WTC Final 2023, IND vs AUS Day 1: Travis Head, Steve Smith take Australia on top despite early India dominance

Despite an early dominance from India and a blockbuster start, Rohit Sharma and his men are on the backfoot in London and have a lot to do tomorrow (Thursday, June 8).

Ind vs Aus, WTC Final 2023: Day 1 As It Happened

India captain Rohit Sharma chose to bowl first after winning the toss. India went with four pacers and just one spinner, as no. 1 ranked Test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin was left out of the team.

The Indian pacers made a brilliant start and Mohammed Siraj drew first blood in 4th over. Usman Khawaja, Australia’s best batter in this WTC cycle was gone for a duck. Australia were 73 for 2 at lunch after opener David Warner made 43 off 60 balls, getting out of Shardul Thakur’s delivery just before the end of the first session.

Mohammed Shami took the lone wicket that fell in the post-lunch session, that of Marnus Labuschagne (26). As Aussies were struggling at 76/3, Travis Head and Steve Smith took onus on them. Head batted brilliantly and his counter attack took Australia out of danger in a span of a few overs.

Australia reached 170 for 3 at tea as Head completed his fifty while Smith was also looking comfortable at the crease.

Head scores 6th Test century, goes to history books

After Tea, Travis Head started his onslaught with some terrific cricketing shots and got to his 6th Test century. The southpaw’s century came in 106 balls and thus he became the first player to score a hundred in a WTC Final.

Steve Smith also completed his fifty as the pair went north of a double-century partnership in fabulous style. The pair have added 251 runs so far and will be hoping to pile more pressure on the second day.

Travis Head is unbeaten on 146 off 156 balls whereas Steve Smith is unbeaten on 95 off 227 balls at the end of the first day.

India bowlers struggled on Day 1

Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj picked up one wicket each for India but after Lunch, none of them threatened as Australia controlled the proceedings at their own pace. Umesh Yadav was particularly disappointing and leaked runs in his spell.

India’s solitary spin option Ravindra Jadeja managed to bowl economically, but managed a blank in the wicket’s column. Ravichandran Ashwin’s omission also has taken a massive toll on India’s bowling, who failed to stifle the run scoring in the middle overs.

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