Australia vs India: 1st Test- Who Said What

Australia vs India: 1st Test- Who Said What

Australia's lower order made a meal of the Indian bowling.

Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

By the close of play on the fourth day of the opening Test at Adelaide Oval, India were in a strong position as they were required to defend more than 200 runs with only six Australian wickets to pick. In the end, the Aussies put up a strong fight and made a meal of the Indian bowling. But India somehow managed to prevail and won by 31 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Marsh put his head down

Shaun Marsh and Travis Head started as the overnight batsmen, however, Ishant Sharma got rid of Head in the 57th over. At that point in time, the visiting team needed 208 runs. Thereafter, skipper Tim Paine and Marsh tried their hearts out, especially the latter, who scored 60 runs from 166 deliveries with the help of five boundaries. Jasprit Bumrah got his prized wicket.

Paine also didn’t throw in the towel and he frustrated the Indian bowlers to score 41 runs from 73 balls with the help of four boundaries. With three wickets left and 136 runs to get, the match was well and truly in favour of the visiting team. But Australia’s lower order had other ideas and their batsmen gave India a run for their money and almost denied India a victory.

Lower order dominates

Nothing was expected from the likes of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon, but they soared above expectations as the Indian bowlers kept searching for a breathing space. Cummins showed immense patience and notched 28 runs from 121 balls with three boundaries. Starc was a tad more attacking and he scored 28 runs from 44 balls with a couple of fours.

While Mohammed Shami nipped out Starc, Bumrah dismissed Cummins. The Aussies were still required with 64 runs and only a couple of results were being predicted. Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood gave the Indians a mighty scare and put on 32 for the last wicket. Fortunately for India, Ravi Ashwin dismissed Hazlewood for 13 to bring the curtains down on the match.

Tim Paine, the Australia captain, said

It’s pretty shattering really. Proud of the fight from the lower order. A well-deserved win for India. We thought we could win, no doubt about that, but our batters couldn’t bat for long enough with our tail. We saw how the pitch is playing and told ourselves we are gonna dig deep, but unfortunately, myself, Travis and Shaun couldn’t bat long as long as we should have. That’s (Pujara’s innings) the difference between the two sides. Really hard to get him (Pujara) out. We gotta cope with the belief that we can win this Test series, we just need someone in our top six to go big. My finger is fine.

Virat Kohli, the Indian captain, said

(About the close finish) These things happen in Tests, ups and downs through a game. You need to just stay calm. Odds were stacked against them. They fought really well but we executed our plans well and got that last wicket which were intending to get. (Whether he felt the heat) I wouldn’t say I was cool as ice but you just don’t try to show it. Jasprit was getting worked up in his last over but I just told him to relax. Super proud (of the bowlers), to have four bowlers and take 20 wickets is a great achievement. Something that we haven’t done in the past. Shows us that if the batsmen step up regularly, we will be gunning for a win in every Test match. Collectively we were the better team and deserved to win. (On Pujara’s knock) Priceless from Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day 1.

His grit and determination brought us back in it. We always knew that runs on the board would make the home side tentative. Any lead was gold and we got 15. In the second innings again, he and Rahane batted well. (Whether he thought 323 was enough) I think our lower middle order and lower order could have done better. We could have added another 30-35 runs more which could have taken the game totally beyond Australia. So these are things that we have to think about going to Perth but if someone had told me before the series that I would be 1-0 up as soon we started the series, I would have taken it with both hands.

Cheteshwar Pujara, the Man of the Match, said

Most important thing for me was the preparation. When I was back home, I knew what to expect from Australian pitches. The hundred was special. Ultimately winning the Test, credit goes to the bowlers. Getting a 15-run lead was a psychological advantage. Self-belief from the teammates was what made it possible. Always back my ability, have got enough experience playing for the Indian team. As a batting unit, we have a lot to improve on. We learn from our mistakes, and played much better in the second innings. Means a lot. He’s someone who started coaching me when I was 8 years. He would be a proud dad.

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