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Jaques half-century leads Australia to confident start in 1st test against India

Jaques half-century leads Australia to confident start in 1st test against India

Phil Jaques overcame a shaky start to smash an unbeaten half-century as Australia made a slow but confident start to the first cricket test against India on Wednesday.
Australia was 111 without loss at lunch on the first day after captain Ricky Ponting won the toss and elected to bat first under bright skies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Jaques brought up his half century by driving a well-timed four through deep mid-wicket to go to lunch at 57. Opening partner Matthew Hayden was unbeaten on 49 at the break.
Jaques faced 88 balls in the first session, hitting seven boundaries, while Hayden cracked four boundaries in his 80-ball knock.
Australia's opening pair got off to a slow start under some intense pressure from India's pace attack, led by Zaheer Khan (0-25). Hayden finally found his first run with a single in the fifth over.
Left-armed bowlers Khan and R. P. Singh (0-29) were unlucky not to make a breakthrough early with the new ball, with several confident appeals for lbw denied by the umpire and the Australians often looking vulnerable to nicks and edges.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, playing in his 100th test, joined offspinner Harbhajan Singh in an expensive second bowling spell as the Australian openers grew accustomed to the pitch and upped the scoring tempo.
Ganguly joins Dilip Vengsarkar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid in an elite group of Indian players to make 100 test appearances.
India has never won a series in Australia, but is buoyed by recent wins against England and Pakistan, and is looking to better its effort in drawing the 2003-2004 tour.
Out of the 32 tests played between the teams in Australia, the hosts lead India 20-4 with 8 drawn matches. Australia dominates tests against India at the MCG 6-1.
Australia included spin bowler Brad Hogg at the expense of paceman Shaun Tait on a flat MCG wicket which is expected to offer additional turn as the match progresses.
India opted for two spinners to complement its pace attack, with offspinner Harbhajan Singh to bowl in tandem with team captain Anil Kumble's legspin.
Cricket Australia announced that undercover surveillance officers and video cameras will be placed in several parts of the ground to keep an eye on the fans and eject those who make racists comments or display banners and placards with racist slogans.
Fans at the MCG _ expected to number 75,000 on the first day _ could be banned for life if found guilty of racially taunting players and fellow fans during the match.


Updated : 2021-05-19 04:22 GMT+08:00