India 6/1 at lunch on day two after Australia move to 326
Tim Paine struggled but successfully saw out over an hour on day two. ©AFP

For the second day running, a poor first hour has threatened to cost India  the Perth Test. On Saturday morning at Optus Stadium, Tim Paine and Pat Cummins extended their overnight alliance to 59 before Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah separated them in the span of three deliveries.

The end came not long after, with Ishant Sharma taking two in two, but in allowing Australia to move from 277/6 to 326 the touring team has added to its workload. Australia will be very happy with that total, which for India will look miles away at 6/1 after the loss of Murali Vijay for 0.


It wasn’t that India bowled badly in the first hour, but not enough balls hit the stumps and forced the pair to play. Top teams carry a killer instinct when faced with the task of running through lower orders on such helpful tracks. India lacked that, and Australia moved from 277/6 to 326. Not starting with Bumrah with a nine-overs-old ball first thing in the morning was also surprising.

Plays and misses meshed with dabs and steers and flicks as 29 runs came from the first hour. Cummins is no tailender and displayed once again a firm technique and some crisp drives. He was tested by bouncers from Umesh and and away-swingers from Bumrah but somehow survived. Ishant Sharma belted out an appeal for lbw, Mohammed Shami cursed as he nearly had Cummins edging onto the stumps.

Paine had close calls too, having edged just short of second slip, seen one ball just go over the top of off stump and fallen to his backside after Shami hustled him with a bouncer. A few errant deliveries, such as a full toss from Bumrah and rank wide ball from Shami, were duly bashed away.

The seventh-wicket stand was ended with a top delivery from Umesh, reward for pitching the ball up. Cummins, on 19, was beaten for movement and lost his off stump on his 66th delivery faced. Two balls later, Paine was rooted to the crease when a full delivery from Bumrah jagged in and had him a goner. Paine reviewed, but in vain, and was sent on his way for 38 from 89 balls.

Ishant came back for a second spell and had Mitchell Starc edging to Rishabh Pant, the key once again being the fuller length and a bit of wobble. Next ball, he went fuller and had Josh Hazlewood edging to a diving Pant. Like Shami in Adelaide, Ishant will be on a hat-trick when Australia bat again having taken 4/41, his best figures in Australia.

Starc did not take long to strike in his primary role. Getting a full ball to move into a leaden-footed Vijay, he bowled the opener for a 12-ball duck.

Lunch: India 6/1 trail Australia 326 (Ishant 4/41) by 320 runs