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Jadeja 5-for on test return gives India advantage on day 1

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India spinner Ravindra Jadeja collected a five-for on his test return to help bowl out Australia for 177 on the first day Thursday of the first test.

India pressed home its advantage to reach 77-1 at stumps, with Rohit Sharma 56 not out.

Australia openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner were gone within the first 13 deliveries. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith fashioned an 82-run respite but the last five wickets went for 15 runs in 10.5 overs.

India made a rollicking start, with the pacemen making the ball swing, even if there wasn’t enough bounce in the Nagpur deck.

Mohammed Siraj trapped Khawaja low on the pad in front of leg stump with his first delivery in the second over, and the original not out decision was overturned on review.

Mohammed Shami started the third over with a delivery between Warner’s bat and pad that sent the off stump cartwheeling, and Australia was 2-2.

Spin was introduced in the seventh over courtesy of Jadeja then Axar Patel. Veteran Ravichandran Ashwin entered the attack late in the first session but gave away runs at a faster clip.

Labuschagne and Smith negated then spin with clever footwork and were rarely troubled in getting Australia to lunch on 76-2.

After lunch, India got on top quickly. Jadeja made the breakthrough when Labuschagne was stumped by Srikar Bharat for 49 runs off 123 balls.

Jadeja trapped Matt Renshaw for a duck off the next ball, and when he Jadeja bowled Smith for 37 off 107 balls with an arm-ball that held its line, Australia crashed from 84-2 to 109-5 in the space of 6.2 overs.

Peter Handscomb and Alex Carey combined for 53 runs for the sixth wicket, then Ashwin sparked up before tea. Ashwin bowled the adventurous Carey for 36 runs, and earned his 450th wicket in his 89th test.

Captain Pat Cummins was caught cheaply off Ashwin, too.

Australia was 174-8 at tea with Jadeja striking either side of the break. Todd Murphy fell for a five-ball duck on debut, and Handscomb was out in similar fashion on 31.

On his test return after seven months out, Jadeja’s 11th five-wicket haul was his fourth against Australia.

“I played test cricket after a long time and it is tough,” Jadeja said. “I worked hard on my fitness. I bowled nearly 10-12 hours daily at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) to regain my rhythm for this series. I also played first-class cricket. I knew I had to bowl long spells.”

Ashwin bowled Scott Boland for 1 to complete the rout.

India openers Sharma and Lokesh Rahul defied the Australia’s bowling to complete the hosts’ dominance on day one of the four-test series.

Sharma hit nine fours and a six to reach his half-century off 66 balls.

Rahul scratched around for 20 runs off 71 balls before a simple return catch gave offspinner Murphy his maiden test wicket. With 13 balls remaining, Ashwin came out to be the nightwatchman.

Both teams made changes to their lineups for the start of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.

Australia dropped in-form batter Travis Head, bringing back Handscomb into the middle order after all the attention on the pitch preparation and the perception it will disadvantage left-handed batters.

India handed test debuts to Bharat and Suryakumar Yadav. Bharat replaced wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who was recovering from injuries in a car crash. Yadav replaced the injured Shreyas Iyer.

Source : AP News