In a remarkable performance, India turned the tables on the first day of final test at Dharamsala after Australia amassed 130 runs for the loss of one wicket in the first session. Falling to debutant Kuldeep Yadav, who is playing in place of injured skipper Virat Kohli, the visitors folded at 300 after they chose to bat first winning the crucial toss.
Thanks largely to Steve Smith’s another century, third of the series, Australia were able to reach the psychological 300-mark after the pace-spin Yadav duo ran through their top and middle order post lunch.
Resuming from a solid 130/1, Warner, who rode on luck and edges in his 56, became debutant spinner Kuldeep Yadav’s first dismissal.
The scoreboard looked good enough at 153 for two wickets, but Shaun Marsh, who played perhaps his best innings saving test for Australia in Ranchi, played a missive handling his wicket to the other Yadav.
This was pacer Umesh Yadav’s second wicket of the match after he had struck in the second over cleaning up in-form opener Matthew Renshaw for 1.
Two other Ranchi ‘heroes’ in the visitor’s camp, Peter Handscomb and Glenn Maxwell, got out to Kuldeep Yadav in a same fashion after playing a near similarly reckless innings, scoring 8 each. India was back in the game and how soon. Australia from 144/1 were now shaky at 178/5.
Both the batsman had played a crucial role in the last test. While Maxwell scored his maiden test hundred in the first innings, Handscomb, along with Shaun Marsh, was pivotal in stopping India going 2-1 up in the series.
But the big wicket was prized by Ashwin just seven balls before the tea break. The big in-form Steve Smith was caught brilliantly by his opposite number, Ajinkya Rahane, after scoring another brilliant hundred.
With his 111 today, Smith has now scored 482 runs in the series.
The Aussies, though, held firm for some time, mainly due to brisk 57 by Mathew Wade before Kuldeep Yadav dismissed Patrick Cummins taking his fourth wickets of the inning. The Wade-Cummins, for once looked like taking Australia to a fighting total past 300.
The tail soon folded as Jadeja cleaned up Wade, his first wicket of the test, bringing in Indian innings for just an over to face before the close of play.
The Australians will surely be disappointed with themselves for throwing up after starting so well.
AUSTRALIA – 300 all out INDIA – 0/0 (1 over)
Steve Smith 111
Mathew Wade 57
David Warner 56
Kuldeep Yadav 4/68 (23)
Umesh Yadav 2/69 (15)