Australia v India: Travis Head leads Australian charge with unbeaten half-century

Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates one of his wickets
Ashwin's influence was key to India's hopes in the Adelaide heat
First Test, Adelaide Oval (day two):
India 250: Pujara 123, Rohit 37, Hazlewood 3-53
Australia 191-7: Head 61*, Handscomb 34, Ashwin 3-50

Travis Head scored an unbeaten half-century on his home debut to give Australia hope at the end of the second day of the first Test with India.

The South Australia captain finished the day on 61 not out with Mitchell Starc on eight to leave their side on 191-7.

However, they are still 59 runs short of India's total of 250.

"We're hanging in there, India bowled exceptionally well and put us under pressure," said Head.

"It's nice to do a good job for the team.

"Fantastic little fightback at the end there and sets up a really important first hour in the morning. If we can get close it's game on."

India lost their final first-innings wicket with the opening ball of the morning but the home side were unable to capitalise when they went out to bat with spinner Ravichandran Ashwin tearing through the top order with three wickets.

Opener Aaron Finch was bowled for a third-ball duck by Ishant Sharma, while debutant Marcus Harris was caught for 26, with Ashwin breaking a 45-run partnership with Usman Khawaja.

Ashwin then took another two wickets after lunch with Shaun Marsh dismissed for two to continue his poor run of Test form, before Khawaja was out for 28.

They resumed on 117-4 after tea but Peter Handscomb departed for 34 and captain Tim Paine quickly followed for five.

The home side looked primed for a collapse but Pat Cummins and Head stood firm for Australia's first 50-run partnership. However, their stand was broken as soon as the second new ball was taken.

It left Starc and Head to negotiate the nervous final overs to give Australia hope of getting enough runs on day three to remain competitive.


Sam Sheringham, BBC Stumped producer at the Adelaide Oval

A slow but intriguing day of Test cricket in which India's slick attack imposed itself on Australia's callow and fragile batting order.

After Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh fell to reckless shots, and debutant Marcus Harris to Ravichandran Ashwin's brilliant variations, there followed a painstaking afternoon station in which the operators of the iconic heritage-listed scoreboard would have been excused a siesta.

When the score read 127-6 in the 63rd over, the collective sighs of the who's who of Australia greats in the press room rose to a deafening din.

It was left to local boy Travis Head to restore some pride with a courageous and skilful half-century, which gives the hosts a chance of reaching something nearing parity after the first innings.

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