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Friday, February 22, 2013

Australia have better of first day's play: T1D1

Australia 7/316 (95ov , Clarke 103* , Henriques 68, Warner 59, Ashwin 6/88) v India: T1/4 D1/5 at Chennai.

A fascinating day's play in which Australia - the underdogs - started reasonably well, then faltered after lunch before Michael Clarke 103*/169b (1x6,11x4)  pulled things around with debutant (and last man chosen) Moises Henriques 68/132b (5x4) in a partnership.

The pitch was tailor made for theIndian spinners but only Ravi Ashwin's combination of bounce and spin (an eye opener to those who recalled his toils in Australia last year) looked consistently threatening and yielded 30-5-88-6. He was off the field with an injury during much of the Clarke-Henriques partnership.

Several wise heads including Shane Warne in the commentary box couldn't understand why Pragyan Ojha was omitted: a line up with two off spinners and only a second string slow left armer looked not quite the best choice for the circumstances. But, had Harbhajan Singh (perhaps a sentimental choice for his hundredth Test) been preferred to Ashwin,on today's form Australia would have had a much easier run.

Clarke was lucky to be given not out to a bat pad catch when he was well set. Unfortunate, but umpiring errors happen and (to rub it in) had India agreed to the use of the DRS the decision would have been overturned, with obvious (and major) adverse consequences for
Australia.

Given the look of the pitch 316 (from a pleasing 95 overs) looks a good score though the outfield is quick, Chennai as ever hot and humid, and the Australian attack yet to tested.
A good day.   Hope for more to come.

Scorecard

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