(Reuters) – India dismissed Australia for 191 in 72 overs yesterday to take the lead with 53 runs in the first inning which looked very unlikely during the first half hour of the dramatic second day of the first night test at Adelaide Oval.
Fifteen wickets fell as bowlers ruled supreme on a balmy day on land that was once famous for big scores, the latter coming in the final 25 minutes when Pat Cummins bowled Prithvi Shaw for four to continue India’s poor opener.
Shaw’s opening partner, Mayank Agarwal, and night watchman Jasprit Bumrah survived a nervous final couple under the lights to take India’s second innings to 9-1 and lead to 62 runs at the end of play.
Nightjar Ravichandran Ashwin merged with pacemaker Umesh Yadav while Bumrah did the early damage to the tourists, bowling with discipline and taking wicketkeepers to shatter potential partnerships.
While Tim Paine played captain’s innings of 73 not out to limit the damage, India will be disappointed with a string of dropped catches.
“It’s certainly not our best performance but you have to praise India, they bowled really well and put us under pressure,” said Paine.
“We have to go after what we have to go after.
“Whether that’s a big score or a small score, we know it’s going to be a challenge.”
Australia had started the day by skittling the last four Indian batsmen at a cost of 11 runs in less than half an hour to sack the tourists at 244.
Bumrah drew Australian openers Joe Burns and Matthew Wade for eight runs against fast before tea, however, and Ashwin (4-55) drove home the advantage after the break.
Ashwin, the spinner, has struggled on his previous outings in Australia but hit a mighty blow by luring Steve Smith into the rim to give Ajinkya Rahane an easy catch on the first slip.
With one run of 29 deliveries, this was Smith’s lowest score since he had a duck in the first test against South Africa in November 2016.
Travis Head and Cameron Green became Ashwin’s second and third victims, with the latter’s dismissal aided by a brilliant catch by Virat Kohli at midwicket.
“I don’t want to sit back and think about whether it’s the best or not,” Ashwin said when asked to rate his performance.
“There are pubs to go and I’m looking forward to the whole test series. It’s a great opportunity for me. ”
India would have been in an even stronger position if Bumrah and Shaw had followed their captain’s lead, but they dropped easy catches that would have sent Musus Labuschagne on his way early in his innings.
Yadav (3-40) finally caught Labuschagne lbw at 47 after the second break and when Pat Cummins caught it three-ball later, Australia were in big trouble at 111-7.
Paine’s 73 of 99 determined deliveries, along with some more poor catch from the Indian fielders, kept the home team in touch heading into day three, however.
The four-game series continues after Adelaide with tests in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.