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India vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1: 5 Talking Points

Ravindra Jadeja
Ravindra Jadeja. (Photo Source: BCCI)

At the end of the opening day’s play of the first Test between India and Australia at the Maharashtra Cricket Association ground in Pune, India has their noses on after bagging 9 Australian wickets in the day’s play conceding 256 runs. Despite the pitch being a rank-turner, Australia applied themselves pretty well and looked in complete control of proceedings before the spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja wrecked the visitors with successive wickets in crucial junctures of the game.

Umesh Yadav was the pick of the Indian bowlers who finished with four wickets. He bowled his heart out and provided India with the much-needed breakthrough by dismissing David Warner after the opening duo put on an 83 runs partnership. He came back to dismiss Matthew Wade, Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefee to finish with exceptional figures of 4/32 in 12 overs. The Aussies battled hard in the final few overs of the day as the 10th wicket duo of Michell Starc and Josh Hazlewood shared an unbeaten 51 runs stand for the final wicket

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That said here we have a look at Talking Points from the opening day’s play

1. Youngster Matt Renshaw impresses one and all with his gutsy knock

Southpaw Matt Renshaw who made his Test debut very recently in the final test against South Africa looked in very good nick during his innings of 68 of 156 deliveries, an innings which contained 10 hits to the fence and a solitary six. Despite being beaten by the Indian spinners several times he applied himself to perfection and did all the hard work.

But just prior to the lunch interval Renshaw went off the field due to a stomach bug and it didn’t go down well with the former Australian cricketers. He was criticised by former captains Allan Border and Michael Clarke. He again came back to the crease at the fall of Peter Handscomb’s wicket and looked settled from the word go. He played some delightful shots en route to his 68 before perishing to Ravichandran Ashwin in the 79th over. It was a good display by a batsman who was playing in Indian conditions for the very first time in his career.

2. Umesh Yadav’s sensational spell

Fast bowler Umesh Yadav was the wrecker-in-chief as far as the hosts were concerned as he finished with exceptional figures of 4/32 in 12 overs. He was the one who provided the hosts with the much-needed breakthrough when DAVID Warner and Matt Renshaw was going great guns. In the 28th over, the fast bowler castled David Warner.

He returned in the 2nd spell to remove Matthew Wade, Nathan Lyon and Steve o’ Keefe in quick succession to reduce the visitors to 205/9. Wade was a tad unlucky to be given out by the onfield umpire as the replays showed the ball was just clipping the side of the leg stump.

3. Ravindra Jadeja bags two wickets with straight deliveries

Jaddu has been an exceptional bowler in Indian conditions and once again the left-arm spinner proved he is one of the very best in the business. Despite the pitch offering enough assistance to the spinners, the spin trio was unable to provide them with the breakthroughs. Jadeja who is always lethal with his straighter deliveries, especially on a turning pitch, undid Peter Handscomb with a terrific arm ball in the 60th over of the day. It struck him plumb in front and there was no question in the umpire’s mind.

His 2nd wicket came when he dismissed all-rounder Mitchell Marsh with a similar sort of a delivery. He set him up with two balls that turned sharply and then unleashed the straighter one which went and thudded onto his stumps. Yet again it was struck right in front and the umpire had no hesitation and ruled the decision in favour of the bowling side.

4. Ravichandran Ashwin bags two crucial wickets

The Indian spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin bowled pretty well despite being not able to pick wickets in his opening spell. He wasn’t lucky enough to get the edge as the batsman missed several deliveries. He finally came into the fray in the 61st over when he removed rival captain Steve Smith with a flighted delivery outside the off stump. Smith stepped out the crease and hit it straight to Virat Kohli in the silly mid-on region.

His 2nd wicket came in the fag end of the day when he removed set opener Matt Renshaw with a beautiful off break which turned sharply. Renshaw went for the expansive drive and all he managed was to give a simple catch to Ajinkya Rahane in 1st slip.

5. Mitchell Starc chips in with a quickfire half-century

Left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc stitched together an unbeaten 53 runs partnership with Josh Hazlewood for the final wicket as the southpaw smashed his way to 57 in 58 deliveries, hitting 5 fours and 3 huge sixes in the process. He started taking on the Indian bowlers when he realised he was running out of partners and some quick runs were required. He smashed Ashwin for a huge six over the mid-wicket region and added a couple of fours and a six of Jadeja in the very next over.

He will look to continue his good work even on the 2nd day morning and add as much to the overnight Australian total.

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