Australia battle to 259/5 at stumps on day one

Melbourne, Dec 26 (IANS) Battling unbeaten 72 from skipper Steven Smith helped Australia reach 259 for five at stumps on day one of the third Test against India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here Friday.

Smith and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin (batting 23) forged a 43-run unbeaten stand to stop a disciplined Indian bowling attack from causing more damage.
After David Warner (0) fell early, Chris Rogers (57) and Shane Watson (52) put Australia on top at lunch. But two wickets each in the following sessions helped the Indians restrict the hosts.
Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami took two wickets each while Ravichandran Ashwin chipped in with one.