India vs Australia: Debutant Agarwal falls for 76 after frustrating Kiwis

India vs Australia: Debutant Agarwal falls for 76 after frustrating Kiwis

Pujara pushed on to 68 and Virat Kohli survived a strong chance which was put down by Paine in the slips off Starc while on 47.

Opener Agarwal, fresh off a tour of New Zealand with India A, justified his test callup with 76 on the opening day of the Boxing Day test as the visitors took control against Australia in Melbourne.

Hanuma Vihari was promoted from No.6 to open in Melbourne with Agarwal and he continued India's opening struggles.

Openers Lokesh Rahul and Murali Vijay have paid the price for putting together just one double-digit stand at the halfway point of the four-test series, hardly the starts that would help bring India a first test series win Down Under. The two teams will be eyeing a victory on a pitch with a fair smattering of grass.

That was to prove the final wicket of the day where deliveries from the fast bowlers, at times, bounced twice past the batsman before reaching wicketkeeper Tim Paine and, on one startling occasion, reared off the pitch and bounced only once to the boundary.

Virat Kohli called it right at the coin toss and the visiting team made the most of a docile pitch at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, which was packed to the rafters with more than 70,000 people flocking the iconic venue to watch the much-anticipated Test.

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"I won't complain about the pitch. They batted well and we created pressure", he said.

"Things can change, momentum can change and I don't think we're far away", he added. The duo added 83 runs between them before Pat Cummins gave the tourists their second jolt at the stroke of tea break by getting rid of set Agarwal for 76.

Vihari had already taken a nasty blow on the helmet in the 12th over off the bowling of Cummins, with the physio needed to check he was fit to continue. India has never won a test series in Australia.

Australia could only manage to pick two wickets at stumps on Day 1. "I understand the Victorian crowd (but).it's disappointing" Australian teammate Travis Head on Mitch Marsh, who was booed by sections of the MCG crowd when he came on to bowl.

Pujara scored a century in Adelaide and Kohli matched the feat in Perth.

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