Welcome to our live report of the opening day of the Australia verses India Test series from Adelaide. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here
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9.15pm: What a moment
Just three overs before the new ball was due, Rahane drove the ball towards mid-off, set off for a run but then changed his mind leaving Kohli stranded mid-pitch with no chance of getting back. There was a quick apology from Rahane, who is set to take over as captain after this Test, and Kohli largely retained his composure walking off. Will that be a moment we look back on as defining for the Test?
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 17, 2020
9.00pm: Virat’s watchfulness
Here’s some analysis from Nagraj Gollapudi:
In the 2018 Adelaide Test, of the 120 deliveries he faced overall, Kohli left alone 20. Today, of the 172 deliveries he has faced before the final hour of the evening started, the Indian captain has left alone 42, nearly 25%. For a batsman who likes to keep the run meter ticking, Kohli has remained circumspect and vigilant in his approach today. As much as Kohli has restrained himself consciously, perhaps he has been helped to settled down by the Australian seamers who today have bowled more back-of-the length and short at Kohli than on good length. Overall Australian seamers bowled 45 deliveries short-of-length and 20 more short. They pitched 45 deliveries on length, which typically forces a batsman to play. In contrast, two years ago at the same venue, the Australian seamers pitched overall 48 deliveries on length, 22 on short-of-length and just 5 short.
This hasn’t been among Kohli’s most fluent and prettiest Test innings. But certainly among his grittiest. Full of character and of huge importance to his team #AUSAvIND
— Sambit Bal (@sambitbal) December 17, 2020
8.45pm: New ball looms
Australia may not get the full 10 overs with the second new ball due to the over-rates, but they will surely take it at 80 overs. They will hope for a breakthrough before then but Kohli and Rahane have played very well since tea and there is just a little urgency for them to make a breakthrough, although the run rate remains under control. Kohli is playing a masterful innings – feels like he will have a major say before departing this series.
“The third umpire might be able to tell the on field umpire that he got that decision wrong, however there is no jurisdiction for the third umpire to get involved here and make the call himself. So if the on field umpire gets it wrong (here) it stands.” – Simon Taufel #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/JTJ9D9IAxX
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 17, 2020
8.05pm: Twlight time
Kohli reached a half-century – the second-slowest of his Test career – as India built steadily after the break with the lights start to take effect. There were signs that Rahane was being a touch more proactive against the older ball – the second new ball under lights will come late in the day depending on Australia’s over-rate. India are going okay, but things can change quickly. Will they try keep the rate ticking up before that new ball?
7.10pm: Tea – India 107 for 3
Another tough session of Test cricket with neither side giving an inch but Australia have extracted the vital wicket of Pujara, who got an inside edge into his pad which was caught at leg slip. The decision wasn’t given on the field and though Pujara started to walk he then stopped with Paine this time calling for the review which proved the obvious edge. Kohli has not been able to break free but is still there ahead of the tricky twilight hour after the break. For the first time this season, Green bowled more than four overs in a spell as he took the attack through to the break alongside Lyon which ensured the main quicks were fresh for a big push under lights. Yesterday, Paine had suggested that Green’s bowling restrictions would be loosened for a Test match.
This is what Rahane said about the the crucial period of play coming up under lights.
6.45pm: Kohli’s battle
Here’s Dan Brettig from the ground:
Virat Kohli had his gloves targeted in contrasting fashion by both Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc in a testing session after the dinner break, but survived each instance to continue building a platform with Cheteshwar Pujara. Lyon spun and bounced an off-break sharply from middle and off stumps, taking the ball perilously close to Kohli’s glove as he tried to glance. Tim Paine took the catch and there was some thought of a review, but not as much conviction as there might have been had the Australians been able to see the HotSpot replay, which showed a small but clear flare on Kohli’s glove. At the Scoreboard End, Starc was generating plenty of pace, and got one shortish ball to fly through and take Kohli on the glove. The ball popped up tantalisingly, perhaps within the reach of short leg had one still been posted, and there was some delay as Kohli sought treatment for the blow.
And here’s some thoughts from Sid Monga
The obvious question viewers might want to ask is, why India are scoring at under two an over even after close to 50 overs. Even Virat Kohli’s strike rate is in the 30s despite having batted close to 100 balls. The answer seems like a combination of three factors: slow pitch, steep bounce and excellent bowling from Australia. The number of bad balls might be in single figures. Just take a look at the boundaries that have been hit. Kohli skipped down and went aerial against Nathan Lyon. That means risk, and even there Australia have put mid-on back. Then there was the pull balls after Kohli was rapped on the gloves by a Mitchell Starc short ball. That again involved risk, and was also a sort of a message from Kohli. Pujara hit one when Lyon erred on the shorter side. Other than that there has hardly been anything except for the glorious flick by Kohli off Starc and the use of feet by Pujara against Lyon. Other than that, risk-free scoring opportunities have been few and far between.
