Pune - Mitchell Starc claimed the prized scalp of Virat Kohli for a
duck as Australia restricted India to 70 for three at lunch on day two of the
first Test in Pune on Friday.
Kohli's dismissal silenced the crowd and marked a rare
failure for the Indian skipper who has hit four double centuries since July
last year. Kohli's last duck in a Test was against England in August 2014.
Starc, who hit a gritty 61 in Australia's first innings of
260, took two wickets in the space of three deliveries as the tourists made
decisive early inroads into the Indian batting line-up.
However Lokesh Rahul stood firm and was unbeaten on 47 at
the break, batting alongside Ajinkya Rahane who has so far made six.
Starc's fellow pace bowler Josh Hazlewood made the first
breakthrough for Australia by dismissing Murali Vijay for 10 in his first over.
Rahul and Cheteshwar Pujara (6) tried to steady the innings
but Starc came back strong in his second spell to reduce the hosts to 44-3.
After getting Pujara caught behind off a sharp rising
delivery, Starc then got Kohli to edge a wide delivery to first slip where he
was comfortably caught by Peter Handscomb.
Left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe, who opened the bowling
alongside Starc, was largely ineffective on a pitch that has offered turn from
Meanwhile Matt Renshaw, who top-scored for the visitors with
68 after an upset tummy on Thursday, went off the field again after feeling
nauseous in the Pune heat and Glenn Maxwell came on as a substitute fielder.
Earlier Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin ended Starc's
overnight resistance as the visitors were bowled out in the first over of the
Starc, who smashed six boundaries and three sixes during his
63-ball blitz, could only add four runs to his overnight score before giving
away a catch to mid-wicket for 61.
The match is the first in a four-Test series between the
world's two top-ranked sides.