Australia was bowled out for just 177 on the opening day of the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with Ravindra Jadeja taking 5/47, despite managing brief counterattacks throughout the day.
By the end of the day, India, powered by Rohit Sharma’s 56*, had further solidified their commanding advantage. The Indian captain opened the innings with a flurry of boundaries by taking advantage of a tonne of loose deliveries from his opponent, Pat Cummins. It made it possible for KL Rahul, his companion, to adapt as well. Even when up against the two offspinners, the pair was able to maintain that. Toward the conclusion of the day, Rohit reached his 15th Test fifty, but Australia was able to respond when Todd Murphy took a return catch of KL Rahul at 20, breaking a 76-run opening stand.
As India finished strong and made sure Jadeja’s efforts with the ball were not in vain, Rohit and the nightwatchman R Ashwin stopped the remaining deliveries.
Before Jadeja made his presence known on the field in his comeback game earlier in the day, India had been held at bay for the majority of the first session thanks to an 82-run partnership between Marnus Labuschagne (49) and Steve Smith (37).
Prior to trapping Matt Renshaw LBW on the first delivery from outside the wicket with the batter playing all over a ball turning in, he initially had Lauschagne overbalance while attempting to drive and had him stumped. After hitting Axar Patel for three boundaries in one over, Steve Smith briefly started to counterattack. However, Jadeja quickly sucked him in and bowled him. He beat him on the inside edge with a straighter edge.
However, a counterattacking Alex Carey and a steadfast Peter Handscomb stopped the slide once more. Carey scored seven boundaries in his 33-ball 36 thanks to a variety of reverse sweeps, sweeps, and drives. The hit, though, ultimately led to his demise as well, as he pulled R Ashwin onto the field, giving the offspinner his 450th Test wicket.
After settling down as the innings went on, Ashwin was able to set up Pat Cummins superbly for a catch at slip before Jadeja had Todd Murphy LBW for a duck. In comparison to how they had positioned themselves in the first session, they lost six wickets for 98 runs throughout the session.
Australia chose to bat, but the fast bowlers of India quickly eliminated their openers. Usman Khawaja was ruled out on review after Mohammad Siraj struck him with his first ball, striking him on the front pad with a full ball. The next wicket was that of David Warner, who misplayed a Mohammed Shami pitch that was nipping in and lost his offstump.
On the much-hyped dry pitch, Australia’s challenge appeared to be teetering off at 2/2 without a ball being bowled by a spinner. Although the spinners ultimately gained some turn as well, the low bounce was the most obvious aspect of the first session, and Australia’s two finest batsmen were well prepared to handle it.
While Smith was kept silent for a stretch of 26 balls on 6, Labuschagne got his innings off to a fast start, managing a couple of early boundaries. Smith was at his most tense during this time, losing a few games and narrowly edging Axar Patel before being caught by Virat Kohli at slip. He broke out of that slump by chipping Ravindra Jadeja over midwicket for a boundary before the pair went on to become more at ease against spin.
Despite playing mostly from the backfoot and a couple close misses off the inside edge, both batters were able to keep the dangerous straight pitches out. But despite everything, the team kept running against strange boundaries. As Australia rallied back before slipping once more, Labuschagne managed eight of it in the session to be undefeated on 47. He even got the better of R Ashwin early on by paddling him away for a boundary.
Short scores: Australia leads India 77/1 (Rohit Sharma 56*) by 100 runs after being all out at 177 (Marnus Labuschagne 49; R Jadeja 5/47)
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