India has taken a 1 – 0 lead in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with an innings victory.
India’s spinners defied Australia with the bat and then mesmerised them with the ball as the visitors’ frailties in turning conditions were exposed in a frenetic finish to the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series opener in Nagpur.
After player-of-the-match Ravindra Jadeja (70 off 185 balls) and Axar Patel (84 off 174) allowed India’s tail to add 79 runs in the morning, Ravichandran Ashwin (5-37) led a bewitching bowling effort in the afternoon that saw the visitors skittled in a single session.
The 91 runs the visitors cobbled together, with none aside from Steve Smith (25no) passing 20, marked Australia’s lowest ever score in India.
The innings-and-132-run defeat has left Australia 0-1 down in the series with three games to play, a position from which they have never come back from to beat India before.
Nine of their third-afternoon dismissals were to defensive shots, six of them lbw, with Ashwin and Jadeja’s always-probing line exposing Australia’s earlier ineffectiveness with the ball.
Not one of their batters passed fifty for the match and their best performer in one of the more experienced sides Australia has fielded in India in recent years was 22-year-old Todd Murphy, who had a grand sum of seven first-class games to his name before this Test.
Murphy, who finished with 7-124 from a marathon 47 overs, returned the best figures by an Australian spinner on debut since Jason Krejza’s 8-215 in 2008, also coming at the VCA Stadium.