On Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and India, the visiting side completely dominated the proceedings at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). After losing the toss, Team India led by stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane, bundled out the hosts on 195 and then ended the day at 36/1, trailing by 159 runs.
Debutant Mohammed Siraj impressed everyone with outstanding bowling. The right-armer picked up two wickets for 40 runs in 15 overs, including the scalp of Marnus Labuschagne, who became Siraj’s maiden victim in Test cricket.
Siraj took 43 deliveries to claim his first wicket when Labuschagne edged the red-leather towards backward short leg. The dismissal of Labuschagne came at the right time when the hosts were looking to rebuild their innings. Labuschagne missed his half-century by mere 2 runs.
It all happened in the 50th over of Australia’s first innings when Siraj bowled an angled delivery into the pads down the leg. Labuschagne tried to flick it but failed to keep it down. The ball went straight to Shubman Gill at backward square leg, who did really well to dive low in front to grab the catch.
Here is the video:
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 26, 2020
‘You have earned this’: Ashwin while awarding the Test cap to Siraj
Earlier, ahead of the first day of the second Test, Siraj received his Test cap from none other than Ravichandran Ashwin. The off-spinner showered some praiseworthy comments for Siraj while awarding him with the prestigious India cap.
Ashwin told Siraj that the latter had gone through the ‘grinds’ of domestic cricket and has earned his Test debut.
“Coming through First-Class grind and India A grind, you have earned this Test cap. You will rally around with the team throughout this Test match,” Ashwin told Siraj in a video shared by BCCI on Twitter.
“He battled personal tragedy, fought adversity and is now rewarded with India’s Test Billed cap no. 298. Congratulations Mohammed Siraj. Go seize the day!” tweeted BCCI.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 25, 2020