History pages edited as India defeat Australia in the first Test at Adelaide

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Kohli and Co. got the better of a spirited Aussie defence on the last day to win the first test for the first time down under

Nathan Lyon (38*) and Josh Hazelwood (13) took some sweat off the Indians on the last day at the Adelaide Oval before a beauty off Ravichandran Ashwin forced Hazelwood to edge the ball onto Rahul, at the second slip. And that was it. For the first time India had earned a 1-0 lead in Test series against the Aussies in their own backyard. A lead that was in all ways well deserved.

Day 1 tested the nerves of Indian batting lineup all the way down to the tail-enders. Thanks to a calm and composed 123 off 246 knock from Cheteshwar Pujara that took India to 250. The trio of Starc, Cummins and Hazelwood shared 7 wickets between them including the big guns in the top order.

The Australian batting face off against the Indian seamers was a highly anticipated event. For the first time probably in decades, the world’s largest cricketer manufacturing country had more ammunition with the ball as compared to that with the bat. And it paid off.

Despite Travis Head scoring 72 and a few edgy runs from the lower order, the hosts fell short by 15 runs. Ashwin and Bumrah shared three wickets each, while Shami and Ishant took a brace each. Four bowlers had done the task they were asked to by their skipper, Virat Kohli. It was now onto the Indian batting department to set up the hosts with a challenge.

The top order fared out decent as compared to the previous outing on the Adelaide Oval with a 63- run opening stand between KL Rahul (44) and Murali Vijay (18) who played the new ball with a sense of grit and determination. But it was once again Cheteshwar Pujara (71 off 204) and Ajinkya Rahane (70 off 147) who kept the scoreboard ticking with the time. Despite rain affecting a major part of the last two sessions, India made sure that the pendulum swing of time was in their favor.

Indian players celebrate a wicket during their Test match against Australia

It was Australia’s fourth highest wicket taker in Test matches, Nathan Lyon who got through the Indian batting challenge with six wickets alongside Starc claiming three. And by day 4, India were dismissed for 307 with more than a day’s game left. The odds were in India’s favour as well, since the last successful chase of a target more than 200 at Adelaide was last chased by Australia back in 1902. And the fiery four from the Indian bowling co. made sure that the vulnerable Australian lineup succumbed to their class.

Chasing 323, Australia had already lost four wickets for 94 by the end of day 4, with the opening order sent back to the pavilion by the Indian seamers. Day 5 was all about finishing the task. Travis Head who was the chief architect of the first innings for the hosts was dismissed cheaply by Ishant at 14. He was soon followed by Shaun Marsh (60) who was taken by a beauty off Bumrah.

It was then time for India’s biggest challenge,the lower order and sure it seemed like one. The last five scored more (148)for the Australians than the first six (133) with contributions off Tim Paine(41), Pat Cummins (28), Mitchell Starc (28), Nathan Lyon (38*) and Josh Hazelwood (13). The final partnership between Lyon and Hazelwood itself was the first hand display of how patiently the guests had to wait for their debut first test win down under.

Indian Team coach, Ravi Shastri said post-match, “We have got a great start and need to capitalize onto it. With the fastest track on the planet waiting for us, the bowlers need to take a day off and be prepared for the big challenge up ahead.”

India next face the hosts in Perth from 14th December.