A vastly changed India landed early blows on Australia before Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne repaired the damage taking their team to 65/2 at lunch on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test that got underway at The Gabba in Brisbane. Smith, who struck a century in the previous match, was unbeaten on 30 alongside Labuschagne (19*).

India made as many as four changes to their playing XI that took field in Sydney for the third Test – all forced. Two of them were debutants – T Natarajan and Washington Sundar. Despite that, they struck in the very first over with two-Test old Mohammed Siraj leading the attack and accounting for the dangerous David Warner.

Warner edged one to be caught brilliantly by Rohit Sharma who jumped in front of the first slip sending the Australian opener back to the dressing room on 1. The second success wasn’t far behind with Shardul Thakur striking with his first delivery of the Test as Marcus Harris flicked straight into the hands of square leg fielder Sundar to walk back on 5.

Australia were in a tricky 17/2 after yet another top-order failure. However, Smith and Labuschagne ensured the first session ended without any further damage to their innings. Smith continued his form, hitting some gorgeous boundaries – five of them so far in his innings.

The pair has so far added 48 runs for the third wicket and their partnership will be crucial if Australia hope for a big first innings total. Meanwhile, India will be pleased with their effort considering how inexperienced their bowling attack is for this particular contest.

They have also welcomed back Mayank Agarwal who was dropped after struggling as opener in the first two matches.

The series is currently locked at one-all.

Brief Scores: Australia 65/2 in 27 overs (Steve Smith 30*, Marnus Labuschagne 19*; Mohammed Siraj 1/8, Shardul Thakur 1/27) vs India