Now India could have taken more risks and in a best-case scenario might have been 130-140 by now, but looking at the bounce that the Australia bowlers are getting and the unerring accuracy, they could have been six down if they hadn’t been this watchful and this expert-like at defence and leaves.
5.45pm: The best v the best
The contest between Cummins and Kohli continues to be absorbing. Kohli has twice fended short deliveries awkwardly, the first time almost giving a catch to short leg and then sending one through the vacant leg-gully area. Into his 10th over, Cummins had conceded just 10 runs. Lyon’s first over brought more interesting tactics as Pujara immediately looked to take the attack to the offspinner by using his feet. Pujara has comfortably gone past his first century of the series in balls faced. Runs are hard to come by a slow outfield also reducing the value of shots.
Here’s Gaurav Sundararaman with a bit more on Pujara’s tactics:
Nathan Lyon has bowled 5123 balls against India. Only Muttiah Muralitharan and James Anderson have bowled more
The Indians have always looked to step out and counter Lyon. Pujara has been instrumental in this. In the 2018-19 season Pujara stepped down 161 times in 406 deliveries he faced Lyon – that is 40% of his deliveries. Already today we have seen glimpses of that from both Pujara and Kohli.
5.15pm: A big two hours
Here’s Sid Monga to set up the second session:
In day-night Tests in Australia, teams average 27.25 runs for a wicket in the first 30 overs followed by an average 30.40 in the next 50 overs. The run rate jumps from 2.79 to 3.24. That is a 16% increase in both runs per wicket and per over. In day Tests played over the same period in Australia, the scoring rate remains the same after the 30th over at 3.11 while the average goes up negligibly from 38.22 to 39.05. The sample size for day-night Tests is small, especially when the variables of bowling under lights are high, but paired with visual evidence of how easy batting looked after around the 30th over, it might be safe to surmise wickets with the old pink ball might be hard work if not bowled under lights. These might be signs the pink ball gets softer than the red ball does. On a slow Adelaide Oval track, this session might just be the best time to bat
4.30pm: Lunch – India 41 for 2
Phew, that was a challenging session of Test cricket. Some very impressive bowling from Australia’s big three has not let India get away at all and they have grabbed the wickets of both openers. India’s big two, Pujara and Kohli, have taken them through to lunch and they have a lot of work to do this afternoon before the final session under lights. Green had his first bowl in Test cricket shortly before the break, starting with a no-ball but hitting good areas throughout in a moment that will have helped settle any nerves. Through the stump mics he appears to have picked up the nickname ‘Junior’.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 17, 2020
4.10pm: Cummins’ gem
The pressure paid off for the Australia quicks when Cummins produced a beauty of a delivery which nipped between bat and pad to remove Agarwal. Cummins had barely sent down a delivery off the mark into is fifth over, having conceded just one run, when he made the breakthrough. A couple of overs earlier it briefly appeared his spell was going to end at three overs when Green did some loosening, but Cummins was quick to say he wanted to continue. The wicket brought in Virat Kohli for the first of a maximum of two innings he’ll play in the series. A big early moment in this Test?
Here’s some insight from Sid Monga:
The ball that got Agarwal’s wicket was the first one in a while that seamed off the surface. It is credit to Australia’s bowling that they have given nothing away, but it is interesting that the ball suddenly did something in the half hour before lunch. It reminds me of the second tour game that India played, at SCG. Prithvi Shaw and Shubhman Gill ran away against the new ball that did little but again, around the 20-over mark, it began to swing and seam. I am not sure if this is a bit of a feature of the pink ball, a bit like the Duke’s red, which starts to go only after it loses the lacquer a bit. Be very interesting to see if the ball does a little more in the coming hour or so than it did in the hour gone by
Simply gorgeous seam bowling from Cummins, who had pushed Agarwal back, then gets a bit fuller and cuts one back into middle and off #AusvInd
— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) December 17, 2020
3.30pm: Tough work against new ball
It has been an intense first hour to the series but India have been able to weather it for just the early loss of Shaw. However, they’ve had some near misses along the way: three times Pujara almost departed – an edge on 0 falling short of Tim Paine, on 2 an edge falling in front of third slip and on 4 and clip evading leg gully. Agarwal also had a left-off, and it was technically a chance as he fended a ball towards Head at short leg but he did not stay low enough. The early spells from Starc and Hazlewood were impressive and asked a lot of questions. In the first hour there was just one boundary, a sweet drive by Agarwal off Hazlewood.
2.40pm: Starc strikes early
One of the debates around the India side was Prithvi Shaw v Shubman Gill. And that debate will likely rumble on now. Shaw has lasted just two deliveries against Mitchell Starc before getting an inside edge into his stumps. It was predicted by Ricky Ponting on commentary, the ball coming back in from Starc. Some clouds have come over and these may not be bad bowling conditions. Two years ago the India top order made a poor start but were able to fight back, and eventually win, thanks to Cheteshwar Pujara’s brilliant hundred.
