Melbourne, Dec 26: Debutant Ed Cowan's fine knock helps Aussie score 277/6 at Stumps on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. Umesh Yadav the pick of the bowlers, claimed three wickets to wreck Aussie line-up while Zaheer Khan and Ashwin too grabbed two and one respectively. With Australia taking it easy after Cowan's dismissal, India look to taper the tail early on Day 2.
[Scorecard: Boxing Day Test: India Vs Australia, Melbourne]
Haddin (21*) and Siddle (34*) are at the crease. Already the partnership is worth 63 runs. That's indeed a good partnership after Cowan's dismissal. Indians did eye another batting collapse from the Aussies but Haddin and Siddle ensured that they had a task at hand.
It was indeed one of the best performances by Team India on Day one of the Tour Down Under. Umesh Yadav, Ishant, Zaheer, Ashwin all doing their part in containing 6 Aussie wickets for a score of 277. Though there were a couple of bad balls, the frequency was quite less, as Insians did get assistance from the pitch which was good as they have struggled to get more assistance from bouncy tracks earlier.
Ishant and Zaheer looked dangerous while Ashwin was slowly getting into the act but Yadav was sensational on Day 1.
Ed Cowan's fine innings of 68 included 7 boundaries. Playing his first Test match, Cowan was exceptional throughout the first two sessions, brimming with confidence. His 68 is just a result of his patience and confidence. With a defensive approach, which was much needed for the Aussies during the second session, played brilliantly to keep Indian bowlers at bay.
But Ashwin, who was awaiting his first wicket on Australian soil, got the man as he edged Ashwin's delivery which went straight to Dhoni's gloves. Though the decision came after a long time since the umpires took a close look at the edge to then confirm the dismissal.
Mike Hussey was out for a nought and soon after that Cowan was dismissed for 68, which gave more chances for India to come back in the game. But Peter Siddle and Haddin ensured that they will stay on for some more time.
With this duck, Mike Hussey has equalled Chris Martin's tally of 12 ducks. Poor form extending day by day, Hussey seems to have lost track. Now, its certain that Watson would replace Hussey once he is termed fit for the second test.
Earlier, Ricky Ponting (62) and Ed Cowan (68) helped Australia play safe as they put 113 runs for the 3rd wicket. Ricky Ponting has scored his 59th fifty against India in the first test of the four match series at Melbourne. Ricky Ponting's innings though wasn't very fluent at the beginning, later happened to be a magnificent knock in the recent past as he got a few good strokes back, making Indians toil on a wicket that assists bounce.
But undoubtedly, the pick of the bowlers is none other than Umesh Yadav, as he has impressed the selectors with a brilliant show on Day 1 claiming all the three Australian wickets so far.
The most awaited series of the year has got a great response, as more than 65,000 people have thronged the stadium to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars in action.
Earlier in the day, India performed extremely well to restrict the hosts to 68/2 at the end of the first session on Day One.
Ed Cowan's knock helped the hosts to recover from the damage done by Yadav early on Day One as he dismissed a settled David Warner who had scored a valuable 37 and the comeback man Shaun Marsh, for a nought. Shaun Marsh back to the Test team after recovering from a back injury could not score big as he was dismissed by a Yadav delivery.
After winning the toss and elected to bat, Ed Cowan and David Warner both stepped into the field under overcast skies, on the surface that offered a lot of assistance for seamers. Ed Cowan (45*) was truly exceptional during the first session as he played defensively. He also became the first opener to go past 6 runs, as that was the highest score by an Australian debutant in the first innings for almost 18 years.
David Warner and Ed Cowan started off very well as the score was 46/0. When it looked like Warner was posing a threat to the visitors, showers forced to stop play. Immediately after the delay, things seemed to change, as young talented pacer picked up Warner first in the 14th over for the same score as it read 46/1 and then after another maiden over, he came back and claimed Marsh's wicket in the consecutive over (16th).
The highlights of the first session included the bowling of the Indian trio which was top class, while Yadav taking the honors for disturbing the Aussie batsmen. Ishant and Zaheer both back from injuries, bowled extremely well to turn the heat on the Aussies from the first over of the day.
With Ishant and Zaheer both fit, and only one pacer's slot remaining, Umesh Yadav was the first choice. Similarly, R Ashwin was selected ahead of Pragyan Ojha. Australia confirmed its line-up two days ago. With no late changes, the playing XI included Ben Hilfenhaus for Mitchell Starc while Ed Cowan was named at the top of the order.
Australia: Ed Cowan, DA Warner, SE Marsh, RT Ponting, MJ Clarke*, MEK Hussey, BJ Haddin, PM Siddle, JL Pattinson, BW Hilfenhaus, NM Lyon
India: V Sehwag, G Gambhir, R Dravid, SR Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, V Kohli, MS Dhoni*, R Ashwin, Z Khan, I Sharma, U Yadav