The bizarre celebration that Ravichandran Ashwin had on Day 1 of the second Test match between India and Australia in New Delhi once more made headlines.
As the Indian cricketers celebrated Ashwin’s 10-run dismissal of Nathan Lyon, he twisted Mohammed Shami’s ears.
The act surprised Shami, but the two of them laughed after. “I think if you ask Ashwin a bit later, he will say that he was practicing another kind of delivery,” India legend Sunil Gavaskar stated in the commentary.
Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin’s spin duo perfectly complemented Shami’s clever variations with the semi-new and old ball as India restricted Australia to 263.
The attractive score of 81 from 125 balls that are opening batsman Usman Khawaja posted on Friday at the Arun Jaitley Stadium made up for his poor first-Test performance in Nagpur.
Thanks to Peter Handscomb’s tenacity-driven play (72 not out, 142 balls), the visitors were all out in 78.4 overs.
With Rohit Sharma (13 batting) and KL Rahul (4 batting) at the crease. India was 21 for no loss at the stumps.
Shami used the new, semi-new, and old ball to score, and Ashwin (21-4-57-3) and Jadeja (21-2-68-3) made crucial breakthroughs just as the opposition appeared to gain ground. Enabling India to win the first day of play.
Shami’s (14.4-4-60-4) wide range of delivery styles were clearly visible. When Rohit Sharma pressed Shami from the opposing end during the first session, his bowling merits praise.
Even though Mohammed Siraj did not take a wicket, he deserves credit for making David Warner feel better during their 50-run partnership.
The opener was indeed scared by two short balls, one of which struck him in the elbow and the other flushed against his helmet.
When Shami angled a shot at Warner, he missed by a wide margin of the crease. Because it was longer, Warner could only hit the flawless line.
Ashwin got involved after Australia lost Marnus Labuschagne (18) and Steve Smith (0) in two deliveries from a comfortable 94/1.
Smith lost an off-break to Kona Bharat, whose excellent reflexes and skill paid off handsomely. Whereas Labuschagne got an off-break that turned a lot and put him squarely in front.
Shami bowled another hard over in the afternoon session, defeating Travis Head, who took Matt Renshaw’s place in the second Test.
Shami bowled a ball that was not driveable as Head’s thick outside edge flew to him. Rahul took a nice catch wide of the second slip as Shami got closer to the stumps.
Khawaja and Handscomb worked well together after Ashwin found Alex Carey’s body. Between lunch and tea, they were able to navigate the Indian spinners with ease on a pitch that was easy to bat on.
To counteract the slow turn and occasional back-foot punches to spinners on the opposite side. Handscomb actually exuded confidence with his wide front-foot strides.
He probably played his best out of the three Australian innings that have been played so far in this series, scoring nine boundaries.
When Rahul performed a one-handed stun against Khawaja’s ambitious reverse sweep of Jadeja, Australia’s hopes of a big stand were dashed.
As Handscomb scored runs on the other end, skipper Pat Cummins (33) made the decision to play a counter-attacking game.
With a score of 227 out of 6, it appeared as though Australia would receive a score of 300 or higher for the first essay, a good result by any standard.
However, Jadeja got to work and increased the speed of his deliveries in response to the sluggishness of the track.
Before Shami used the standard reverse swing to clean up the tail. Cummins and Todd Murphy each took two quick wickets.
Matt Kuhnemann, making his debut, had his leg stump pegged back. While Nathan Lyon had a leg stump that tailed in on the side of the shine.
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