Ahmedabad, Mar 9 (IANS): Travis Head and Usman Khawaja shared a 61-run opening stand, before Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami took a wicket each to pull things back for India to leave the visitors at 75/2 in 29 overs at lunch on the opening day of fourth Test at Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday.
The session began with a returning Mohammed Shami being wayward and conceding eight byes, with Australia electing to bat first on a pitch which had some up-and-down bounce. India were almost given a breakthrough when Umesh Yadav drew the outside edge from Travis Head, but wicketkeeper K.S. Bharat dropped a sitter, adding more to his nightmarish start with gloves.
Head began to attack from the 11th over, driving off Umesh straight down the ground before smashing a wide delivery through backward point for collecting a brace of fours. He continued to feast on poor deliveries from Umesh by hitting three boundaries with ridiculous ease.
The flow of boundaries continued as Usman Khawaja clipped Ravichandran Ashwin down leg, before going on backfoot to pull Ravindra Jadeja through the square leg. Post drinks break, India finally had a breakthrough as Head miscued slog to mid-on off Ashwin.
Though Khawaja put loose deliveries from Ashwin through the onside, India were successful in getting another wicket as Marnus Labuschagne chopped one onto his stumps off Shami, departing for a single-digit score.
From there the bowlers kept things tight for India, as in the last ten overs they gave away only eight runs, with Khawaja and Steve Smith unbeaten on 27 and 2 respectively.
Brief scores: Australia 75/2 in 29 overs (Travis Head 32, Usman Khawaja 27 not out; Mohammed Shami 1/14, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/18) against India