Australia 166-2 after first day’s play; debutant Navdeep Saini claims career’s first wicket


Australia were 166-2 at the end of the rain-affected first day’s play in the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. India’s debutant Navdeep Saini claimed his Test career’s first wicket as he dismissed Will Pucovski, who was also making his Test debut for Australia. Pucovski made 62 and was dropped twice by Indian wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant before being adjudged LBW off Saini’s bowling.

Mohammed Siraj, who took the new ball on Thursday morning, dismissed another Australian opener, David Warner, early in the innings. At the end of the first day’s play, Marnus Labuschagne was unbeaten at 67, while Steve Smith was batting at 31. Both batsmen have struggled to play big knocks against India in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat, but the play had to be suspended due to rain when barely seven overs were bowled.

A video of Siraj breaking down while singing India’s national anthem before the start of today’s play had gone viral. In the video, Jasprit Bumrah was seen cheering the young bowler from Hyderabad up as Siraj wiped his tears. Siraj had lost his father while on Indian duty in Australia. He was also unable to take part in the father’s funeral.

Reacting to the Siraj’s crying video, former India opener, Wasim Jaffer, tweeted, “Even if there’s little or no crowd to cheer you on, no better motivation than playing for India. As a legend once said “You don’t play for the crowd, you play for the country.” #AUSvIND.”

The four-match series is currently tied 1-1. Australia had won the first Test by eight wickets, while India beat the hosts by the same margin at the MCG in the Boxing Day Test.


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