R Ashwin India vs Australia Test Nagpur
Indian players celebrate an Australian wicket on the third day of the first Test in Nagpur on Saturday (February 11). Photo: BCCI

Ashwin stars as India thrashes Australia in 3 days to take 1-0 lead

India thrashed Australia by an innings and 132 runs to win the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy on the third day in Nagpur on Saturday (February 11).

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Ravichandran Ashwin was the bowling star for India with a five-wicket haul, his 31st in Tests, as Australia was bundled out for just 91 in 32.3 overs in its second innings. Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami took two wickets apiece while Axar Patel had one scalp.

This was Australia’s second-lowest total against India after 93 in Mumbai (2004).

The second Test of the four-match series starts in Delhi on February 17.

Earlier, Axar Patel hit a resolute 84 while Mohammed Shami smashed an entertaining 37 as India took a massive 223-run first innings lead by posting 400.

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Axar put his head down and let Shami attack in the 52-run ninth-wicket stand, helping India outbat Australia on a track that the visiting media alleged was “doctored”.

India had resumed the day at 321 for seven with Ravindra Jadeja (70) and Patel at the crease. Jadeja did not last long as he shouldered arms to a Murphy delivery that was fired in from an angle and crashed onto the stumps.

The pitch hasn’t changed its character much and it remains a slow turner where any batter ready to grind it out will get results.

Lunch was taken when the Indian innings ended.

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Shami, who was dropped on 6 by Scott Boland at long-on off Nathan Lyon, decided to launch a swift counter-attack on opposition best bowler Todd Murphy (7/124).

He hit the bespectacled off-spinner for three sixes – a slog sweep over mid-wicket, a flat six over long-off and a monstrous hit over long-on – apart from a couple of boundaries during his 47-ball stay.

Adding 50-plus runs in just over an hour (65 minutes) was laudable and Patel on his part gave Shami the bulk of the strike. If Australia had any chance of wrapping it up, Boland’s goof-up proved costly as Shami made them pay dearly.

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While Murphy has been impressive on debut, Lyon’s (1/126) performance has been disappointing, to say the least as his bowling lacked the bite. Almost all the Indian batters found it easy to defend the veteran off-spinner off the back foot.

Once Shami was dismissed going for his fourth maximum off Murphy, Patel decided to attack and lofted the debutant straight into the sightscreen for his first six. His and India’s innings ended when he was bowled by rival skipper Pat Cummins.

(With agency inputs)

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