India won the toss and chose to bat on a Melbourne wicket which was deemed good for batting. Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal, on debut, negotiated a tough period with the new ball. Pat Cummins got the big wicket of Vihari for 8 but Agarwal, in partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara, strung an 83-run stand to revive India. Agarwal showed his class and composure by hitting a fifty on debut but he was dismissed in the last over before tea. Virat Kohli looked in great touch while Cheteshwar Pujara scored his 21st fifty. However, the hosts would be ruing the dropped chance of Kohli when Mitchell Starc produced the edge only for Tim Paine to put the chance down. India end the day on 215/2 and would be looking to build an advantage. (SCORECARD)
DROPPED! That could be the turning point of this series, as Bill Lawry would chime on air. Starc floats a full and wide ball outside off, Kohli cannot resist going after the drive and the edge is taken but Paine drops the catch. Very costly miss for Australia.
The second new ball has been taken. This is the right moment for Australia to get one more wicket before stumps. Pujara has looked rock solid while Kohli is smoothly moving towards yet another fifty.
The partnership between Kohli and Pujara is nearing fifty and Australia are once again struggling to break this stand.
Edged but safe! Kohli drives a full ball from Hazlewood down the ground and couple of balls later, the Indian skipper edges a length ball but it lands in front of slip and goes past the fielder for a boundary to third man. India continue to make good progress.
Virat Kohli gets going in style in the final session with a couple of boundaries. He has already signalled his intentions.
WICKET! Oh tragedy for Mayank Agarwal. A sharp bouncer from Pat Cummins and Agarwal gloves it down to the leg side where Tim Paine takes the catch. The batsman is gutted as he walks away but it has been a fine knock.
WHAM! First six of the match. Agarwal is growing in confidence as he sashays down the track to Nathan Lyon and clobbers him over deep midwicket for the first six of the game.
The partnership between Pujara and Agarwal has gone past fifty. Australia desperately need wickets.
The partnership between Agarwal and Pujara is nearing fifty. This partnership could lay the base for a solid score on this wicket.
The partnership between Pujara and Agarwal is in great touch and India are already forcing Australia to be on the defensive.
Mayank Agarwal blasts two fours in Nathan Lyon's one over and he brings up his maiden fifty on debut. What a stellar show and all his wait and frustrations have finally borne fruit. Brilliant.
Pujara also displays his confidence as he blasts a boundary to the deep extra cover. With the pitch now baking under the hot sun, it has become wonderful to bat on.
Mayank Agarwal starts the session in grand style by creaming a full delivery from Josh Hazlewood to the deep extra cover fence. He is nearing a fifty and is looking in great touch.
That is lunch on day 1 of the Boxing Day Test. Mayank Agarwal has given India a steady start and he is looking in great touch. Pujara has also looked solid. Australia need a better start in the second session.
Mitchell Marsh is troubling both Agarwal and Pujara as India look to survive this session without any further hassles.
Mayank Agarwal is looking in great touch and he is on the cusp of scoring a fifty on debut. Mitchell Marsh is struggling for control.
Mitchell Marsh is into the attack and Australia are aiming for one more wicket. Cheteshwar Pujara gets off the mark by cracking a short and wide ball to the square third man fence.
WICKET! Brilliant from Pat Cummins. He has been the best bowler on display in this match and he gets his just reward. A rip-snorter of a bouncer from Cummins, Vihari looks to sway out of the line but is unsure, in the end, he half fends half sways as the ball thuds into the glove and third slip takes a simple catch. Hanuma Vihari c Finch b Cummins 8.
Agarwal is surviving a torrid spell from Pat Cummins but India have held on. Drinks and the first hour has belonged totally to India.
BOING! Pat Cummins bangs a short ball hard on the deck and it hits Hanuma Vihari hard on the helmet. The physio has a look and he goes back. The batsman is safe and is ready to resume.
So far, India have negotiated the first hour brilliantly. If they do not lose a wicket in the first session, then they can dream of laying a solid platform. The grass on the wicket has proven to be a major smokescreen. Actually, there is nothing in this MCG wicket.
Nathan Lyon floats a full and wide delivery outside off, Vihari blasts a cover drive wide of extra cover for a boundary. This is proving to be a great start for India.
Edged but safe! Agarwal chases a full and wide ball from Starc but luckily, the edge flies over Mitchell Marsh at gully and that is the first boundary of the Boxing Day Test match.
So far, Mayank has scored 100% of the runs. All 13 of them. Already, the Australian pacers are trying something different. Changing the angles. Starc is banging it in while Hazlewood is trying to bowl full and getting the ball to swing. So far, nothing is happening.
How is this story to kickstart your festive season? A seven-year-old kid battles a heart disease, survives and is appointed as the co-captain. Here is the story of Archie Schiller. Truly inspiring to start the day.
First runs for Mayank Agarwal in his Test career and it comes via an edge to third man for three runs off Josh Hazlewood. That should make him feel a bit more assured. First runs for India also in this match.
Mitchell Starc has opened the bowling with three slips in place. Hanuma Vihari on strike. Starc bowls three full tosses but the batsman is unable to capitalise. The bounce and pace is not too zippy. Maybe, the grass present is probably to hold the surface.
Here are the playing XIs for both sides
Australia: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine(w/c), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
India: Mayank Agarwal, Hanuma Vihari, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli(c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah
India opt to bat vs Australia. That is a massive toss to win for Virat Kohli. Hanuma Vihari will open the batting with Mayank Agarwal. Ravindra Jadeja replaces Umesh Yadav. Mitchell Marsh replaces Peter Handscomb.
There is a fair bit of grass on this wicket. However, it might not assist the pacers for a longer time as it did in Perth.
There is a fair bit of grass on the MCG wicket. The team that wins the toss might once again hold the decisive advantage. India, one feels, has gotten the team composition right for once.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) December 25, 2018
For one particular person, Christmas has come finally and his prayers have been answered. Mayank Agarwal, after scoring so heavily in the domestic season for the last couple of seasons, finally gets his chance on the international stage. That too, at the MCG. It is a special moment for him.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 25, 2018
Hello and a warm welcome to the Boxing Day Test between India and Australia in Melbourne. This Test is one of the landmark events in the cricketing world and the G is expected to be sold out today. The stakes cannot get higher than this. The series is tied 1-1. One mistake from either India and Australia and the series is gone.