Rogers, Watson out for fifties in 3rd India Test
26 December 2014, 09:53
Melbourne - Chris Rogers and Shane Watson scored half-centuries as Australia were made to work after winning the toss on the opening day of the third Test against India in Melbourne Friday.
Rogers hit his third straight half-century of the series and Watson made 52 in a 115-run stand before they were dismissed five minutes apart in the hour after lunch.
At tea, Australia were 174 for three with skipper Steve Smith on 23 and Shaun Marsh not out 32.
The pair had put on 59 runs off 131 balls for the fourth wicket with debutant Joe Burns the next batsman to come in.
Rogers, who scored 116 in last season's corresponding Boxing Day Test against England, pushed at paceman Mohammed Shami and was snapped up behind by M.S. Dhoni for 57.
Watson followed six balls later in off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin's seventh over with an injudicious sweep shot and was out leg before wicket for 52 in 89 balls.
Watson was let off on 37 nearing lunch when Shikhar Dhawan fumbled him at second slip at the third attempt off Shami.
It was Watson's 23rd half-century in Tests with just a conversion rate of four centuries in his 55th Test.
It was the 27th time in 102 Test innings Watson had been dismissed leg before wicket.
David Warner, who scored twin tons in the opening Adelaide Test, was out in the second over of the innings.
Warner only lasted six balls before he played across Umesh Yadav and edged to Dhawan at third slip for a duck.
India made two changes from the team that lost the second Brisbane Test, with debutant Lokesh Rahul and Shami coming into the side.
Rahul, who replaced Rohit Sharma, was selected to bat at number six, while speedster Varun Aaron made way for Shami.
Paceman Ryan Harris returned to Australia's pace attack at the expense of Mitchell Starc, while debutant Burns was chosen to bat at number six for hamstring-victim Mitchell Marsh.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni's tourists trail 2-0 in the four-match series after defeats in Adelaide and Brisbane, and have not won at the MCG for 33 years.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!