Australia’s morning demolition job of the Indian top order didn’t just tick the scoreboard over – it also set the speed guns alight.
The hosts reduced India to 4-56 at lunch as Josh Hazlewood took two wickets, with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins jumping in with one apiece.
All four Indian batsmen were caught behind the wicket after slashing their bats at wide deliveries.
But while Australia’s plan impressed, so did their pace.
According to statisticians CricViz, the pace trio’s 142.78km/h average speed was the quickest of the year:
In the first 25 overs today, the Australian seamers' average speed was 142.78kph. That makes it the fastest new ball spell of the year in any Test. #AUSvIND
— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) December 6, 2018
Australia reduced India to 9-250 at stumps to conclude a stifling day that saw temperatures in Adelaide reach 40 degrees.
It took a screamer of a catch by Usman Khawaja at gully off the bowling of Cummins to dismiss superstar Virat Kohli for three.
But the Indian captain’s wicket was symptomatic of a wider tendency by India’s batsmen to play at deliveries they would have been better off leaving alone.
DARREN LEHMANN: Mitchell Starc responsible for Aussies’ one failure
Openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay fell into a similar trap and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane’s dismissal was the worst of the lot.
Australian bowling coach David Saker confirmed it was a premeditated plan for Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc to pitch it up and lure India’s batsmen into false shots.
“We got the wickets the way we thought we might get the wickets,” Saker said on Channel 7.
“We’ve bowled a fuller length and some bouncers to get them back in the crease … it is really encouraging that they are swinging the ball.”
England great Michael Vaughan, commentating on Fox Sports, bemoaned Rahane’s “shocking” dismissal and said the Indians had fallen into an obvious trap.
“Here at Adelaide Oval, you’ve just got to see out the first session and get the bowlers into their second spells,” Vaughan said.
“They’ve just gifted Australia four cheap wickets.
“History tells you just get through the first session. It’s 30-odd degrees heat, the pitch will get better, the ball will get softer … all three players have got out in an identical fashion.”