Thanks to his knock of 77 off 112 balls, Mayank Agarwal became only the third Indian opener after Sunil Gavaskar and Prithvi Shaw to score two fifties in the first three career innings at the opening position. The 27-year-old also became the eighth Indian opener to have scored at least 2 50+ scores in Australia.
India were off to a rocky start as KL Rahul was dismissed for just 9 after he edged Josh Hazlewood to first slip in the second over. This was the sixth opening pairing for India in 12 overseas Tests since January 2018, and the resultant opening partnership only averages 21.56 in 23 overseas innings.
However, Agarwal was not bothered by the dismissal as he stitched together a good partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara. Agarwal settled down and stroked a couple of cover drives. He looked solid in comparison to his Karnataka team-mate KL Rahul and along with Pujara, drove the Indian run-rate forward.
Agarwal was cautious in the first session but post lunch, he decided to attack the Australia bowlers and was able to bring up his fifty thanks to a boundary off Mitchell Starc. He continued to play his natural game even after reaching his half century and was ultimately caught in the deep for 77 off the bowling of Nathan Lyon.