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Rewind: How India strangled the Aussies in Chennai

Last updated on: February 27, 2013 08:07 IST

Rewind: How India strangled the Aussies in Chennai

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India won the opening match in the four-Test series against Australia by eight wickets on Tuesday.

Captain MS Dhoni and spinner R Ashwin were the wreckers-in-chief, as the Aussies were outplayed on a dustbowl of a pitch through the five days of the Test.

Rediff.com looks back at moments from the memorable victory.

- Scorecard

Playing his 100th Test, Harbhanjan Singh led the Indian team out of the pavilion on Day 1 of the Test.

However, in no way did the match prove memorable for the 'Turnbanator'.

Given the conditions, which were conducive for spinners, it was a quiet match for Bhajji, who managed to claim only three wickets in the match.


Image: Harbhajan Singh leads the Indian team out on the field on Day 1 of the 1st Test
Photographs: BCCI
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Australia captain Michael Clarke put up a dogged performance in the first innings. With his team tottering at 126 for 3 on Day 1, he managed to hold the innings together.

Clarke completed his 100 and surpassed the run-scoring feat of Australia batting great Don Bradman after completing 7,000 Test runs during the first Test.


Image: Michael Clarke celebrates his century in the 1st innings
Photographs: BCCI
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Clarke was unable to stitch decent partnerships with top-order batsman, but debutant Moises Henriques more than justified his selection.

The duo stuck around and frustrated the Indian bowlers. They stole runs at will and plundered the odd boundary.

Henriques (68) made a memorable start to his Test career with a fighting fifty, but his search for his maiden ton was brought to a grinding halt by R Ashwin. Henriques was trapped by Ashwin, who eventually ended the first innings as India's most successful bowler with figures of 7-103.


Image: Australia's Moises Henriques acknowledges the crowd on completing his 50
Photographs: BCCI
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Australia were bowled out for 380 on Day 2, a decent score, following Clarke's fight back.

But India began on a torrid note as openers Virender Sehwag and Murali Vijay (2) departed in close succession.

Both were dismissed by James Pattinson, who bowled in small spells on the day.

Image: Australia's James Pattinson celebrates after dismissing M Vijay
Photographs: BCCI
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Cheteshwar Pujara then joined forces with Sachin Tendulkar to keep India on a safe path. The duo played with patience and put on a 93-run stand to pull India out of their early mess.

In the process, Tendulkar brought up his 67th half-century in Test cricket and achieved another milestone by surpassing 7,000 runs on home soil.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: BCCI
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Virat Kohli played delightfully and entertained the crowd. His positive intent was visible from the outset. He went on to build a good partnership with the Master Blaster and struck a delectable half century.

Following Tendulkar's dismissal early on Day 3, captain MS Dhoni joined hands with Kohli and plundered the Aussie attack.


Image: Virat Kohli plays a shot
Photographs: BCCI
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Right from the outset both batsmen took to the attack against the Aussies. Dhoni's blistering stroke-play saw him complete his first double century. At the other end, Kohli went on to score a hundred.

Dhoni (224) produced a stunning counter-attacking knock to notch up his double hundred, his sixth Test century overall, while Kohli recorded his fourth in longer format.

The duo added 128 runs for the fifth wicket before off-spinner Nathan Lyon provided the breakthrough picking up Kohli.


Image: MS Dhoni on completing his double ton
Photographs: BCCI
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How India strangled the Aussies in Chennai

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Thanks to Dhoni's impressive innings, India grabbed a handy first innings lead of 192-runs.

On a wicket that looked like a mini tennis claycourt, it was the spinners who played their trick against the opposition batsmen. R Ashwin once again produced the goods, while he was ably supported by Harbhajan and Ravindra Jadeja.


Image: Ravichandra Ashwin celebrates after picking up a wicket
Photographs: BCCI
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The trio exploited the deteriorating conditions well, even as the Aussies found it tough to read the spinners.

Opener David Warner curbed his natural instincts to score a patient 23 off 61 balls. He helped Michael Clarke put on 36 runs for the fourth wicket before getting a drifter from Harbhajan and was caught plumb in-front.

Image: David Warner walks back after his dismissal
Photographs: BCCI
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Clarke showed some resistance. He played decently to see out the second session on Day 4.

However, he was soon dismissed after tea when he was trapped on the back foot by Ashwin.

Then Henriques (81) and Nathan Lyon put on a fight in the closing overs of the day to help the Aussies take a 40-run lead on Day 4.


Image: Michael Clarke and Mitchell Johnson chat during a drinks break
Photographs: BCCI
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On Day 5, Australia managed to add barely 10 runs to their overnight score. Jadeja picked the last Aussie wicket when he had Lyon (11) caught by Murali Vijay.

Australia folded up for 241 in their second innings, leaving the hosts a small victory target of 50.

Image: Australian supporters wear a dejected look in the stands
Photographs: BCCI
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India's second innings began in the same vein as their first.

Both Sehwag and Vijay departed early.

But Tendulkar came then out to bat and started off with a couple of sixes. He scored 13 off 10 balls, before a single by Cheteshwar Pujara off Nathan Lyon helped the home team complete victory.


Image: Sachin Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara celebrate after India's win
Photographs: BCCI
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