Brisbane Test: India get rid of Smith; Labuschagne impresses
In the second session, fans witnessed an interesting battle between Indian bowlers and Australian batsmen, which eventually went the latter's way. Off-spinner Washington Sundar scalped his maiden Test wicket as he got rid of the dangerous Steve Smith. Meanwhile, another injury concern rocked Team India after fast bowler Navdeep Saini walked off the field. However, he returned to the field eventually. Here is more.
The Indian bowlers worked hard but could not pick many wickets in the second session. Notably, Sundar sent back Smith right on his first delivery post-lunch. In the 36th over, skipper Ajinkya Rahane put down a straightforward catch at gully, with Marnus Labuschagne receiving a vital reprieve. Besides, Labuschagne and Matthew Wade remained unbeaten as Australia put up 154/3 at tea.
Off-spinner Sundar scripted history as he dismissed the big fish Smith. By doing so, the former became the third-youngest Indian spinner (21yr 102d) after Sachin Tendulkar (18yr 253d) and Laxman Sivaramakrishnan (19yr 360d) to pick a Test wicket Down Under. Smith flicked a tossed-up delivery to mid-wicket, hitting it straight into the hands of Rohit Sharma. This was the second catch by Rohit.
Sundar has proved to be highly economical so far. At one stage, he went 23 balls without conceding a run during his spell. As of now, the off-spinner has given away only 27 runs from 13 overs, taking a wicket.
India continued to be sloppy in the field in Brisbane as well. Notably, one of the catches was dropped by skipper Rahane, who doesn't drop many. He spilled out an easy catch of Labuschagne at gully after the latter picked an outside edge. Another chance involving Labuschagne was wasted away in the slips as he nicked one off Natarajan.
Top-order batsman Labuschagne yet again impressed with his gritty knock even though the two openers departed in quick succession. He then shared a 70-run stand with Steve Smith, who was eventually dismissed for 36. Nevertheless, the former went on the complete an astonishing fifty to pull back the momentum for Australia. Interestingly, this was his third consecutive 50+ score in the series.