DECEMBER 26, 2020
Australia’s Steve Smith was dismissed for a duck for the first time in four years as India bounced back strongly from their disastrous first Test effort, holding Australia to just 195 on the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The visitors posted their lowest-ever Test score of 36 in an eight-wicket defeat in Adelaide earlier this month, with Australia’s pace attack running rampant through India’s batting order.
After the hosts won the toss and elected to bat, India, without captain Virat Kohli due to the birth of his first child, immediately took the challenge to Australia.
Joe Burns was dismissed for a duck early, quickly followed by Matthew Wade for 30 and then Smith. Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne edged their side back into it but they fell for 38 and 48 respectively.
India’s bowlers cleaned up the rest of the order, as the hosts were all out for 195. Jasprit Bumrah finished with four wickets for 56 runs.
At the crease, Mayank Agarwal was dismissed for a duck by Mitchell Starc, but Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara steadied the ship as India ended the day on 36 for one.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson hit an unbeaten 94 and featured in a 120-run third wicket stand with Ross Taylor as the hosts reached 222 for three on the opening day of their first Test against Pakistan at the Bay Oval in Tauranga.