The 3rd Test between India Vs Australia started on 16th March in Ranchi, the hometown of Indias most successful captain and poster boy of Indian cricket Mahendra Singh Dhoni. By the end of the day 1, Australians have upper hand on this game by comfortably placing themselves on 299/4. Let’s see what were the talking points on day 1.

Toss, Team Composition, 1st Session Australia 109/3

As was the case with last two Test match Toss was one of the most talking points in this test match as well. Virat Kohli tossed the coin and Smith called it head, head it was and without any other thought, Smith opted to bat first.

Smith did a couple of changes in this match. Patt Cummins came in instead of Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Marsh was replaced by Glen Maxwell. While in team India Murli Vijay came back from his injury in place of Abhinav Mukund. Karun Nair was able to maintain his place in the side.

The first session was not that good for Australians and Indians were just brilliant in this session. They were able to put pressure on Australians right from the start and restricted them to 109/3 in 30 overs before lunch. David Warner, Matt Renshaw and Shaun Marsh were three Australians batsmen who got out in the first session. Steve Smith and Handscomb were playing on the crease during lunch. All and all it was the only session which was won by Indians on day 1.

Australian Recovery, Smith – Maxwell Partnership

Post lunch Steve Smith along with Peter Handscomb tried to stabilize the Australian innings. Peter Handscomb was able to establish himself on the crease before being adjudged LBW to a fine inswinging yorker from Yadav on 19, Australians were on 140 in 42.2 overs. Must say by far Yadav looked the most threatening member of India’s bowling attack on day 1.

Next Glen Maxwell came into bat and Australians started recovering from early losses. Both Steve Smith and Maxwell applied themselves very sensibly and were able to steady the Australian innings. Especially talking about Glen Maxwell he played completely against his attacking instincts and took 147 balls to score his 82 runs.

On the other hand, Captain Smith was determined to make his innings count in this tournament and went on to score one of his most hard fought Century in Ranchi in 227 balls. It was his 19th-century out of which 9 have been scored in overseas conditions. Australian captain achieved another personal landmark today by completing his 5000 runs in Test cricket.

Certainly, Smith and Maxwell succeeded in giving a solid start on day 1 to Australian innings. On day 2 they will look to build day 1 foundation and take the match away from Indian hands in first innings itself. On the other hand, India will look to break this partnership as soon as possible on day 2 and will target to keep Australian total under 400 runs.

Virat Kohli Injury

India was going great until 40th over under the leadership of Kohli they already picked 3 wickets and were looking to wrap up Australians innings. However, in 40th over of the day, Kohli suffered a shoulder injury when he was chasing a drive from Handscomb off Ravindra Jadeja. The ball was played towards the long-on side and Kohli started sprinting behind the ball from mid-on, it was an intense chase wherein he dived to pull off the ball from reaching the boundary. He was able to save one run but in process of saving it fell on the boundary rope and hurt his right shoulder.

In post match statement India’s fielding coach R Sridhar said the exact status of Virat Kohli injury would be known by Friday morning.

“Virat Kohli’s injury, the exact status of it will be known by tomorrow morning.”

“He’s going to undergo some scans later today and we’ll know the exact status of it tomorrow morning and what happened today is that we took a precaution to make sure he doesn’t aggravate that injury”.

With regards to Virat Kohli intense, chase and technique of dive Sridhar added:

“And as far as the technique of the dive is concerned I think it was quite an intense chase to the boundary line and in his intent to save that one run he stopped the ball and landed on his right shoulder when he rolled over. Impact was quite heavy because of the momentum he was carrying and so there was a shock on his right shoulder. That is the current status.”

Ajinkya Rahane Captaincy

Immediately after the injury, Kohli went off the field and Ajinkya Rahane played the role of standing captain for rest of the day. Kohli watched rest of the match from the dressing room with his shoulder heavily wrapped with an ice pack. Just after two over of Kohli departure, India tasted their another success in the form of Handscomb in 42.2 over, but after that India was not able to puncture any holes into Australian batting lineup. Though Ajinkya Rahane was not able to break Smith-Maxwell partnership but Indias fielding coach has applauded him for his captaincy efforts.

Ajinkya Rahane did a very good job. He was very sure of his plans. Ajinkya being Ajinkya, he was taking advice from the seniors, Aswhin and Ishant. In Virat’s absence, he kept the energy well. He positioned himself in the outfield and made sure he communicated well with the bowlers,”

On batting conditions and pitch, Sridhar said “It was probably the better batting day in the series so far. Pitch was nice and placid. It’s not that we are in the situation for the first time during this home season. It was a very good day one batting track. We will see how it unfolds tomorrow,”.

“There were a few good spells from Umesh, he was coming and giving it really hard, getting the ball to reverse a bit. There was not too much of pace in the wicket to try too many bouncers. So it was not in the plan and we tried a few ones to surprise the batsmen.”

All and all it is going to be a very important day from both team perspective, wherein Australians will try to consolidate their lead and India will try to limit them as low as possible.

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