Team India are firmly in control of their first Test match against Australia after another eventful day of quality cricket that saw 15 wickets fall. The tourists hold a 62-run lead with nine wickets in hand going into tomorrow, after dismissing Australia for just 191.
Team India began the day at 233/6 in their first innings, but the Aussies took absolutely no time to wrap things up. Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc both added two wickets to their tallies to dismiss Team India for 244.
Looking to chase Team India's total of 244, the home side made a slow start and lost both Matthew Wade and Joe Burns before the first break.
Things did not get any easier for Australia in the second session, as Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Steve Smith, Travis Head, and Cameron Green cheaply to leave them in tatters. Marnus Labuschagne and Tim Paine tried to battle back, but the former was sent back to the dressing room by Umesh Yadav just three runs shy of his 50. Yadav then got the better of Pat Cummins in the same over, reducing Australia to 111/7.
Australia's tail frustrates again but Team India still well ahead
But Tim Paine chipped away at Team India's score with some classy stroke-play. He got the Aussies to within 53 runs of the lead with the help of some valuable contributions from Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, and Josh Hazlewood. Australia were finally dismissed on 191, and Ravi Shastri will no doubt have been left frustrated with his team's inability to dismiss the tail cheaply.
The end of Australia's first innings meant a nervy 25 minutes for Team India's two openers. And Australia got the breakthrough they needed in the fourth over. Pat Cummins cleaned up Prithvi Shaw in a dismissal that would have given the Indian opener a sense of deja vu. Shaw's wicket brought Jasprit Bumrah onto the crease. And the pacer did his job as nightwatchman to ensure no more wickets fell in the final 2.5 overs of the day.
It was a sublime display of bowling from the Indian quartet, who never gave Australia any breathing room. Had their efforts been complimented by those in the field, Tim Paine's side would have been staring at a much bigger deficit right now. But Team India are still very much on top in this test match. And if they can manage a score of 250+ in their second innings tomorrow, they will fancy the chances of taking a 1-0 lead in the four match series.Published 18 Dec 2020, 17:53 IST