AHMENDABAD: India bounced back with wickets in the latter half of the first session before lunch after Australia’s openers gave the team a steady start in the opening session on the first day of the fourth Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Thursday.
The visitors started well in the first half before the Indian bowlers struck twice. Ravichandran Ashwin got the first wicket while Shami scalped the second. Usman Khawaja 27(94) and Steven Smith 2(17) were at the crease for the Aussie team at lunch.
Opting to bat first Australia were off to a steady start with the Indian pacers struggling to find the right line and length, failing to make use of the new ball. Shami and Umesh Yadav lacked rhythm with both bowlers starting their spells with wayward deliveries.
The Aussie openers settled in with loose deliveries on offer and made use of the scoring opportunities given by the Indian pacers. Usman Khawaja and Travis Head brought up Australia’s fifty inside 14 overs. The batting duo stitched a sixty-run stand for the opening stand putting the visitors in a good position.
India skipper Rohit Sharma brought Ashwin into the attack searching for a wicket after the pacers were unable to provide the breakthrough with the new ball.
The off-spinner dismissed Head to give the hosts the breakthrough. Head shimmied down the wicket and tried to take the attack to Ashwin. But the ball cued off the toe end for Jadeja to complete the catch. The left-hander was dismissed for 32 runs.
Marnus Labuschagne joined Khawaja at the crease, with the left-hander carrying on his good run of form, striking boundaries at ease.
Labuschagne fell early after Shami breached his defence to send him packing for 3(20). The India pacer bowled a lovely in-swinger to get rid of the batter. Labuschagne dragged the ball onto the stumps trying to punch through the covers.
Australia lost no further wickets, going into lunch at 75/2.
Earlier, Australia captain Steve Smith elected to bat first against India in the fourth Test.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian PM Anthony Albanese arrived at the stadium to watch the first day of the fourth Test.PM Modi presented the Test cap to India captain Rohit Sharma while the Australian PM handed the ‘Baggy Green’ to Aussie skipper Steve Smith.
Both the prime ministers were greeted with loud cheers before the start of the match as they took a lap of honour across the massive sports arena to celebrate 75 years of friendship between India and Australia.
BCCI president Roger Binny felicitated the Australian Prime Minister while the BCCI secretary Jay Shah felicitated the India Prime Minister.
Brief Score: Australia 75/2 (Travis Head 32, Usman Khawaja 27*; Mohammed Shami 1-14) vs India (ANI)