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Vijay’s stylish century gives Ind rousing start

Vijay’s stylish century gives Ind rousing start
India became the second visiting team to score more than 300 runs on the first day of a Test match at the Gabba, buoyed by Vijay's fifth hundred in Tests and Ajinkya Rahane's solid 75 not out. Only the formidable West Indies team of 1959-60 had scored more than 300 runs on day one.

Vijay and Rahane's fourth-wicket partnership of 124 was the catalyst for India in seizing the initiative. At stumps, Rahane and Rohit Sharma (batting 26) had forged a 50-run stand to continue India's dominance.

Vijay, who had a few lucky breaks and made full use of them, came out all guns blazing post-tea and quickly reached his first ton on Australian soil. Rahane, after a nervy start, became more assured in the final session. Rohit looked comfortable from the very beginning.

Apart from a brief spell in the second session, Australia's bowlers never troubled the Indians. Even more worrying for the hosts would be the seriousness of the injuries sustained to all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and debutant pacer Josh Hazlewood, both of whom left the field midway during play.

Earlier, a 56-run partnership for the opening wicket between Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan (24) helped India reach 89 for one at lunch. The two openers gave a good account of themselves after captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the brave decision of batting first on winning the toss.

The extra bounce offered by the lively Gabba pitch did cause a few problems to both the batsmen initially. But they adopted a patient and cautious approach to get past the testing times. Vijay, who has a tendency of playing away from his body, lived a charmed life, surviving despite edging several times. He was dropped on 36 by Shaun Marsh at gully off Mitchell Johnson.

Left-hander Dhawan got a start but failed to capitalise, getting out after edging a short and wide delivery from Marsh. Australia did pull things back with the wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara (18) and Virat Kohli (19), both falling to debutant pacer Hazlewood, who impressed on his first day in top-level action. The Australians benefited from a dubious umpiring decision when Ian Gould adjudged Pujara out caught off the bowling of Hazlewood to give him his first Test wicket. TV replays though clearly showed the ball had hit an evasive Pujara's helmet, missing the bat by a fair distance.

Kohli also got a foundation upon which he could have built a strong knock but fell trying to thrash a short and wide delivery. But after these hiccups Vijay took over the reins and there was no looking back for India.

BRIEFSCORES India 311/4 (Vijay 144, Rahane 75*).

Stat-attack day 1

Murali Vijay (144, 213 balls, 4x22) became the first visiting opener to record a century in the first innings of a Test match played at the Gabba in Brisbane

Vijay
became the seventh India opener to post a ton in a Test in Australia, joining Sunil Gavaskar (5), Vinoo Mankad (2), Virender Sehwag (2), VVS Laxman (1), Ravi Shastri (1) and Krishnamachari Srikkanth (1)

Sourav Ganguly
(144 in Dec 2003) and Vijay jointly share a record for the highest individual knock by an Indian in a Test match at Gabba. Sunil Gavaskar, 113 in Dec 1977 and ML Jaisimha, 101 in Jan 1968, are the 2 other India batsmen to register centuries at this venue

With 296 runs at 98.66, Vijay is leading run-getter in the current series, better than Virat Kohli’s tally of 275 (ave.91.66), including two centuries

Ajinkya Rahane recorded his sixth Test fifty, second against Australia. The 75* is his highest Test score against Aus, eclipsing the 72 at Adelaide in the first Test

India amassed 311/4, their first total of 300 on the first day of a Test at Gabba. The said total is the fifth occasion when a score of 300 or more has been registered by India on the first day of a Test in Australia

Dhawan
and Vijay’s 56-run opening stand is India’s first fifty-plus partnership for the first wicket outside India after a long gap of 35 innings

India become the second team to manage 300 on the first day of a Test match at Brisbane after West Indies’ 359/7 in the tied Test way back in 1960-61
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