Josh Hazlewood © Getty Images
Josh Hazlewood took four wickets on debut © Getty Images

By Shiamak Unwalla

Dec 18, 2014

Josh Hazlewood starred with the ball for Australia as Brad Haddin took six catches. India were bowled out for of 408 after MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin added an attractive 57 runs, though the rest of the batsmen failed to capitalise on an excellent base laid by Murali Vijay and Ajinkya Rahane on Day One.

Overnight batsmen Rahane and Rohit Sharma were unable to add much to their scores, as Rahane was the first man to be dismissed, caught behind by Haddin off Hazlewood for 81. The “c Haddin b Hazlewood” entry appeared four times in the scorecard as the Indians kept edging behind on a bouncy Gabba wicket.

After Rahane’s dismissal, a lot was expected of Rohit but as is his wont, he flattered to deceive. Rohit chased a wide ball from Shane Watson and was caught brilliantly by Steven Smith in the slips as India were in danger of getting bowled out for less than 400. One feels that that could have been a possibility if India’s Nos 7 and 8 were Wriddhiman Saha and Karn Sharma; but with Dhoni and Ashwin, India’s batting was far more fortified.

The duo looked in command right from the start, with Ashwin actually out-scoring Dhoni in their alliance. Ashwin was finally dismissed by Hazlewood for an attacking 35, before Dhoni was dismissed in strange fashion, finding the inside edge while trying to leave the ball to give Hazlewood five on debut. Umesh Yadav chanced his arm and got a few runs, though Varun Aaron was dismissed by Nathan Lyon. Yadav holed out soon thereafter as India were bowled out for 408, co-incidentally the number of Phillip Hughes’ Test cap.

Earlier, Vijay scored his fifth Test match hundred — and fourth against Australia — to guide India to 311 for four at stumps on Day One. Rahane was unbeaten on 75 with Rohit for company on 26 as India became only the second visiting team in history to score over 300 runs at The Gabba on Day One of a Test.

Brief scores:

India 408 (Murali Vijay 144, Ajinkya Rahane 81; Josh Hazlewood 5 for 68, Nathan Lyon 3 for 105) vs Australia.

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(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)