India took one nil lead against the Aussies in the four-match Border Gavaskar test series played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur. The Australian batting lineup crumbled before the Indian spinners in the second innings, as they could not even get past the hundred-run mark. Australian resistance in the second innings ended at a meagre 91 runs, handing India a victory of innings and 132 runs.
Earlier, Indian bowlers worked the spin magic to restrict the Aussies to 177 in the first innings. Jadeja took a fifer, and Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets, While Marnus Labushagne became the top scorer for the Aussies with 49 runs added to his name. In response to the Aussie first innings, India posted a humongous total of 400 runs thanks to a well-made ton by captain Rohit Sharma. Leading from the front, Sharma hit 15 fours and two sixes before surrendering his wicket to Pat Cummins. Sharma’s knock of 120 runs was backed by half-centuries by Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. They scored 70 and 84, respectively. At one stage, India was at a mediocre stage of 165/5 as star batters Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav failed in quick successions. Then the rescue mission came from bowling All-rounders Jadeja and Patel as they smashed Aussie bowlers all over the park. Australian bowler Todd Murphy had a dream debut as he grabbed seven wickets. He was the only Aussie bowler who gave a tough time to the Indian batters whilst the others struggled to find line and length. The second-best bowler Pat Cummins was only able to take two wickets.
Australia’s second innings started on day three and ended even before the tea session. Openers once again failed Australia as they lost both openers in quick succession. Steven Smith was the only Aussie batsman to cross the twenty-run mark. He scored an unbeaten 25, but the continuous fall of wickets on the other end handed India an innings victory. Ravindra Jadeja was elected as the man of the match with his stellar performance with both bat and ball. He took seven wickets and crushed the Aussie batting, whilst his half-century with the bat helped India reach the 400 mark.
The second test of the four-test series of the Border Gavaskar trophy will be held on 17 February in Arun Jaitley( Feroz Shah Kotla) stadium. India’s playing eleven is likely to be unchanged, whereas a considerable amount of personnel change can be expected at the Australian camp. Like Nagpur, the Feroz Shah Kotla pitch also favours spin bowling, and Australia may play with three spinners to take advantage of the pitch conditions.
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