The first day’s play between India and Australia at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, on February 23, 2017, was the repeat of the usual Australian story since their terrible Sri Lankan tour a grand opening whittled away in the later over. Australia was

Australia was going well until a flurry of wickets which saw them lose six wickets in the space of 56 runs. The destroyer was not Ashwin or Jadeja this time but Umesh Yadav who with his reverse swing tore through the Australian middle order to finish with 4 wickets for 32 runs.

Live updates:

Australia lead by 241 runs with 7 wickets remaining

Australia 260 & 86/3 (29.2 ov)

India 105

Reverse swing and not spin was Australia’s nemesis

The pitch can be labeled as a classic turner; it was Umesh Yadav who used the old ball to full advantage and had the Australians tottering for 205 for nine.

A gutsy half century by Mitchell Starc helped the visitors reach a competitive score of 256 for nine at stumps.

Starc was ruthless and blasted the new ball for 57 off 58 balls which included five fours and three sixes in remaining unbeaten at stumps. Among the top order, Matt Renshaw made 68 off 156 balls in spite of brief hiccup at 38 when he was forced to retire for a call of nature, something which did not amuse his captain.

Live telecast and online streaming

The match will be telecast live and exclusively on Star Sports. For commentary in English, tune into Star Sports 1 and HD1, and for commentary in Hindi tune to Sports 3 and HD 3. live streaming will be available on Hotstar, but it will be a bit delayed and not live.

Fans in the US can watch the live coverage on Willow TV.

Opening the day, openers Warner and Renshaw tackled the spinners well, and this could be merited to the long hours of practice in UAE where the visitors had practiced for a month.

However, the ball was turning, and it was not an easy job. Every expert had said that the pitch was horrible and 275 will be a reasonably good total.

However, Umesh Yadav had other ideas.

Introduced late in the 28th over he maintained a tight length with blistering pace and reverse swing which tore through the Australian middle order. The spinners had already strangulated the visitors and runs came at a trickle. Umesh Yadav did the rest, and wickets fell at regular interval.

Pitch and weather

The pitch will continue to whither and will make it tough as time progresses. If India can post a comfortable lead of 300 plus, it will be a daunting task for Australia to save the game.

Much will depend upon how the visitors tackle the spinners in their second innings.

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