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Australia thrive on docile pitch: How day one of the Ahmedabad Test played out

The opening day of the fourth Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy ended with Australia at a relatively stable score of 255/4.

Usman Khawaja (104*) was the star for Australia yet again, scoring his first Test hundred in India. With help from Steve Smith and Cameron Green, the batter helped Australia to a firm total on day one in Ahmedabad.

For India, Mohammad Shami, who was back in the playing XI, was the pick of bowlers with 2/65. Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (1/57) and Ravindra Jadeja (1/49) were the other wicket takers.

Australia tread carefully in favourable conditions

In the morning, Australia stand-in captain Smith elected to bat first on what seemed like a good batting strip. Australia were aided in their quest of a good start by some wayward India bowling. The hosts conceded 11 extras in the first five overs. 

Travis Head opened his arms after seeing off the new ball spell. He scored seven boundaries off 13 deliveries as the tourists upped their scoring rate. However, the southpaw played one shot too many when he mistimed a Ashwin delivery towards mid-on, where Jadeja made no mistake.

India added to the wickets tally soon after, when Marnus Labuschagne played on off a fullish delivery by Shami.  

Australia switched to a more watchful approach thereafter. Smith and Khawaja made steady progress for the third wicket, adding 79 runs from 248 balls. 

During his 38, Smith overtook Bob Simpson to become the Australia captain with most Test runs against India. As a skipper, Smith has scored 1118 runs at an average of 74.53 against India. 

India bowlers strike before Khawaja-Green fight

The hosts had a lucky break in the third session, when Smith chopped on a length delivery by Jadeja. Australia were kept quiet over the next few overs by Umesh Yadav’s short-pitched bowling and Jadeja’s crafty turn.

Peter Handscomb, forced to play on the backfoot, looked out of place in particular. 

Shami took advantage of this turn of events, returning in the 71st over to bowl Handscomb, who lost his off stump after playing the wrong line.

Thereafter, all-rounder Green (49*) joined hands with Khawaja to stabilize Australia's innings. The duo shifted gears after the second new ball was taken, adding 54 runs off the last nine overs. 

Khawaja got to his hundred in the very final over of the day.

The Queensland player is the leading run-scorer in this edition of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with 257 runs to his name. In total, Australia added 106 runs in the final session.

While Australia have already made it to the ICC World Test Championship final, India need to win this Test in order to qualify for the event without relying on other results. 


Afghanistan fans celebrate a boundary during the 2019 Cricket World Cup warm up match between England and Afghanistan at The Oval in London on May 27, 2019.


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