Published: Thu, December 27, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Pat Cummins removes Mayank Agarwal on the last ball before tea

Pat Cummins removes Mayank Agarwal on the last ball before tea

Kohli was unbeaten on 47 at stumps with Pujara on 68 at Melbourne Cricket Ground and both appear well-placed to add to their tallies of hundreds this series on day two on a pitch offering precious little for the bowlers.

But the exciting Agarwal rose to the challenge after Kohli won an important toss and opted to bat on a pitch that is expected to deteriorate as the match wears on.

Pat Cummins (40/2) was Australia's best, although it was mostly short-pitched bowling that looked risky.

Agarwai was keen to get a move on, and became the first Indian to make a half-century on Test debut in Australia since his country's first tour here in 1947.

Former Aussie Test captain Allan Border said it was only going to get better to bat after his morning inspection, and current Australian assistant coach Brad Haddin was even more damning.

But Agarwal had already scored 27 when Vihari departed.

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Agarwal scored well, striking nine boundaries including a six off Nathan Lyon, but did look vulnerable to Cummins' short balls on occasion.

Vihari, who opened the innings for India, looked calm and composed and spent the first hour extremely well.

Vihari did nearly everything correct before he was rattled by a short-pitched bouncer from Pat Cummins which hit the batsman's gloves and Aaron Finch pouched a simple catch at second slip.

Debutant opener Mayank Agarwal made hay as the sun shone on Friday in Melbourne.

Agarwal - brought in after failures for KL Rahul and Murali Vijay - batted with confidence, mostly playing with straight bat and treating the balls on merit.

But it was Cummins who got the breakthrough. Kohli's on-field clashes with Australia's captain Paine in the second test in Perth ensured sections of the first-day crowd of 73,516 in Melbourne would give Kohli an enthusiastic greeting. The pitch turned out to be a batting beauty.

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