India v Australia: first Test, day one – live

LIVE – Updated at 03:51

Over-by-over report: The highly anticipated four-Test series gets under way in Nagpur. Join our writers for updates from VCA Stadium.

Team news


There was much talk in the lead up to this series about Travis Head’s disappointing record on the subcontinent and his plan to combat it with the all-out aggression so successful in the home summer. Head averaged just 15.16 across five Tests in the recent tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka with his weakness against the turning ball the main point of concern. Of his six dismissals on those tours, Head fell victim to spin five times, departing for less than 25 every time. Now it seems he has paid the ultimate price for a strike rate of 47.65 in Asia, dropped to make way for once-discarded Test batters Renshaw and Handscomb.



And the India XI…



As the players ready for action here’s Geoff Lemon’s Test preview.

Related: Australia gear up for pitch battle with spin again looming as king in India



Todd Murphy’s debut has stolen the headlines in Australia but in India the hullabaloo is all about selectors handing a Test debut to T20 phenomenon, Suryakumar Yadav. “Sky” has become a people’s hero with his six-hitting in the white ball formats and after 79 first-class matches he will finally gets to pull on the Test shirt for India at the ripe old age of 32. It’s a clear sign the hosts are going to amp the aggression with both bat and ball. Here’s the coin toss…



And here are today’s teams…

Australia win the toss and elect to bat first


That was a big toss to win and Pat Cummins’ run of luck with the coin has continued. He will now get to set the tempo of the Test and give India a big total to chase in the last innings. But the major shock is that Travis Head has been left out of the Test XI and Peter Handscomb will return to the middle-order alongside Matthew Renshaw. Be interesting to find out why Head, very much in form and a notable aggressor, has been sidelined…



Greetings cricket fans and welcome to the ‘Orange City’ of Nagpur for this first Test between Australia and India in the Border-Gavaskar series. I’m Angus Fontaine and I’ll be your host for the next five hours of action.

There’s a proud history between these cricket-loving nations. They first clashed in 1947 when the newly independent India faced Bradman’s ‘Invincibles’ in Australia, a series the home side won easily. Australia dominated the next 30 years before India wrested ascendency, winning 10 of the next 20 series. As of today, the ledger stands at 43 wins for Australia, 30 for India, with 23 draws and of course a single tie, the memorable thriller in Madras in 1986.

Yet few of those 102 Tests have carried the intrigue this one has. The Indian curators have sparked outrage (but not surprise) around the cricket world with pitch preparations at VCA Stadium. Knowing the Australian squad is stacked with left-handers, footage has shown them watering and rolling the centre of the wicket but leaving the ‘corridors of uncertainty’ for the lefties bone dry and ripe for spin.

But if Australia captain Pat Cummins is worried, he’s not showing it. Instead, he’s urging his men to “embrace the chaos” of the subcontinent. Of Australia’s 18 tourists, only eight have played a Test here, although a few others have tasted the unique heat, dust, noise and clamour of Indian cricket via the IPL.

We know Cummins is without his injured pace stalwarts Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc and allrounder Cameron Green. It opens the door for cult hero Scott Boland to play his first Test outside Australia and right-handed No 6 Peter Handscomb to usurp Matt Renshaw and play his first Test since India in 2019.

But the loudest buzz is that 22-year-old Victorian bolter Todd Murphy will make a shock debut after just seven first-class games. Selected to partner Nathan Lyon, Murphy becomes part of the first frontline off-spinning duo for Australia since 1988 when Peter Taylor and Tim May played in Pakistan. Can he match the epic debut of fellow offie Jason Krejza, who notched the crazy figures of 12 for 358, when Australia last played at the VCA in Nagpur in 2008?

Australia reportedly settled on their side two days ago (Murphy’s parents have flown in from Echuca). Captain Cummins and Sharma will toss the coin shortly and the playing XIs be unveiled…

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