Twitter Reactions: Half-centuries from Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne keep Australia on top in Sydney

Twitter Reactions: Half-centuries from Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne keep Australia on top in Sydney

Australia ended the day at 166/2 with Smith and Labuschagne looking good in the middle.

Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

After so much talk about their intent with the bat in the first two Tests, Australia finally came up with a better performance after being lucky to win the toss in Sydney. The debutant Will Pucovski stitched an impressive half-century while Marnus Labuschagne has held the innings together with an unbeaten 67. Steve Smith is also looking comfortable in the middle and it seems that India will have to chase the leather of the flat SCG pitch on the 2nd day.

However, Australia didn’t get off to a good start early in the morning. The comeback man David Warner edged a wide delivery to the first slip where Cheteshwar Pujara took a good catch. Mohammed Siraj was the bowler to draw the first blood but it took a long time for India to pick up the second wicket. Rain, as expected, also made its presence felt after 7.1 overs in the first session.

It was a lengthy break than many anticipated and the play only resumed almost after four hours. On resumption, Labuschagne and Pucovski batted well with the latter riding his luck. Rishabh Pant dropped him twice, once off Ravi Ashwin and then off Siraj, much to the agony of the visitors.

The debutant took home the advantage then to play some crisp backfoot punches to become 82nd Australian batsman to score a fifty on his debut.

Steve Smith dominates with Labuschagne

However, another debutant Navdeep Saini got one to tail back into him soon after the tea break as India finally managed to break the 100-run stand. It brought the man in focus Steve Smith to the middle who looked determined to not give his wicket away at all. There was a spring in his step today and soon he took on Ravi Ashwin while playing out Jasprit Bumrah safely.

Both he and Labuschagne punished poor deliveries even as the pitch eased down a lot in the final session. Runs came at a quick pace. Meanwhile, the latter got to his first half-century of the series with two brilliant boundaries as Australia looked set to pile on the runs in the first innings. Ajinkya Rahane, the Indian skipper, then placed the in and out fields for the large parts of the last hour to control the damage as Australia ended the day at 166/2.

Only 55 overs of play was possible on the opening day due to rain. While Smith is looking good on 31 off 64 balls, Labuschagne has mustered 67 runs so far. India will be keen on breaking this partnership as soon as possible on the second morning with the weather expected to be fair for the rest of the days.

Here’s how Twitter reacted: