Boxing Day Test at MCG: Ed Cowan, Umesh Yadav steal the show on Day 1

Tags: Edward James McKenzie Cowan, Umesh Yadav, India, Australia, India tour of Australia 2011-12, Australia v India 1st Test at Melbourne - Dec 26-30, 2011, Cricwaves Columns

Published on: Dec 26, 2011

Scorecard | Commentary | Graphs

Cricwaves looks at the performances of the heroes of Day 1 - Umesh Yadav and Ed Cowan.

Umesh Yadav

He is one of the fastest bowler India has produced in a long long time and he knows how to use it to his advantage. Umesh Yadav, who is playing his first Test on the Australian tracks, rattled the hosts' top order, while India's pace spearhead Zaheer Khan was struggling to find his rhythm.

Introduced in the eighth over as the first bowling change, Yadav troubled Australian openers David Warner and Ed Cowan straightaway with his pace and bounce. He consistenly bowled short and good length deliveries.

And he tasted blood in the beginning of the 14th over when he dismissed Warner for 37 with a pacy short delivery which cramped him up for room. The result was Warner gloving his pull down the legside to the Indian Skipper.

In his consecutive over, Umesh Yadav saw Shaun Marsh walking back for a duck. The left-handed Marsh was lured to a juicy full delivery going wide across the stumps, and he drove it casually on the up, only to find it being caught by Virat Kohli at backward point.

Yadav's third victim was none other than Ricky Ponting, and it was a deja vu for the former Australian skipper. While it was Ishant Sharma and Rahul Dravid in 2008, it was Yadav and Laxman this time. A short ball from the Vidarbha pacer that struck high on Ponting's bat flew to Laxman in second slip. But all this happened after Ponting scored a 94-ball 62 runs. Nevertheless it was a big breakthrough for India at that stage as Ponting to regain his golden touch after a long time! Umesh certainly produced a gem to get rid of the great Australian.

Emergence and rise of Yadav is certainly a good news for Team India. It remains to be seen if he can be consistent with the promise he has shown.

Ed Cowan

Another player who impressed with his talent was Ed Cowan, who made his debut for Australia after getting the Baggy Green from Dean Jones. Starting cautiously, the left-handed Cowan was playing a second fiddle to Warner, who was playing his flamboyant self. Cowan, who has been enjoying a purple-patch, made sure he did not squandered the opportunity.

En route to his knock of 68 runs, Cowan played some lovely drives but not at the cost of risking his wicket. He became 18th Australian player to score a half-century on his debut. He along with Ponting added 113 runs for the third wicket. He then added 46 runs with Clarke for the fourth wicket. Cowan guarded his wicket and kept one end intact as wickets kept tumbling from the other end.

His vigil came to end when Indian spinner R Ashwin foxed him with a drifter. The left hander seemed to have edged a delivery that came in with the arm and Dhoni completed the catch though replays suggested that there was no edge. Cowan did what was expected of him and as Simon Katich, Australia discard, put it: "Ed Cowan is definitely ready for Test cricket. He's made a lot of runs this year, he deserves his chance, and he's got a big future ahead of him."

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