In signs ominous for India and encouraging for Australia, the beleaguered Steve Smith looked dangerous and his understudy Marnus Labuschagne struck an unbeaten half-century as the hosts reached 166 on a rain-marred opening day.
This after debutant Will Pucovski, riding on some luck, made 62 on debut to break the shackles for the under-fire side.
Brief scores: Australia 166/2 in 55 overs (Will Pucovski 62, Marnus Labuschagne batting 67, Steve Smith batting 31; Mohammad Siraj 1/46, Navdeep Saini 1/32).
Catch the highlights of Day 1 here.
1:36 PM IST: Steve Smith has played well for his unbeaten 31 and here's what he had to day after the stumps: I was just a bit more positive (against Ashwin). I wanted to put him under a little bit of pressure which I haven't done this series. Been working on a few things, wanted to hold the bat tighter.
11:16 PM IST: Navdeep Saini to bowl the last over of the day.
STUMPS DAY 1
Australia 166/2 (55) Marnus Labuschagne 67, Steve Smith 31, Navdeep Saini 1/32, Mohd Siraj 1/46
1:11 PM IST: Ashwin is now getting the ball to bounce and grip. India still searching for the third wicket but looks like Australia are taking no risks. One over to go after this.
Australia 165/2 (54) Steve Smith 67, Marnus Labuschagne 67
1:02 PM IST: Ravindra Jadeja has just breezed through another maiden over
1:00 PM IST: The intent when dealing with R Ashwin has been clear from Australia. Come to the front foot and rotate the strike, so that Ashwin doesn't settles to a line and length.
12: 56 PM IST: Ravindra Jadeja into the attack for the first time today. A maiden over
12:55 PM IST: Marnus Labuschagne carts R Ashwin for a four. Labuschagne steps down the track and lofts it straight over the bowlers head for a FOUR.
Australia are 159 for 2 (48) Steve Smith 27, Marnus Labuschagne 64;
12:48 PM IST: R Ashwin almost beats Steve Smith in flight. The ball drifts and loops as Smith steps out only to see it sneak between bat and pad. But the ball hits the pad and rolls to slips. Ashwin would love to keep doing that. India need a wicket just to round off the day. Otherwise it looks like Australia are pulling away.
12:44 PM IST: India will be ruing drop catches and a missed run out chance. Australia are looking comfortable and the pitch is also looking easy to bat. Siraj bowls a maiden. Over to Ashwin again
12:40 PM IST: India would love to get a wicket here. This is the extended time of play. Australia are looking good with Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith having little trouble in rotating the strike. Looks like one of the thing that Aussies decided was to be positive against R Ashwin. Ashwin has given away 46 runs in 12 overs. Australia 152/2 (44)
12:30 PM IST: Marnus Labuschagne raises fifty. His 9th in Test cricket and first against India. A bit of width offered by Siraj and Labuschagne hits a lovely cover drive. 12 runs of the over. Marnus Labuschagne 50came of 108 balls.
Australia 148/2 (43) Labuschagne 56, Steve Smith 24
12:25 PM IST: Australia are 132/2 after 41 overs and Ashwin-Smith duel continues. Steve Smith has once again been aggressive against Ashwin, hitting the first ball for four. Ashwin has gained upper hand against Smith in the first two Test matches and clearly the Aussie is not happy and it looks like a payback time.
12:19 PM IST: So It's Steve Smith vs R Ashwin. Smith has a start now and he works the last ball for a four through mid-wicket. Australia 130/2 (40) Marnus Labuschagne 43, Steve Smith 19,
12:12 PM IST: Jasprit Bumrah has bowled 14 overs for just 30 runs, while Navdeep Saini has been a bit expensive. Australia has also looked to dominate the rookie Saini. Saini's figures are 5-0-29-1.
12:06 PM IST: Navdeep Saini was hit for two fours by Steve Smith who as swiftly moved to 13 of 12 balls. The first one was through mid-on, second one raced past diving Hanuma Vihari at square leg for Four.
12:01 PM IST: All eyes will be on Steve Smith and R Ashwin duel. Smith has had a bit of start and has already hit a FOUR of Bumrah. This was Steve Smith's first boundary in the three Test matches. But fans will be looking at how he handles Ashwin. Navdeep Saini to continue for a while.
11: 51 AM IST: Navdeep Saini gets the wicket. Straight and full hits Will Pucovski on pads right in front of the stumps. A bit of discussion between Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne and they decide not to go for review. India have their second wicket, just when Australia were looking good.
Will Pucovski lbw Navdeep Saini 62 (110b 4x4,) Australia 106/2 (34.2)
11: 44 AM IST: A defensive field for Navdeep Saini. As Will Pucovski moves into his 60's. Australia have now raised 100 on the board.
