Australia dominated the Day 1 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final, reaching 327/3 at stumps on Wednesday. Travis Head smashed a brilliant century while Steve Smith hit his half-century to hand Australia complete control of the game. Head remained unbeaten on 146 while Smith finished the day with 95* as both batters dominated the Indian bowlers. Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, and Mohammed Shami each took a wicket on Day 1.
After winning the toss, Indian skipper Rohit Sharma opted to bowl first. And India started the opening day on a positive note as pacer Siraj dismissed Usman Khawaja for a duck in the first session. Aussie star opener David Warner and World no.1 Test batter Marnus Labuschagne then held the fort, adding 69 runs for the second wicket. Searching for a wicket, finally, Thakur struck in the 22nd over to send off Warner for 43.
A few moments later, Shami bowled an absolute ripper to clean up Labuschagne (26) who batted steadily. Team India thought that they could scalp more wickets in quick succession as they got two breakthroughs early in the second session. But Smith and Head had other ideas as they grew slowly and strongly to dominate the Indian bowlers.
Head played an attacking inning to score runs at a quick rate. Head and Smith’s impressive partnership of 251 off 370 balls made sure that Australia remain on the cusp of a gigantic 1st innings total. Indian bowlers have to bounce back strong on Day 2 and pull things back to take control of the summit clash.