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India vs Australia, 3rd Test: Navdeep Saini claims maiden Test wicket, dismisses Aussie debutant Will Pucovski

Navdeep Saini claims maiden Test wicket, dismisses Aussie debutant Will Pucovski
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Navdeep Saini claims maiden Test wicket, dismisses Aussie debutant Will Pucovski

Highlights

Indian fast bowler Navdeep Saini, who made his Test debut on Thursday during the ongoing third Test against Australia, claimed his maiden Test scalp in the first innings.

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Indian fast bowler Navdeep Saini, who made his Test debut on Thursday during the ongoing third Test against Australia, claimed his maiden Test scalp in the first innings.

The underway Sydney Test saw India and Australia give a debut to a player each. While Saini became India's Test player No. 300, Australia handed the Baggy Green cap No. 460 to 22-year-old Will Pucovski. Saini received the Test cap from bowling partner Jasprit Bumrah, Pucovski was handed the Baggy Green by Australia's assistant coach Andrew McDonald.

On Thursday, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, Australian captain Tim Paine won the toss and opted to bat. Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj, who made his Test debut in the previous Test, gave India an early breakthrough by removing David Warner in the fourth over of the day. Warner, who had missed the Twenty20 International (T20I) series and the first two Tests due to a groin injury, only managed five off eight balls.


Saini came into the attack in the 31st over and Australia batsman Pucovski on the strike. Saini's opening two deliveries in Test cricket went for consecutive boundaries. With the second four, Pucovski brought him his maiden Test fifty, marking a great start to his career in the whites. Pucovski's was a long-awaited debut despite being only 22. He was forced to withdraw from the squad twice before for personal reasons and suffering nine concussions.

Pucovski, who became Warner's 12th opening partner in Test cricket, came in the playing XI after Australia dropped Travis Head and pushed temporary opener, Matthew Wade, back to his position in the middle order. Pucovski started off slowly in the first innings, while he was also dropped twice by Indian wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Pant dropped Pucovski, first on 26 when the Aussie batter edged Ravichandran Ashwin and then on 34 when the batsman tried to hook Mohammed Siraj. India's plan was to bounce Pucovski, who had earlier also missed a hook off Bumrah. The 22-year-old survived once again when he was 39 after he was involved in a mix up with Marnus Labuchagne. But Bumrah missed a chance to run the debutant out as he suffered a brief injury.

Pucovski and Labuchagne put up 100 runs for the second wicket before Saini broke the partnership in the 35th over after the Tea in the third session. As Pucovski put his foot in front and tried to flick the ball, he completely missed to get the bat down in time. The young debutant knew he had been trapped leg before wicket as he walked off even without consulting his partner for a taking a review. The replays showed the ball was crashing into off and middle stumps. Pucovski had a decent start to Test cricket as he scored a brilliant 62 off 110 balls.

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