A decent start, a middle-order collapse and a tail-end resurrection has been the story of Australia’s tour of India and it was no different on the first day of the Delhi Test. We’ll have live coverage of the action from 3.00pm AEDT.
After Dave Warner departed early without scoring, it was left to the suddenly in-form Phil Hughes to take over the scoring.
Ed Cowan’s game was no different from what’s been on display in the rest of the series – he absorbed a lot of pressure and batted on until the lunch break.
Hughes was confidence personified and his 45 consisted of 10 boundaries, most of them crisp cut shots that scattered the fielders away.
It was the pitch that played its part in his dismissal. One of Ishant Sharma’s deliveries reared up and smashed his helmet, two balls before a roughed up Hughes inside-edged the ball on to his stumps.
The rest of the middle-order was a blur. Batsmen kept throwing their wickets away, with only Matthew Wade unlucky to be declared out caught when he hadn’t quite edged the ball.
From 2/106 in the second session Australia lost five wickets for 30 and a score of even 200 looked out of reach for the visitors.
It was here that Steven Smith, coupled with Peter Siddle brought the side back into the game adding 53 for the eighth wicket, blunting the Indian spinners quite easily.
Smith fell to Ashwin – his fourth wicket in the innings – but Siddle was then joined by James Pattinson, and together they stitched a stand of 42 unbeaten runs.
While on paper a score of 8/231 looks an under-par total, for one it could have been a lot worse. Secondly and more vitally the track has shown enough signs of cracking up and assisting even the quicker bowlers, which should keep Australia in the hunt.
From India’s perspective they will need to restrict the last two Australian wickets to as less as they can before looking to bat Australia out of the game much like they have done in the rest of the series.
Live coverage of the game begins from 3.00pm AEDT this afternoon, so don’t forget to add your opinion in the comments section below.