Murali Vijay provided his side another solid start with an unbeaten 46 as India reached 89 for one at lunch on the opening day of the second cricket Test against Australia, in Brisbane on Wednesday.
Vijay had Cheteshwar Pujara (15) for company at the crease as the duo put on 33 runs for the second wicket after India lost Shikhar Dhawan (24), who failed a convert a good start.
This was after India won the toss and elected to bat on a green and bouncy wicket.
Vijay and Dhawan looked solid even as debutant Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson moved the new ball well but could not create enough chances to trouble the batsmen.
Vijay was quickly off the blocks and kept the score-card ticking. In the first hour of play, wherein 12 overs were bowled, 49 runs came without any loss as the Indian openers moved along at more than four per over.
The 50-run mark came up for India in the 13th over, a first instance since Lord’s in 2011 when the opening pair had put up a 50-plus partnership in overseas Tests.
Back then too, a Delhi-Tamil Nadu partnership was at the crease as Gautam Gambhir and Abhinav Mukund had put on 63 runs against England. But Vijay-Dhawan couldn’t do as much as the latter was caught behind off Mitchell Marsh (1/13) in the 14th over with the score reading 56.
Vijay should have been out as well, when in the very next over, Shaun Marsh dropped him off Johnson at third slip. He was on 36 at that moment and was lucky enough to be still at the crease at the lunch break.
Spinner Nathan Lyon (0/9) was introduced into the attack in the 18th over but it was late in comparison to the Adelaide Test when he had bowled in both Indian innings within the first ten overs.
Perhaps, Australia’s 45th Test captain, Smith wanted his pacers to extract more help from the bouncy Gabba wicket, apart from Hazlewood they weren’t really on the money.
Johnson and Mitchell Starc (0-17) were expensive, while Mitchell Marsh started in the same fashion though he later recovered his rhythm and bowled economically. Even so, India had more reason to be pleased with this first session after opting to bat first.
India 1st innings:
Murali Vijay batting 46
Shikhar Dhawan c Haddin b M. Marsh 24
Cheteshwar Pujara batting 15
Extras (B-4) 4
Total (For 1 wicket in 25 overs) 89
Fall of wickets: 1-56
Bowling: M. Johnson 6-0-31-0, J. Hazlewood 7-3-15-0, M. Starc 3-0-17-0, M. Marsh 5-1-13-1, N. Lyon 4-0-9-0.