Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-2023, India vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 3: India register third-biggest innings win against Australia. India go up 1-0 in four-match test-series as they beat Australia by an innings and 132 runs in Nagpur.
Brief Scores: India 400 (Sharma 120, Patel 84, Jadeja 70, Murphy 7-124) beat Australia 177 (Labuschagne 49, Smith 37, Jadeja 5-47, Ashwin 3-42) & 91 (Smith 25*, Ashwin 5-37, Shami 2-13) by an innings and 132 runs
Player of the Match: Ravindra Jadeja (70 and 5-47 & 2-34)
India continued their supreme reign at home as they won yet another Test match in their own backyard in a dominating and convincing style against the number 1 ranked Test side in the world, Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium in Nagpur on Saturday.
Having gained a stronghold in the first two days of the Test match, India as expected further strengthened their stance. They started Day 3 with a healthy first innings lead of 144 on a turning track with three wickets still in hand. Overnight batters were left-arm spinning all-rounders Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel who both registered their respective half-centuries on Day 2.
The moving day as it is commonly called turned out to be the final day of the match as India’s lower-order stretched the first-innings lead to 223 with Axar Patel getting to his career-best Test score of 84 and seamer Mohammed Shami giving him good support to help India post 400 on the board.
Like the first innings, the Indian spinners ran through the Australian batting-order in the extended 2nd session as the visitors were bowled out for 91, giving India a win by an innings and 132 runs which is their third-biggest innings win against the particular opponents.
Usefulness of bowling all-rounders came to the fore for India
When it comes to home Test matches, India have been blessed with spinners who can bat well when it is needed. This Test match it was the turn of left-arm spinner Axar Patel who compiled a more than useful and match-winning 84 runs in the first innings after having gone wicketless with the ball in the first essay. There were talks of including Kuldeep Yadav in his place before the Test but Axar’s usefulness with the bat can never be understated.
Session 1: Axar Patel’s 84 helps India secure 223-run lead
Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel rode to the crease as overnight batters in a bid to extend India’s already healthy lead of 144 runs. But the former fell to an arm ball from debutant Todd Murphy becoming the spinner’s 6th victim in this innings after adding just 4 runs to his overnight score.
While Australia would have hoped to scalp the remaining two Indian wickets for not many runs, Mohammed Shami had other ideas. After being dropped while on 6, India’s number 10 batter made the visitors pay making an enterprising 37 off 47 balls and added 52 valuable runs for the 10th wicket with Axar Patel.
Patel was the last man to be dismissed at the stroke of lunch on Day 3, missing out on a well-deserved maiden ton by 16 runs. India gained a huge 223 run lead in the process and were firm favourites to win the Test match.
Session 2: Ravichandran Ashwin’s 31st five-wicket haul blows away Australia
Being well behind in the game, Australia didn’t have the best of starts to their second essay losing Usman Khawaja in the very second over to Ravichandran Ashwin. There were a couple of close calls for the batting pair of Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner early in the piece with the latter surviving a dropped chance.
But it didn’t prove too much of a loss for Team India eventually as the spin twins Jadeja and Ashwin trapped the duo and from then on it was a procession of wickets in Nagpur. Ashwin enroute his 31st fifer removed Australia’s middle order comprising of Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Alex Carey in quick succession. The lower-order didn’t offer any resistance either as Australia got bundled out for a mere 91 giving India an innings and 132 run win.
Statistical Highlights from Day 3 of the 1st Test between India and Australia
88 - The eighth wicket stand of 88 runs between Ravindra Jadeja & Axar Patel is the fourth highest for this wicket for India against Australia in Tests.
52 - The ninth wicket stand of 52 runs between Axar & Shami is amongst the top 10 partnerships for this wicket for India against Australia in Tests.
31 - This is Ashwin’s 31st 5-wicket haul in Tests, now just 4 behind Anil Kumble’s haul of 35 times (most by an India player). Though Ashwin had taken 42 wickets in his last 10 Tests, he hasn’t taken a 5-wicket haul in the period since the home Test series against England in 2021. But the streak was finally broken in the Nagpur Test where he got to his 31st fifer in what is his 89th Test match.
Innings & 132 runs - This is the third-biggest innings win for India against Australia. The biggest win came in the Kolkata Test in March 1998 which they won by an innings & 219 runs and the second-biggest win came in the Hyderabad Test when India defeated Australia by an innings and 135 runs.
91 - This is Australia's second-lowest Test score against India. The lowest score registered by Australia against India in Tests is 83 in Melbourne 1981.
84 - With his personal best Test score of 84 in the Nagpur Test, Axar Patel now has the sixth-highest score batting at 9-11 for India in Tests. Jayant Yadav leads the way with a score of 104 in that position against England in 2016-17.
97 - Ravi Ashwin has now taken 97 wickets against Australia in Test cricket. With Peter Handscomb's dismissal in the second innings, Ashwin surpassed legendary spinner Harbhajan Singh's tally of 95 wickets to be the second in the list of top wicket-takers for India against Australia. He is only behind Anil Kumble who has taken 111 wickets against Australia.
7-124 - Todd Murphy returned sixth-best innings figures for an Australia bowler on his Test debut. Albert Edwin Trott leads the way with 8-43 he took in Adelaide against England way back in 1895.
What to expect from the 2nd Test
The first game was wrapped up well within three days and it means there is now a 5-days gap ahead of the 2nd Test at Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi which starts on the 17th of this month.
One could expect the number 1 Test team Australia to come back strong after enduring a heavy defeat here at Nagpur. The Rohit Sharma-led India will look to continue their ruthless winning streak at home with a place in the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Final on the line.