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How India outgunned Australia to win Adelaide Test

December 10, 2018 12:20 IST

Team India

IMAGE: India's players celebrate winning the first Test against Australia in Adelaide. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

India gave wings to their ferocious ambition of winning a maiden series Down Under, beating Australia by 31 runs in the opening Test with an irresistible fusion of self-belief, hunger and talent in Adelaide on Monday.

Chasing 323, the hosts were bowled out for 291 in 119.5 overs shortly before tea on day five with Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami taking three wickets each for a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

Rishabh Pant finished with 11 catches, and equalled the record for most dismissals in a Test by a wicketkeeper, sharing it with England's Jack Russell and South Africa's AB de Villiers.

 

Things went too close for comfort for India as Nathan Lyon (38 not out) and Josh Hazlewood (13) put on 42 runs for the last wicket and frustrated the Indian bowling. The sparse crowd at Adelaide Oval cheered every single as the duo edged closer and the odd boundary didn't help matters.

Finally, things came to a close as Ashwin had Hazlewood caught at second slip in the 120th over to register India's sixth Test win on Australian soil.

"It's important to stay calm. The odds were stacked up against them as soon as we got Pat Cummins out. I wouldn't say I was cool as ice but you try not to show it," Kohli said at the end of the match.

IMAGE: Mohammed Shami, left, celebrates with captain Virat Kohli after dismissing Pat Cummins. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Post lunch, India had a big early breakthrough when Australian skipper Tim Paine played an uncharacteristic pull shot off Bumrah and only managed to loop it up for Pant to take an easy catch to perish for 14

The visitors then were bothered by two lower-order stands. First, Mitchell Starc (28) and Pat Cummins (28) put on 41 runs for the eighth wicket and carried Australia past 200 in the 89th over.

While Shami broke through that partnership, things didn't ease out. Pant could have had 12 dismissals but he dropped Lyon in the 105th over off Bumrah.

Four overs later, Kohli didn't make any mistake at first slip as he helped dismiss Cummins.

In the morning session, India removed Travis Head (14) and Shaun Marsh (60) as Australia reached 186 for six at lunch.

Resuming on their overnight score of 104 for four, the Head-Marsh partnership lasted only 7.4 overs before India forced a breakthrough with the old Kookaburra ball.

IMAGE: India's players celebrate the wicket of Shaun Marsh. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Head was the first to go, with Ishant Sharma (1-48) bowling a sharp bouncer that followed the batsman and left him no room and he ended up fending it to gully where Ajinkya Rahane took a simple catch.

The duo had added 31 runs with the onus now on Marsh and Paine as the last recognized batting pair.

Marsh shouldered the responsibility and scored his first half-century in the fourth innings of a Test off 146 balls. It was his 10th Test half-century overall.

He had looked comfortable at the crease all morning, but Bumrah removed him after the drinks break. The big moment came as the ball moved away just a tad and Marsh gave the slightest of edges to be caught behind in the 73rd over.

It was Pant's ninth dismissal in the Test, equalling Mahendra Singh Dhoni (9 versus Australia, Melboure in 2014) as the second-best haul by an Indian wicket keeper in overseas Tests. He later equalled and went past Wriddhiman Saha's Indian record for highest dismissals in a Test (10) against South Africa at Cape Town earlier in the year.

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