On Boxing Day, India land the first punch | india | Hindustan Times
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On Boxing Day, India land the first punch

india Updated: Dec 27, 2011 00:08 IST
HT Correspondent
india vs australia

Umesh-Yadav-L-celebrates-taking-the-wicket-of-Australia-s-David-Warner-R-during-the-first-day-of-the-first-cricket-Test-match-at-the-Melbourne-Cricket-Ground-Reuters-Photo

Even their avid fans would have waited with some trepidation, given India's reputation as notoriously slow starters going into the first Test with Australia on Boxing Day.

And those concerns would have gone up a notch after Australian skipper Michael Clarke won the toss and elected to bat first despite an overcast sky and a drop-in pitch that was expected to help seam bowling.

However, at the end of the day, the visitors walked off the field with their heads held high, having banished doubts over their pace bowling department in an emphatic fashion and not allowing Australia any real room to address their batting concerns.

While Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma, recovering from ankle injuries, warmed up slowly, it was young Umesh Yadav who let it fly, grabbing the first three wickets.

Playing his first Test in Australia, the Vidarbha pacer forced opener David Warner to awkwardly glove a catch, and hit Ricky Ponting on the helmet grill before forcing him to edge to the slip cordon.

Yadav bowled his heart out, touching 150 kph and producing bouncers of quality, as a 70,000-plus crowd witnessed a gripping start to the contest.

India let it slip a bit in the end as the pacers wasted the second new ball and the field placements were too defensive into the final session.

However, with Australia down 277 for 6, India can seize command if they run through the tail quickly on Tuesday and their batsmen get going.