pm2 1

India take command of Adelaide Test against Australia

India took a vital lead of 53 runs against Australia on the second day of the first Test on Friday.
India took a vital lead of 53 runs against Australia on the second day of the first Test on Friday

Ravichandran Ashwin claimed 4 wickets and Umesh Yadav took 3 as India took command of the opening Test of the four-match series against Australia on the second day of the Adelaide Test, extending their overall lead to 62 runs at stumps. India were 9/1 in their second innings, having lost opening batsman Prithvi Shaw for cheap once again, but not before taking a vital 53-run lead in the first innings.

In what turned out to be a dominating display by the Indian fast bowlers as well as the specialist spinner Ashwin, the visiting side produced a breathtaking display of bowling, tying up the Australian batsmen with disciplined line and lengths and intimidating them with their attacking fields which resulted in the Australian team being bowled out for 191.  

For the hosts, who had resumed the day hoping to produce a big batting show, the horrors of the 2018/19 series came back to hound them as their batsmen were unable to breathe easy and score with any kind of authority against the Indian bowlers. The big guns in Steve Smith (1) and Marnus Labuschagne (47) totalled only 48 runs between them, as Ashwin and Umesh helped India take full control of the opening Test. 

However, it was a rearguard action led by Australia captain Tim Paine who scored 73 not out and added about 80 to 90 runs with the final four batsmen which helped the hosts reduce the deficit and not allow India to take a big lead in the first innings. 

Earlier in the day, it was India who were on the back foot as they were bowled out from 233/6 at the time of resumption to 244 all-out. The new Australian pair of Matthew Wade and Joe Burns did well to start on a cautious note and keep India at bay, but it was anyway going to be difficult to survive in the middle for long with Jasprit Bumrah in fray.

Bumrah began with trapping Wade leg-before and and soon after accounted for Burns, dismissing both the Australian batsmen for identical scores of 8. With the best Australian pair of Steve Smith and Labuschagne in the middle, all hopes were pinned on them, while the Indians looked for a breakthrough to make sure that Australia did not get away with a strong partnership in the middle. 

Smith was slowly starting and was looking to play a big knock when Ashwin jolted the Australian side, getting the right-handed batting maestro to edge one to Ajinkya Rahane at the first slip. The hosts were indeed rattled with their best batsmen back in the hut as soon after Travis Head (7) played one straight back to Ashwin which reduced Australia to 65/4. 

The problems compounded for the hosts when debutant all-rounder Cameron Green was dismissed for 11 and the best among their tailender batsmen, vice-captain Pat Cummins, was bounced out for a duck. This was when Paine teamed up with the likes of Mitchell Starc (15), Nathan Lyon (10), and Josh Hazlewood (8) to reduce what would have been a huge first-innings deficit for the Australian team. Paine added as many as 79 runs with the three tailender batsmen before the Australian innings was closed at 191.

WITH about half an hour’S play left in the day, India began with their regular openers Shaw and Mayank Agarwal. After seeing off the initial few deliveries, Cummins got one to nip back into Shaw who had had troubles against the delivery that moved into him. The right-handed opener was castled for 4.