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BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Day 1: Aus spinners dismiss India for 109; visitors 156-4 in response

Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23, India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Day 1: Australia spinners dismiss India for 109; visitors 156-4 in response

Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23, India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Day 1_ India bowl out for 109 in first innings; Australia lean by 47 runs. _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
India bowl out for 109 in first innings; Australia lean by 47 runs (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Brief Scores: Australia 156/4 (Khawaja 60, Labuschagne 31, Jadeja 4/63) lead India 109 (Kohli 22, Gill 21, Kuhnemann 5/16, Lyon 3/35) by 47 runs at Stumps on Day 1

After two back-to-back victories in the first two Tests in Nagpur and Delhi, respectively, hosts India locked horns with Australia in the third Test of the four-match Test series in Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2022-23 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Wednesday.

A win in this game would take India to the final of the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Final for the second consecutive time.

India fail to apply themselves against Australia’s spinners

India played the Australia spinners really well in the first couple of Test matches of the series but on this spicy track in Indore, they have failed to apply themselves. It’s a no-brainer that teams batting first have to post huge totals in the first innings and India have not done that in this game against the Australia spinners who came with better planning, bowling in the right channels consistently.

It was expected from Cheteshwar Pujara or Virat Kohli to score some runs against the spinners but they failed to stand up to the expectations. Shubman Gill, returning into the India side failed to take advantage after getting a start.

India added Gill leaving KL Rahul out; Starc and Green make a return for Australia

India captain Rohit Sharma on winning the toss opted to bat first on a pitch that was almost similar to the last two Test matches, expecting to favour the spinners from the very first day.

Australia, led by Steve Smith, made two changes by bringing in Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green in the playing eleven in place of Pat Cummins and David Warner, both of whom flew back home after the second Test match. India, on the other hand, dropped KL Rahul and rested Mohammed Shami to add Shubman Gill and Umesh Yadav.

Let's take a look at how the three sessions panned out during the third Test of BGT 2022-23 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.

Spin duo Lyon-Kuhnemann destroyed India's back on spicy pitch; Hosts 84/7 at Lunch

Had Australia opted for the review, they could have earnt the best possible start by sending back Rohit Sharma, who nicked Mitchell Starc on the very first ball of the Test match. Two balls later, they again went against the review after trapping the India opener LBW. Rohit Sharma took full advantage of the chance by flicking Starc for a boundary in the backward square leg region, while Shubman Gill opened his account with a beautiful drive against Cameron Green through covers. Both the openers cracked some regular boundaries as India raced away to 26/0 in five overs.

As soon as Smith introduced spin in the form of Matthew Kuhnemann, the left-arm spinner drew first blood by sending back Rohit on 12 through a stumping dismissal. In his second over, he bagged Gill on 21 who, in trying to defend the ball got an outside edge that died in the hands of Steven Smith at the slip position.

Nathan Lyon, in his very first over, pocketed Cheteshwar Pujara on 1 with a ball that stayed low to trap the batter LBW. In Lyon’s very next over, Ravindra Jadeja found the cover fielder, while Shreyas Iyer dragged a ball from Kuhnemann on to his stumps. Virat Kohli who looked in good shape was at last trapped before the stumps on 22 by Todd Murphy as India went to Lunch at 84/7.

Kuhnemann’s 5/16 bundled out India for 109; Australia advanced to 71/1 at Tea

Australia began in the same way after Lunch as Matthew Kuhnemann sent back Ravichandran Ashwin on 3 who got a faint edge off a flighted delivery. Umesh Yadav launched a couple of sixes - one over mid-wicket and the second over backward square leg, before smashing a boundary. But Kuhnemann finally trapped him before the wickets on a personals score of 17 to register his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests. Kuhnemann finished with 5/16 in his nine overs while Nathan Lyon supported him well with 3/35 as India were bundled out for just 109.

India didn’t waste too much time either to take the opening Australia wicket as Jadeja registered the wicket of Travis Head on 9 who was adjudged LBW. Marnus Labuschagne was dismissed on duck but was saved because of Jadeja’s no-ball as India burnt quite a few quick reviews.

The partnership between Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja tackled the India spinners really well. They trusted their defence besides playing a few fine boundaries to reach near the India total. The unbeaten 59-run between them for the second wicket advanced Australia to 71/1 at tea, reducing the deficit to 38 runs.

Jadeja fought back for India; Australia lead by 47 runs at Stumps

Australia started the last session of the day in an aggressive manner with two boundaries over backward point and square on the leg side as Usman Khawaja notched up his 21st Test half century with a single. Jadeja in his second spell was making it tough for Labuschagne with the sharp turn and bounce and finally, he picked up his wicket on 31 with a ball that sneaked past the inside edge to rattle the stumps.

Just after drinks, Khawaja in trying to break free swept hard as the ball ballooned in the air and ended in the hands of the diving Gill in the deep. Steven Smith looked to take on the bowlers as he used his feet to smack a few boundaries but he too was undone on 26 by Jadeja who found the edge with a turning delivery.

Peter Handscomb and Cameron Green negotiated the rest of the day’s play as Australia ended Day 1 with 156/4 on the board. One thing India will look to address on the second day will be the extras they have conceded on Day 1.

Statistical Highlights

  • Cheteshwar Pujara has now been dismissed by Nathan Lyon 12 times in Tests. He becomes the joint-most India batter to be dismissed by a bowler in Tests with Sunil Gavaskar who has got out 12 times in Tests against Derek Underwood.

  • With 129 Test wickets, Nathan Lyon has now the most wickets by a visiting bowler in Asia going past Shane Warner’s 127 Test wickets.

  • Ravindra Jadeja becomes the second India and 11th overall player to take 5000+ runs and 500+ wickets in international games.

What to Expect on Day 2

On a track which is spinning really sharply even from the first day’s play, the first innings lead becomes crucial and Australia will look to extract as much lead as they can muster from the first innings. With them being the side that is going to bat last on this track, a lead of anything around 80-100 runs is going to decide the fate of this game.

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