Relentless Ashwin keeps Australia on a leash




R Ashwin bowled unchanged throughout the second session on Day 2.

R Ashwin bowled unchanged throughout the second session on Day 2. © AFP

Ravichandran Ashwin kept India in the Adelaide Test with a fine spell that got him three wickets as India kept a tight leash over the scoring. Australia’s batsmen showed patience but with runs drying up and wickets falling at regular intervals, were in a spot of bother as they went into Tea at 117/4, still trailing by 133.

In the first session, three wickets fell but for a large part of it, Australia showed more discipline in staying in, with a patient Usman Khawaja leading the way. It took Australia just one ball to end India’s first innings on Friday (December 7) as Mohammed Shami gloved one down the leg-side to the ‘keeper off Josh Hazlewood to finish the innings on the overnight score of 250.

Ishant Sharma started well for India getting Aaron Finch to drag a big inswinger onto the stumps. The first four deliveries of the day had seen two wickets for no run, but thereafter, Australia buckled down through Khawaja and debutant Marcus Harris.

While Ishant remained a persistent threat due to his fuller length, his new-ball partner Jasprit Bumrah was guilty of not keeping the pressure on from his end. The runs came at a trickle for both left-handers, but they remained disciplined to steady the innings with some resoluteness and added 45 for the second wicket.

The introduction of Ashwin’s offspin saw Harris become a little more adventurous and even saw him successfully loft one straight back over the bowler for a boundary. But Ashwin managed to win that battle eventually, beating Harris with some drift, to have him caught bat-pad at silly point for 26.

That was Ashwin’s first success through an unchanged spell of 22 overs across the two sessions. In the second he had Shaun Marsh driving and dragging onto the stumps for 2 before piling on the pressure from his end. Khawaja was done in by extra bounce after a patient 125-ball 28 and became Ashwin’s third victim as Australia slipped to 87/4.

Peter Handscomb and Travis Head overcame multiple nervous moments against Ashwin and Ishant Sharma, the pick of the pacers, to keep the fight going till the Tea break.

Brief scores: India 250 (Cheteshwar Pujara 123; Josh Hazlewood 3-52) lead Australia 117/4 (R Ashwin 3-38) by 133 runs.

© Cricbuzz


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