In an enthralling first Test, Pakistan emerged victorious, defeating Sri Lanka by four wickets and taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series. The match witnessed several twists and turns, with Saud Shakeel's unbeaten 208 in Pakistan's first innings making the crucial difference between the two teams. Dhananjaya de Silva was the standout performer for Sri Lanka, putting up two brilliant knocks to keep his team in the game.
India vs Australia – Border-Gavaskar Trophy – 1st Test Review
The Aussies reached the Nagpur VCA Stadium for the most awaited Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The Vidarbha Association Cricket Stadium and the home crowd could not wait for the opening match of the enticing series. Australia had their plans laid out and had their batters set to tackle Team India’s spin attack. India, on the other hand, looks forward to cementing their dominance over the Kangaroos in the Red Ball format by repeating their 2021 visit to Australia.
The Coin was tossed into the air, and Cummins called for it right and won it. The Aussies didn`t hesitate to bat first as they were well prepared for India`s bowling attack. David Warner and Usman Khawaja had trouble finding their footing against the opening spells of Siraj and Shami; soon Usman fell prey to an in-swinger from Muhammad Siraj and was given LBW after a good review from the Indian side.
This, however, was just the start of troubles for the Aussies as Shami got Warner bowled in the very next over. Steve Smith came out to bat next and built a formidable partnership with Marnus Labuschagne. The duo looked comfortable against the Indian bowling and by the end of the first session of the first day, Australia had 72 runs on the loss of two wickets.
Jadeja`s two quick wickets helped India find their way back into the game. Jadeja got the wicket of the consistent Labuschagne and Renshaw. Jadeja got another one that really pushed the Aussies on the back foot. Alex Carey and Handscomb tried to stabilize the innings by playing some good shots here and there.
It wasn’t until Ashwin got Carey and put Australia`s batting lineup in dismay. Jadeja and Ashwin kept to their good line and length and this restricted the Aussies to 177. Both of them picked up the remaining wickets and had handsome bowling figures. Jadeja got a fifer while only giving away 47 runs in 22 overs and Ashwin got 3 which brings the total of 8 spinner wickets in the first innings.
The Indians looked a lot more comfortable to bat than the Kangaroos, as Rohit Sharma started smashing bowlers all over the park. KL Rahul got out early on 20 and this led to Ashwin being sent as the night watchman at the end of the first day. Ashwin scored 23 and fell short of Todd Murphy.
However, his job was done to bring the play to the batters on day 2 of the test. Pujara, Kohli, and Suryakumar Yadav didn`t really find the ball on the bat and went to the pavilion earlier than expected. The shift in the tide happened as Jadeja came out to bat.
Rohit Sharma was already looking good and with Jadeja at the crease, they started making batting look easy. Jadeja scored 70, Rohit Sharma got a ton and finished his innings with 120, while Axar Patel played a brilliant 83 runs innings. And by the end of the 1st session on the 3rd day, India had 400 runs on the board and it was Australia`s turn to bat.
The Aussies were rattled and collapsed on a low score of 91 with the highest score coming from 25 runs not out Steve Smith. Ashwin got a fifer, Jadeja and Shami both got two wickets each, and Axar Patel got the wicket of Todd Murphy. India had a dominant win over the Aussies on the 3rd day by a long margin of an innings and 132 runs.
Jadeja was named the Player of the Match for his 7 wickets and the brilliant 70 runs knock that was the game changer in the fan`s opinion. India leads the 4-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series 1-0 after this win, as we predicted would happen.