Openers Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch justified the decision to bat first on a green-top pitch to take Australia to 66-0 at lunch against India on day one of the second cricket test.
Harris was unbeaten on 36 and Finch was 28 not out at the first interval Friday after he survived a run out and two confident appeals for LBW in the action-packed first hour that produced 47 runs in 13 overs.
Australia trail the four-test series 1-0 following a 31-run loss in the first test in Adelaide earlier this week.
Harris and Finch negotiated the four-pronged swing and seam attack as India struggled to make good use of the conditions either by bowling too short or full.
It could be a long day for India on the field as the temperature is expected to top 39 Celsius (102 Fahrenheit) at the world’s newest test venue. After 48 years and 44 tests, test cricket has shifted from the WACA to the nearby Perth Stadium, making it Australia’s 10th test cricket ground.
Harris, who once played first-class cricket for Western Australia, was in punishing mood as he struck Ishant Sharma for three boundaries within five deliveries to force the swing bowler out of the attack.
Finch survived a run out on 14 when Virat Kohli’s throw missed the stumps at the striker’s end after being sent back by Harris.
He was on 20 when he survived a DRS referral for LBW off swing bowler Mohammad Shami, and a confident shout for LBW off the bowler’s first two deliveries of the day.
Kohli’s lineup is aiming to become the first from India to win a test series in Australia and held the No. 1-ranking heading into the four-test series in Australia.
Injuries to batsman Rohit Sharma and offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin forced two changes in India’s lineup. Batsman Hanuma Vihari replaced Sharma in the middle order, while swing bowler Umesh Yadav came in for Ashwin.
Source: The Associated Press