As Mitchell Starc was running in:
“He doesn’t commit his front foot to the line of the ball a lot, quote often leaves a big gap between bat and pad and that’s where the Aussies will target.” – @RickyPonting #AUSvIND https://t.co/SiB5Zjzy9p
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 17, 2020
That was some opening over from Starc…
0.1 Starc to Shaw, no run
Good length and a hint of curve into the corridor. Shaw on his toes to get behind the line of this and defend with soft hands
0.2 Starc to Shaw, OUT
Inside edge and bowled! There are two problems Shaw is contending with recently – jabbing away from the body and the ball that comes in. This is a combination of both. It’s an inswinger from a good length, just a touch wide of the corridor. He’s looking to drive on the rise and it’s for the initial line. Gap between bat and front leg and half a stride. Not a great looking shot and it’ll feel like a long walk back for him. For Starc – just another day with the pink ball. Fantastic start
0.3 Starc to Pujara, no run
Good length, bit of shape in at middle stump. Solidly defended down the pitch
0.4 Starc to Pujara, 1 run
Just short of first slip! Starc’s inswinger – even the lack of it – is already playing on their minds. Pujara pushes at this length ball going across him. Caught inside the line. He always plays with soft hands though, and that probably saves him here
0.5 Starc to Agarwal, no run
Short of a length, dipping in and rising in the corridor. Left alone
0.6 Starc to Agarwal, no run
Full inswinger in the corridor. Half a stride and tentative jab to get this onto pad off the thick inside edge
2.10pm: India to bat first
The coin has fallen in Virat Kohli’s favour. How big a moment will that be? The Australia XI is as expected with Joe Burns and Matthew Wade to open, but first of all it will be all eyes on their strong bowling attack so it’s a good time to read this profile of Mitchell Starc
Mitchell Starc is back in the Aust squad. I spoke to him for @cricketmonthly about his departure from using critics as motivation – with mixed results – to being cricketer with a small, trusted circle and 45 wickets at 18.42 over his past 8 Tests #AusvInd https://t.co/Uzy0PHPiyU
— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) December 14, 2020
And here’s Dan from Adelaide Oval:
All the dodging and weaving and prevarication from the Australian camp served only to delay the announcement of a team that was more or less as logically expected. Joe Burns was retained in a big show of faith by the national selectors and their belief in continuity, while Matthew Wade was handed the difficult task of standing in as an opener to create middle order room for Cameron Green’s much-anticipated debut. Tim Paine’s supposed flirtation with a move up the order turned out to be fanciful talk, as he remains locked in at No. 7, while the hosts were also able retain Mitchell Starc in their Test XI despite his recent time away for compassionate reasons.
Good News for India. India have never lost a Test when Virat Kohli has won the toss.
Played 25, Won 21 and Drawn 4 #AUSvsIND
— ESPNcricinfo stats (@ESPNcric_stats) December 17, 2020
1.45pm: Debut confirmed
Cameron Green has been handed his Test cap by Pat Cummins. We still await final confirmation on the batting order. Toss coming up shortly. It’s a sunny aftrernoon in Adelaide.
1.30pm: Australia’s difficult build-up
You can’t say things have all gone to plan for Australia over the last couple of weeks. David Warner’s groin injury, Will Pucovski’s concussion and Joe Burns’ awful form have left some tricky decisions. However, this is how we expect Australia to line-up:
Joe Burns, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (capt & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
Here’s a bit more on the Cameron Green story – this ‘best since Ponting’
“To me, Cameron Green is the next superstar of Australian cricket,” Greg Chappell said. “He is a genuine prospect with bat and ball, but I think his future is as a batsman who can offer some quality overs. Cameron is a batsman of rare talent. At 6ft 7in, he could become something very special. I would bat him at No. 6 to start with, but I reckon No. 4 is his long-term position. The sooner he gets to play at this level, the sooner he will become the player that he should be.”
1.10pm: India’s selection
Have they got it right?
Did India make the right selection calls?
1.00pm: It’s here!
Hello everyone and welcome to our rolling coverage of the first Test between Australia and India for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. As with so many sporting events this year it has taken a huge amount to get this show on the road – the one-day and T20I matches were a nice starter, but this is the main course. Four Test matches in a month, it will test both sides in many ways, with Australia hoping to avenge the 2-1 loss in 2018-19. On that occasion they were without David Warner and Steven Smith throughout, this time they’ll be without Warner for at least one Test but India will be without Virat Kohli for three. He’s in Adelaide, however, and you feel India have to make the most of that. We are about an hour away from the toss, but we already know India’s XI – in a very positive, assertive move it was named yesterday – and we think we know Australia’s with Joe Burns set to keep his place and a debut for Cameron Green. Stay with us (and my colleagues on the live commentary) for all the build-up.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 16, 2020