Australia and India continued their fierce rivalry in the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy with the second Test being played at the brand-new Optus Stadium in Perth, bidding farewell to the legendary WACA Stadium. India came into the second Test 1-0 up with a brilliant win in the Adelaide Test.
Australia won the toss and chose to bat first, despite talks of the green top pitch. India, on the other hand, had to make two changes, with R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma being injured. Hanuma Vihari came in for Sharma, while Umesh Yadav was the surprise pick in place of Ashwin, as India went in with four genuine pace bowlers, with Vihari being the spinner.
Australian openers looked confident as the pitch turned out to be a beauty for batting and both Finch and Harris settled in after some initial jitters. Finch compiled a good 50 but soon fell LBW to Bumrah, after adding 112 runs for the 1st wicket.
Usman Khawaja was tested brilliantly by Bumrah and Umesh Yadav and was caught by Pant for 5. Marcus Harris meanwhile continued playing brilliantly, notching up a well-played 70, before Hanuma Vihari had him caught by Rahane in slips, with Australia on 134/3.
Peter Handscomb followed suit as he was caught splendidly by Virat Kohli, off Ishant Sharma, for the score of 7 runs. Then Shaun Marsh (45) and Travis Head (58) added 84 runs for the 5th wicket, frustrating the Indian bowlers.
But Marsh was removed by Vihari, again caught by Rahane, while Ishant Sharma got rid of Head, who slashed at a wide delivery, to be caught by Mohammad Shami at deep point. After these wickets, skipper Tim Paine and Pat Cummins held the fort until the end of the day, despite some testing bowling from Bumrah with the second new ball.
For India, Hanuma Vihari (2/53) and Ishant Sharma (2/35) were the best picks, with Bumrah (1/41) being the fastest and probably the one to cause much discomfort to the Australian batsmen. Umesh (1/68) played a good supporting role, while Mohammad Shami was unlucky, not to get a wicket despite some testing bowling form his side.
Australia ended the day with 277/6 with Cummins and Paine unbeaten on 11 and 16 respectively.
AUS 277/6 (M HARRIS 70, T HEAD 58; I SHARMA 2/35)
Day 1: Australia won the toss and elected to bat