Australian batsman Marnus Labuschagne shined with the willow on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test against India at The Gabba in Brisbane.
Dropped twice in the innings, Labuschagne rode his luck to score the fifth century of his Test career. The right-handed batsman scored 108 off 204 deliveries with nine boundaries before debutant T Natarajan dismissed him in the 66th over.
Labuschagne formed a much-needed 113-run partnership with Matthew Wade for the fourth wicket. Wade made 45 and became Natarajan’s maiden Test wicket.
The twin strikes by Natarajan in the final session were nullified by Australian captain Tim Paine (38 not out) and all-rounder Cameron Green (28 not out). The duo stitched an unbeaten 61-run stand for the sixth wicket as Australia ended Day 1 on 274/5 in 87 overs.
Batting first, David Warner (1) and Marcus Harris (5) got out with just 17 runs on the scoreboard.
Warner was caught at the second slip in the very first over of the innings bowled by Mohammed Siraj. Harris, who was replacing the injured Will Pucovski, hung around for a while but Shardul Thakur dismissed him in the ninth over.
Then, Labuschagne and Steve Smith did well to settle Australia for 65/2 at lunch. However, after the break, Smith was sent back to the pavilion by Washington Sundar, who got his first wicket in the oldest format.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
Most 100s in ICC World Test Championship
5 Marnus Labuschagne
4 Babar Azam
4 Steve Smith
4 Ben Stokes#AusvInd
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) January 15, 2021
cameron green wouldn't have ever imagined that in his fourth test he'd be batting against an attack without a single member having played four tests #AUSvIND
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) January 15, 2021
You never know when & how opportunity knocks on your door but when it appears you should be ready. I am sure both @Natarajan_91 and @Sundarwashi5 are well prepared for their 1st test match. Congrats and Good luck. #AUSvIND
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 15, 2021
The one delivery that Bharat Arun worked with @Natarajan_91 a lot on in the nets was the classic left-armer’s in-swinger to the right-hander. We haven’t seen much of it yet with the new-ball today. Will be the perfect finish to the day for India if he can pull it off now #AUSvIND
— Bharat Sundaresan (@beastieboy07) January 15, 2021
T Natarajan is the first ever Indian to debut in all three formats in the same tour. #AUSvIND
— Kausthub Gudipati (@kaustats) January 14, 2021
To think Marnus Labuschagne got his chance because of that Archer bouncer to Smith at Lord’s. I’m sure he’d have forced his way into the team at some point anyway, but boy has he been consistent since. #AUSvIND
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) January 15, 2021
Since June 2018, there have been eight wicket-keepers to make 500+ Test runs. Tim Paine's average of 28.07 in that time is the lowest of that group. #AUSvIND
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) January 15, 2021
India hanging in there but dropping 3 catches has helped Australia reach a position from where they can eye 400. Tough day for India #INDvAUS
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) January 15, 2021
Even though it is very frustrating to see how Indian players are falling to injuries and playing with thr Bench in the 4th Test we still could have had Kangaroos for dinner tonight if catches were held…field well tmrw please rest all is good still @ajinkyarahane88 @BCCI
— Samip Rajguru (@samiprajguru) January 15, 2021
The resilience of this Indian team in Australia is something else. NZ used 17 players in their disastrous series in Australia last summer; India has now used 20 players (in one more match) yet are still competing on equal terms.
— Andrew (@shortflyslip) January 15, 2021
.@Natarajan_91's first international wickets ⚡️
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) January 15, 2021
Most Test runs at the Gabba after 3 innings
339 – MARNUS LABUSCHAGNE (and counting)
326 – Don Bradman
310 – Doug Walters
300 – Brian Booth
286 – Norm O'Neill
— Swamp (@sirswampthing) January 15, 2021
I reckon this is the least experienced attack (13 wickets coming into this Test) that Australia has faced since England rocked up to the Oval in 1880 with 8 wickets amongst themselves. https://t.co/nVSRPdrEhT
— Ric Finlay (@RicFinlay) January 15, 2021
Umpires: Bruce Oxenford, Paul Wilson; Third Umpire Paul Reiffel