Thursday, 23 March, 2023

Spinners shine as India crush Australia

Spinners shine as India crush Australia

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Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja eviscerated Australia in just over two hours to hand India a crushing innings-and-132-run victory Saturday inside three days of the opening Test.

The hosts took a commanding first-innings lead of 223 in Nagpur, then skittled out Australia for 91 in an extended second session to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Steve Smith was left to survey the ruins on 25 after Ashwin, who took five wickets in the innings and eight in the match, triggered a complete batting collapse inside a single session.

Debutant spinner Todd Murphy was the tourists' sole saving grace, adding two more wickets on Saturday morning to return figures of 7-124.

Murphy, who on Friday became the youngest Australian spinner to bag five in his first Test, bowled Jadeja for 70 early in the morning session to end an 88-run eighth-wicket partnership with Axar.

Jadeja, a left-hander making his international return from a knee injury, added just four to his overnight 66.

But Axar stood firm in his effort to bat Australia out of the game and found an able ally in number 10 Shami, who made the most of a dropped catch on six.

Shami smashed two fours and three sixes to boost the total before becoming Murphy's seventh wicket.

Earlier, Rohit's powerful knock of 120 had put the hosts in the driver's seat after they bundled out Australia for 177 on day one of the opener. The second Test begins Friday in New Delhi.