INDORE: Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja put Australia in the driver’s seat after they took the visitors to 71/1 at Tea in the third Test against India in the four-match series at Holkar Stadium in Indore on Wednesday.
The hosts resumed the innings at 84/7 with Axar Patel 6(13) and Ravichandran Ashwin 1(5) at the crease but could only add 25 runs to the total as the team was skittled out for 109.
Left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann took his maiden five-wicket haul, while Nathan Lyon scalped three wickets.
Ashwin could only add two runs to his total when Kuhnemann found the batter’s outside edge which was gleefully accepted by Alex Carey behind the wicket. The right-hander’s stay ended in the third over after lunch for 3(12).
Umesh Yadav played a quick cameo and landed lusty blows but eventually fell to Kuhnemann, handing him his maiden fifer in Tests.
India’s last wicket was courtesy of a mix-up between Mohammed Siraj and Axar, drawing an end to India’s innings at 109 runs.
Usman Khawaja and Travis Head walked out to open for Australia in the first innings and Ravichandran Ashwin opened the bowling for India.
India introduced spin from both ends with Jadeja coming in to bowl the second over. The move paid for India as he dismissed Head in his first over for 9(6).
Marnus Labuschagne was dismissed for a duck but the umpire called the delivery a no-ball after the replays showed the bowler to have overstepped.
The spin-duo of Ashwin and Jadeja looked threatening but Khawaja and Labuschagne made sure the visitors didn’t lose any more wickets, heading into Tea on the first day. Khawaja (33*) and Labuschagne (16*) remained unbeaten at the end of the second session.
Australia spinners dominated and the hosts were left tottering at the end of the first session. At lunch, Australia were in a commanding position with India at 84/7, with Axar Patel 6(13) and Ravichandran Ashwin 1(5) at the crease.
Brief scores: Australia 71/1 (Usman Khawaja 33*, Marnus Labuschagne 16*, Ravindra Jadeja 1-28) vs India 109 (Virat Kohli 22, Shubhman Gill 21; Matthew Kuhnemann 5-16). (ANI)