in last seven Tests. Ponting hit six boundaries for his knock of 62, which came from 94 balls.
In the final session, it was pacer Zaheer Khan who provided India the upper hand with the back to back dismissals of Clarke and Hussey in the same over, which left Australia reeling at 214 for six.
But the tourists were denied any further chance to gain command with an unbeaten 63–run stand by Haddin (21 not out) and Siddle (34 not out).
Brief Scores: Australia 277 for 6 (Ed Cowan 68, Ricky Ponting 62, David Warner 37, Peter Siddle 34*, Michael Clarke 31; Umesh Yadav 3 for 96, Zaheer Khan 2 for 49) vs India