Aus 100/1 (33) Will Pucovksi 60, Marnus Labuschagne 35
11:36 AM IST: We are back live with Jasprit Bumrah starting off against Will Pucovski. Welcome to the third session of the day.
11: 26 AM IST: Match has been delayed a bit because of rain and wet outfield. The covers are coming off.
11:10 AM IST: TEA has been taken. Australia 93/1 (31) Will Pucovski 54, Marnus Labuschahgne 34; Mohammed Siraj 1/33
11:07 AM IST: Navdeep Saini into the attack and first ball is dispatched for a FOUR as Will Pucovski races to his half-century. Two drop chances but the debutant has been good and positive for Australia.
11:05 AM IST: Australia are now beginning to dominate and score freely. This is what happens when you drop catches, the other team capitalises. Both Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne are scoring freely. Pucovski is now 5 short of half-century, while Labuschagne has reached 34. Navdeep Saini into the attack next.
11:00 AM IST: Mohammed Siraj into his 11th over and Australian pair are looking comfortable. Jasprit Bumrah has gone down while fielding. He remained on the ground for few minutes. He is looking good now. Another injury scare for India. Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne were involved in a bit of mix-up but a relay throw from Bumrah-Ashwin wasn't good from deep as India still search for second wicket. Bumrah slipped a bit, but all good
10:55 AM IST: Still no Navdeep Saini as Mohammed Siraj continues. India have completed 27 overs. Australia and more importantly Will Pucovski will surely look to make full use of the lifelines extended. Ashwin gets hammered for back-to-back fours by Marnus Labuschagne. Australia 68/1 (28)
10:41 AM IST: Mohammed Siraj almost had Will Pucovski caught behind, but Rishabh Pant drops the catch again. It was short and rising as Will Pucovski looks to pull. The ball took the top edge and looped over keeper's head, who turned and dived to take the catch . The ball popped out of his hand again as he hits the ground. Pucovski survives again in span of 10 minutes.
10:36 AM IST: India are in the middle of nice session. Runs are hard to come by for Australia. The pitch is flat but the bowling has been good. Marnus Labuschagne has played 18 dots so far. Will Pucovski has been positive at the other end and a four of R Ashwin brings up Australia's team 50. Australia 55/1 (24) Will Pucovski 32 (75), Marnus Labuschagne 18 (61)
10:30 AM IST: R Ashwin into his 5th over and has given away just 7 runs. A slip and two other close in fielders putting pressure on the batsmen. Rishabh Pant drops Will Pucovski of Ashwin. The ball drifted and took an edge but Pant fails to hold on to the catch. Ball pops out of Pant's gloves. A reprieve for Puciovski.
10:21 AM IST: A few hours back Glenn McGrath was critical of Aussie batsmen. But - Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuschagne - have dug in their heels and have been steady.
10:14 AM IST: India are enjoying a nice bit of calm period with both R Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah building pressure and giving nothing way. Will Pucovski has been tested a few times with bouncers and Bumrah isn't afraid to bang another one short. It climbs as Pucovski ducks under it. Asutralia: 46/1 (19)
10:10 AM IST: Here is what all has changed because of 4-hour rain break.
* A total of 57 overs are to be bowled in the remainder of the day.
*Scheduled close of play has been extended to 6.30pm with extra 30 minutes permitted to ensure minimum overs.
10:04 AM IST:Jasprit Bumrah continues. His 8th over of the day. Beats Marnus Labuschagne but the batsman has the last laugh as he dispatches lat bowl for four!!! Maybe time for debutant Navdeep Saini. Ashwin bowls his second over for just 2 runs.
9:57 AM IST: First change for India R Ashwin comes on to bowl, replacing Siraj. It's crucial that Ashwin starts well. He has been India's impact bowler. Gives away 1 run; Australia 37/1 (14)
9:54 AM IST: Jasprit Bumrah to continue, no sign of debutant Navdeep Saini or R Ashwin yet. Australia have been quite good in their intent to score. They are taking quick singles and leaving good balls. Bumrah is leading a pace attack and is doing a good job. India haven't strayed in line or length.
9:49 AM IST: India bowlers have started much straighter and fuller looking for their second wicket. Marus Labuschagne will be key for Australia. Will Pucovski has impressed for his 41-ball 17 and is looking good in the middle. A lot of chatter in the middle : Australia 34/1 (12) Will Pucovski 20 (42), Marnus Labuschangne 9 (22)
9:38 AM IST: Will Pucovski is looking comfortable in the middle and has kept the scoreboard ticking. The debuant drives Mohd Siraj straight twice to gather runs upon resumption. Jasprit Bumrah has been good at the other end. Not giving anything away and hitting the right areas consistently . AUS: 27/1 (9)
9:30 AM IST: Players are out and play to resume. Mohd Siraj back with the ball in hand and Will Pucovski on strike
9:19 AM IST: It's nice and bright in Sydney now. But the area near the pitch needs a bit of looking into. Groundstaff working hard to dry the patch and restart the match. Official word from the umpires: 10 minutes to restart
8:50 AM IST: Looks like covers are coming off and Sun has broken through the cloud covers. It surely improves chances of play to restart. Supersoppers on the ground trying to dry the outfield. Umpires are in discussion, while Australian players venture out for warm-ups. Stay tuned for updates.
