No more bantering with Australia's Paine: Virat Kohli

No more bantering with Australia's Paine: Virat Kohli

Earlier, Paine said he is relishing his sometimes heated battle with animated Indian skipper Virat Kohli and also promised "intense, hard" cricket in the ongoing Boxing Day Test.

Not long after ducking into a Cummins bouncer to be hit in the helmet, Vihari (8) gloved the paceman and Aaron Finch took a simple catch.

India chose to bat first on a greenish pitch and from the outset, that decision appeared the correct one as a slow wicket offered little for the bowlers.

It was only the 19th over of the match when Pat Cummins dismissed Vihari and Pujara walked in. The right-handed Karnataka batsman - who became the first-ever opener since 1947 to play his maiden Test on the Australian soil after Amir Elahi (1947) - looked impressive.

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Kohli quickly got into a rhythm when he arrived at the crease, accelerating the run rate as he rattled off a string of boundaries, with the signs ominous for Australia going into day two.

His 76 is the highest score by an Indian opener so far this series, with the 27-year-old not only stroking some scintillating shots, but adding runs around the ground with aggressive running while effortlessly ducking and weaving the short-pitched deliveries. The Australian bowlers toiled without much success on a flat pitch, but did not allow India to run away with the game.

India initally piloted Australia's bowling attack easily but Australia assistant coach Haddin has bemoaned the drop-in pitch produced for the Boxing Day test as criticism continues to flow thick and fast.

"I won't complain about the pitch". "It was a grind yesterday".

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"We've been able to restrict them quite well with runs, we didn't get the wickets we probably would have liked", said Australia batsman Travis Head. Two runs and a wicket from the over.

If this pitch is judged poor by match referee Andy Pycroft then the MCG will be given three demerit points under the International Cricket Council's disciplinary system, which was introduced soon after the 2017 Boxing Day test.

CA and the MCG have already mapped out a long-term fix, with the underlying concrete slab likely to be replaced by a more modern system at the end of this season.

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