PERTH – India's bowlers fought back with three quick wickets after lunch to curb Australia's promising start to the second Test in Perth on Friday.
At tea in the inaugural Test at the new Perth Stadium, Australia were 145 for three after winning the toss. Shaun Marsh was batting on eight and Peter Handscomb was on four.
Australia had started very well, with second-gamer Marcus Harris and under-pressure opener Aaron Finch putting on a century opening partnership.
Finch lived dangerously at times and narrowly survived successive lbw appeals early in his innings, one of which cost India a DRS review, to notch his second Test half-century.
Harris looked composed and the pair added 112 on a wicket with a distinctly green tinge that appealed to the four-pronged Indian pace attack, before Finch's luck ran out and he was trapped in front by paceman Jasprit Bumrah (1-29) for 50.
He had survived a confident appeal from the previous delivery and also faced a similar scenario on 20, when he was struck on the pad by the first ball bowled by seamer Mohammed Shami.
Umpire Chris Gaffaney felt the ball was going over the stumps and a review confirmed his decision, with ball tracking having it passing clearly over the bails.
Finch’s dismissal brought out-of-form left-hander Usman Khawaja to the wicket and he made just five, sparring at a short ball from Umesh Yadav and getting a thick edge to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.
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Finch brings up a much-needed fifty, but is out to Bumrah right after. The opening partnership is broken at 112.
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Harris had been dropped at second slip from the bowling of Mohammed Shami on 60, he but added just 10 more before falling to the part-time spin of the recalled Hanuma Vihari.
Vihari got a ball to rise sharply off the pitch and it followed Harris as he recoiled, fending it to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip.
Harris had been there for 141 balls, but his dismissal meant Australia had lost three wickets for just 22 runs and surrendered their early advantage.
India won the first Test in Adelaide by 31 runs as they seek their first series victory on Australian soil.
They were unable to consider star spinner Ravi Ashwin and batsman Rohit Sharma, with both injured.
Ashwin, who took six wickets in the 31-run win in the first Test in Adelaide, has a side problem, while Sharma has a back injury.
They were replaced by batsman Vihari and paceman Umesh Yadav.
Australia retained the same XI from Adelaide, with Perth Stadium becoming the 10th Australian Test venue and 117th overall.
Agence France-Presse (AFP)