8:26 AM IST: Update: The rain has got heavier and surely will delay the restart. Here another update unrelated to cricket-- Juventus have defeated AC Milan
8:07 AM IST: Looks like more delays. India were out for warm-ups and umpires were inspecting the ground when it started raining again.
8:05 AM IST: Here's a quick recap of what's happened so far. Only 7.1 overs bowled before rains stopped play. Here's recap.
7:55 AM IST: Groundstaff and fourth umpire Claire Polosak are out inspecting the ground. There are a few puddles. On field umpires are also out. Polosak is making a bit of history here and looks like chances of action to start have improved a bit.
7:44 AM IST: Ground Update: Rain has almost stopped and it's much brighter. Umpires are inspecting the ground, Chances are play will resume soon
7:33 AM IST: It's pouring at the Sydney Ground. Players huddled inside dressing rooms and covers firmly on. Meanwhile, Glenn McGrath has come down heavily on Australian batsmen 'timid' approach. Read the story HERE.
7:05AM IST: As we wait for action to start in Sydney, Here's a report on how Cornella beat La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid
6:57 AM IST: An early LUNCH has been taken as rain keeps pounding. Stay tuned for more updates. It is looking like a lengthy delay.
6: 43 AM IST: The rain hasn't relented and now it's looking like a lengthy delay. Stay tuned for more updates.
6:28 AM IST: Ground Update: Steady drizzle but we haven't lost overs. And as we wait for more updates here a bit of moment before the start of the match: Navdeep Saini Gets his Test cap from Jasprit Bumrah - Watch
6:02 AM IST: Here is a summary so far in the build-up for this match. Firstly there was a controversy over alleged COVID-19 breach and then reports emerged India not willing to travel to Brisbane. Hosts, who are yet to cross 200-run mark in this series, were desperate to include David Warner. Warner looked rusty and departed early giving India much needed boost.
5:54 AM IST: Update from Sydney, covers are coming off, Play to start shortly.
Oh! Wait it has started raining again. Covers are back on and Teams are huddled inside the dressing rooms
5:51 AM IST: As we wait for covers to come off at Sydney, an update from Football and more importantly from Manchester Derby: City have defeated United and secured a 2-0 win
5:35 AM IST: Rain has stopped play !!! This was predicted and anticipated, one of the many interruptions that we might expect today. Summary so far has been
Australia: 21/1 (7.1) Will Pucovski 14, Marnus Labuschagne 2, Mohd Siraj 1/7, Jasprit Bumrah 0/14
5:26 AM IST: Onus now on Will Pucovski and Marnus Labuchagne to stedy Australia. Pucovski has looked good. He has been tested by short ball by the Indian pacers. Both Jasprit Bumrah and Mohd Siraj have bowled short to him. Remember he is coming of a concussion. The debutant has handled the pressure well till now and had kept the scoreboard ticking. AUs 18/1 (6) Will Pucovski 11, Marnus Labuchagne 2
5:19 AM IST: India have struck. Mohammed Siraj gets big wicket of David Warner. Australia 6/1. The ball was angled across and Warner tries to drive hard. Cheteshwar Pujara takes a good catch in slips.
5:11 AM IST: Mohammed Siraj gives away 5 runs in the first over. David Warner has shown the positive intent from the first ball he faced. He might be half-fit but Australia are looking to him to resolve their batting woes. Couple of the first ball. Meanwhile, Will Pucovski also gets off the mark.
5:06 AM IST: A steady start for Jasprit Bumrah. Impeccable line and length. Just one short ball to welcome Will Pucovski to the Test cricket. David Warner to face Mohammed Siraj next.
4:59 AM IST: David Warner is back for the hosts and walks in with the debutant Will Pucovski. Australia are still looking for their ideal playing XI. Jasprit Bumrah to start for India.
4:55 AM IST: Navdeep Saini has been just handed the Test cap by Jasprit Bumrah.
4:51 AM IST: With the Brisbane Test still uncertain, the Sydney match becomes pivotal. Read match preview HERE.
4:45 AM IST: Here are the playing XIs:
Australia: David Warner, Will Pucovski, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Jasprit Bumrah.
4:43 AM IST: Australia to bat first. Will Pucovski set to make debut. Travis Head misses out.
4:40 AM IST: With the Brisbane Test still uncertain, the Sydney match becomes pivotal. Read match preview HERE.