1st Test, Adelaide: Australia 57/2 at lunch on day two after India fold for 250
Marcus Harris made 26 before he was dismissed by R Ashwin. @AFP

Two wickets fell in four balls to start the second day of the first Test between India and Australia  at Adelaide Oval on a perky note, before a stubborn partnership between the debutant Marcus Harris and the most-capped batsman in the side, Usman Khawaja, carried the hosts to within 17 minutes of the lunch break.

R Ashwin was the only bowler who looked like he might trouble the two left-handed Australian batsmen on a regular basis on a second-day pitch doing virtually nothing, and his dismissal of Harris for 26 gave India some lift on an overall lacklustre morning.

At lunch on Friday, Australia were 57/2 after 27 overs with their two most experienced batsmen in Khawaja (21*) and Shaun Marsh (2*) at the crease.

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Josh Hazlewood picked up Mohammed Shami first ball of the morning, caught down the leg side, and India’s 250 could have been viewed as an under-par score. But when Ishant Sharma bowled Aaron Finch for a duck third ball, under overcast skies and in humid conditions, India roared and suddenly visions of Australia’s inexperienced batting lineup crumbling were formed.

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Harris and Khawaja, however, settled in for a stabilising stand of 45 to frustrate India and put Australia in a good space until Ashwin’s strike. Simply put, not enough deliveries hit the stumps as Harris and Khawaja were allowed to bed in.

Finch had his stumps splayed when he boomed a big drive outside off and missed a teasing in-dipper from Ishant who was by far the best Indian bowler on view. Ishant bowled a fine opening spell of 5-3-6-1 but Jasprit Bumrah was all over the place, unable to locate the right line and length. Not looking anywhere near his best, Bumrah pitched the ball too often on the pads and thus the two left-handed batsman were able to pick easy runs off the pads, repeatedly. His first five overs cost 24 runs.

Shami began with three maiden overs to Khawaja and conceded his first run off his 20th ball bowled, but was down on pace and too wide of the stumps which allowed Khawaja to leave. With each passing over he clutched his right shoulder, and after a spell off 4-2-1-0 he walked off the field for attention.

Harris – with more than a passing resemblance to David Warner – got off the mark first ball in Tests with a clip off the pads for three and then picked up a streaky four wide of gully when he squirted Bumrah. Ashwin came on after the first hour, bowling from around the stumps, and fourth ball Harris advanced and chipped him over mid-off for three. Harris kept stepping out, not always timing his shots. One more swish through mid-off was followed by an authoritative thump over the bowler’s head for four. Then he unfurled a pretty drive along the carpet through the covers for another boundary.

As it turned out, Ashwin got his man with a good piece of bowling. Flight, loop and turn had Harris pressing forward, the edge was taken and Murali Vijay did the rest at silly mid-off.

Enter Marsh, whom Ashwin had dismissed four times in Tests, to partner the watchful Khawaja into the lunch interval.

Lunch: Australia 55/2 trail India 250 by 193 runs