India came back strongly after being pushed on the back-foot by yet another Steven Smith century as they restricted Australian innings to a score of 300.
At one point of time Australia, with their score at 144-1, were comfortably looking at a score in excess of 400 but the debutant, Kuldeep Yadav had plans of his own. Aussie batsmen failed to pick his variations as he fell one wicket short of registering a fifer on debut. Indian openers were tasked with negating a solitary over before stumps which they did comfortably to ensure that India remained unharmed at stumps on day one.
Strong start for the Aussies
Earlier, Australia won the toss and wasted no time in deciding to bat first. Australia named an unchanged squad while India brought in Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in place of Virat Kohli and Ishant Sharma. Exclusion of Kohli meant that Rahane became the 33rd captain to lead India in Tests. Warner was dropped the very first ball of the Australian innings by Karun Nair in the slip cordon off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Umesh Yadav, soon, provided some relief by bowling Matt Renshaw (1) out through the gate between his bat and pad. Renshaw’s was the only wicket India managed in the morning session of day’s play as Captain Smith along with Warner took Australia to a dominant total of 131-1. While Warner scratched his way through, Smith was at his sublime pinnacle. India had no answers as the Australian Captain piled up his 20th Test Ton (his 7th against India and 3rd in the series).
Kuldeep's magical spell
Warner, too, completed his 24th Test fifty before being dismissed by debutant Kuldeep Yadav for 56. A mini-collapse ensued as Australia lost Marsh, Handscomb and Maxwell quickly which left the visitors at 178-5. Marsh (4) gloved one back to the keeper while Handscomb (8) and Maxwell (8) were defeated by the guiles of the debutant, Kuldeep Yadav who had them castled.
— Hitchy (@hitchwriter) March 25, 2017
Ashwin applied finishing touch to an already brilliant session for India by having the dangerous Steve Smith, caught in the slips by Rahane for a well-made 117. Australia went to Tea with their score at 208-6. Matthew Wade and Patt Cummins (21) played some counter-attacking cricket as they put together a 37-run stand which was finally ended when Cummins handed a dolly to Kuldeep, who made no mistake at the bowler’s end. O’Keefe (8) provided some support to Wade but was found short of the crease as the substitute, Shreyas Iyyer, fired in a rocket from square-leg to bring about his downfall.
While his tail-end partners were stumbling, Wade (57) completed his 4th Test fifty after a wait of four long years. His resistance was finally ended by Ravi Jadeja as he was bowled in an attempt to sweep a drifting delivery which turned away slightly to kiss the bails. Bhuvneshwar came back with the second new ball to wrap the Australian innings up by having Nathan Lyon caught by a diving Pujara at short mid-wicket for a resistive 13 of 28 balls. Australians ended their effort at 300.
India need to bat well tomorrow, to gain a grasp over this match and the coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy which is currently in possession of Australia.
Brief Scores: Australia 300 (Smith 117, Wade 57, Kuldeep Yadav 4-68) against India 0-0.