Cricket

Australia vs India | Ashwin’s double blow reduce Australia to 65/3 at lunch


Senior off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin”s double strike helped India reduce Australia to 65 for 3 on the opening session of the Boxing Day Test, here on Saturday.

Skipper Ajinkya Rahane made some impressive captaincy moves which enabled India gain the upper-hand on a track that offered turn and bounce on the first session of a Test match.

Jasprit Bumrah (1/7 in 8 overs) struck for the visitors in the fifth over, removing Joe Burns for a duck as the batsman nicked a delivery the just moved a bit after hitting the seam to Rishabh Pant behind the stumps.

Introduced into the attack in the 11th over, Ashwin struck in his second over when Matthew Wade (30 off 39) went for a glory shot over square-leg, only to get a top-edge and Jadeja holding on to the catch despite a collision with an onrushing debutant Shubman Gill. An over later, Ashwin (2/17 in 9 overs) was again on the money, this time accounting for the big fish Steve Smith (0) as he got one that was tossed and the former skipper tried to glance one only to find new vice-captain Cheteshwar Pujara pouch it at leg gully.

At the break, Marnus Labuschagne was batting on 28 in the company of Travis Head (4 not out).

Labuschagne did hit some good shots but also looked a bit edgy in between. He survived a leg before decision when Ashwin trapped him with flight but the Umpires Review showed that the ball was missing the stumps

Australia wins toss

Earlier, Australia won the toss and elected to bat first against India in the iconic Boxing Day Test, starting here on Saturday.

While Australia are unchanged, India made four changes to its playing eleven.

India brought in Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant and handed out debuts to Shubman Gill and Mohammad Siraj in place of regular skipper Virat Kohli, Wriddhiman Saha, Prithvi Shaw and injured Mohammad Shami.

India are trailing the four-match series 0-1 after losing the opening day/night Test in Adelaide by eight wickets.

The iconic Boxing Day Test, second match of the series, will be India”s 100th game in the traditional format against Australia.

Teams: India: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.

Australia: Tim Paine (captain), Matthew Wade, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

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