Boxing Day Test: Australia regret dropping Virat Kohli on ‘tough’ 1st day

first_imgAustralia batsman Travis Head said the hosts were disappointed after handing India captain Virat Kohli a reprieve towards the end of the first day’s play of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).Captain Virat Kohli was batting on 47 when Mitchell Starc was going full steam with the new ball in his penultimate over of the day’s play.The Australian pacer was beating the world’s best batsman with ease as he got the red cherry to swing both ways late in the day on a docile pitch that offered very little assistance to the bowlers.Starc created a chance when he bowled a full delivery to draw the edge but Australia captain and wicketkeeper Tim Paine grassed an arguably difficult chance.Virat Kohli survived the tricky period of play as he played out the final over of the day from Starc without scoring a run. India ended the day’s play at 215 for 2 (89 overs) as the skipper and Cheteshwar Pujara (unbeaten on 68) stitched an unbeaten 92-run stand.”…The best over today was from Starc. Beating Kohli inside and outside, that new ball hopefully can come out and do that tomorrow again. It was disappointing to leave that chance but it happens,” Head told the media in Melbourne on Wednesday.”Yeah, it was a tough day. A grinding day of Test cricket and they batted well. We created pressure and we have seen for the whole series there hasn’t been high run rate for the day.”I thought it [the MCG pitch] would offer a little bit more than it did in the first couple of hours. We thought it would offer more life leading into it. If you hit the wicket the pacers were able to get some pace off it but in other parts, they weren’t able to.”advertisementHead expects Australia to put pressure on ‘massive’ Thursday morningAs Head pointed out, Australian bowlers were made to work hard right from the word go as they were searching for the first wicket till the 19th over the day.Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers as the Australia pacer bent his back and removed India’s opening batsmen, Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari.While acknowledging that India batted well throughout the day, Travis Head stresses on the importance of making use of the new ball during the first session and Thursday and swinging the momentum back in favour of the home team.”Cummins led from the front and got two wickets for us. He bowled hard and aggressive, used his bouncer well, and extracted something from the wicket. And he put pressure on Indian batsmen all day,” Head said.”We would have liked to have 4-5 wickets tonight, but it is a massive morning and if we can still get them down two wickets in the morning, it will be good while the ball is still reasonably hard and a couple left-handers coming later on,” he added.”It makes for another massive morning tomorrow to create pressure and make sure we bowl tomorrow the day we did today. I thought we restricted India in trying conditions.”Hopefully as the game goes on we will get more spin, but we have been able to restrict a lot of runs today even though we didn’t get the wickets we would have liked. It makes for an exciting morning and momentum can change.”Also Read | If Kohli doesn’t score a 100 on this pitch, he should retire: Flat MCG fails to impressAlso Read | Mayank Agarwal does not regret missing out on debut hundredAlso See:last_img

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