The day is finally here as India and Australia took to the field on Thursday to play the 1st test. The pitch in Nagpur was in focus as there was talk of spin being the flavor of the entire series. Australia came prepared for one man and that is Ravichandran Ashwin. The 36 year old has good numbers at home and has been a thorn in the flesh of many a teams visiting India in the past.
The story as it happened –
Australia won the toss and chose to bat first, with the pitch expected to aid the slower bowlers as the game goes on. Todd Murphy was handed his debut cap as he became the 465th test player for Australia. For the home team it was the debut for KS Bharat the 29 year old wicket keeper and batter from Andhra. There was also a debut for 32 year old Surya Kumar Yadav who replaced Shubman Gill in the XI.
Ashwin and Labuschagne’s gamesmanship –
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma got in the left arm spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. It took Ashwin nearly 20 overs to get the ball in his hand the magician off spinner was ready for battle.
Ashwin came round the wicket right from the word go, as he had Smith and Labuschagne looking circumspect. Ashwin who is known for his mind games mentioned the turn away to KS Bharat. This caught the attention of Labuschagne who was seeing Ashwin some lip service. The gamesmanship between two was well and truly on.
Siraj and Shami strike first –
Mohammad Siraj was given the new ball along with Shami and the 28 year old was the first to get stuck in. Siraj bowled one on a length as Khawaja looked to play down the wrong line and was caught out plumb LBW. The umpire Nitin Menon gave it not out but Rohit Sharma went up for DRS and the decision came in India’s favor. Warner, saw his off stump fly when he got an edge off Shami’s ball to be dismissed for yet another low score.
Smith and Labuschagne rebuild before Jadeja strikes twice –
At 2/2 Smith and Labuschagne joined forces to build the Australian innings. The pair added 82 for the 3rd wicket in over 33 overs of batting. The pair was cautious but did not let the bad balls get away. Post lunch, Jadeja had Labuschagne stumped for 49 off 121 balls. The Queenslander got his foot dragged out for a while as Bharat whipped off the bails. Renshaw was out LBW first ball as DRS decision came back as Umpire’s call as Australia were reduced to 84/4 in no time.