Hosting its first ever international test match, Ranchi pitch turned out something that was not expected of it. It turned out to be an easy batting track with both Smith and Maxwell remaining unbeaten on 117* and 82* respectively. They rattled the Indian bowling attack adding 159-run for the fifth wicket partnership.
Steve Smith’s 244-ball knock consisting of 13 boundaries was a delight to watch. With this ton, Smith has now got 19 test hundreds with 9 of them have been scored at away matches.
Also, Maxwell hit a crafty 82* (147b, 4s x 5, 6s x 2) making a strong impact in test cricket after returning to this format three years later. By statistics, this was the longest innings he has ever played. His previous best was 98-ball knock against England at Perth ODI in which he scored a blistering 95 a couple of years back.
This innings from Glen Maxwell proved his improved maturity as a cricketer. This innings definitely will boost the confidence of the Aussie all-rounder in the longer format. Now, he has a golden opportunity to convert his 80s into his debut test hundred or more tomorrow on Day 2.
On the other hand, Smith was as lethal as ever. He keeps the scoreboard ticking and didn’t miss out finding the gaps wherever he sniffed an opportunity. At one stage, Aussies were in trouble when they lost their fourth wicket Peter Handscomb (19) LBW off Umesh Yadav with 140 for 4 after 42.2 overs on the scoreboard.
One more wicket could have opened up the match but Maxwell and Smith took the team safely at stumps on Day 1 with a good score of 299 for 4 after 90 overs. If Smith’s knock was the highlight of the day then Maxwell’s innings was astonishing too. He took 56 balls to get his first boundary which is really shocking because Maxwell is known for his explosive batting across formats.
Also Read: India vs Australia 2017: 3rd Test – Preview
Whenever in doubt, Maxwell consulted his skipper Steven Smith and the latter suggested him some vital tips that saw Maxwell easily survived the first 147 balls as India’s final session went wicket-less with too many runs on the visitors board. Today, India’s bowling was quite ludicrous. All bowlers gave away too many runs without getting breakthrough. However, Umesh Yadav was impressive with his in-swingers and good length deliveries.
Earlier today, Australia won the toss and opted to bat first. The decision proved absolutely right as the Aussie openers Renshaw (44) and Warner (19) added a fiery 50 runs for the first wicket at more than 5 RPO within 10 overs.
But, the dismissals of Aussie openers gave a big respite to the hosts but that didn’t last long. Smith and Maxwell made no mistake getting good contacts with the bat without taking too many risks. Once again, Shaun Marsh (2) failed to encash the opportunity of scoring big as he was caught out by Pujara off Ashwin.
Australia 1st Innings: 299/4 at 90 Overs (Steven Smith 117* & Maxwell 82*; Umesh Yadav 2/63)