Australia has taken a slim one run lead in the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy match against India at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.
Nathan Lyon’s five-wicket haul left the Indian batting lineup struggling at 139 for 7, but the formidable lower order, led by Axar Patel and R Ashwin, added 114 runs for the eighth wicket to reduce the deficit to just one run.
The game had started with a solid opening stand of 46 runs by India’s Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, but Lyon’s incisive bowling removed both openers, with Cheteshwar Pujara following suit with a duck.
Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja added 59 runs for the fifth wicket, but after Kohli’s dismissal, India’s batting collapsed again as Lyon took two more wickets to finish his five-wicket haul.
Kohli’s dismissal came at a vital moment in the match.
Matt Kuhnemann made it a dream debut by claiming the scalp of Kohli, thanks to a borderline lbw call.
The decision, as Kohli played forward with bat and pad together, was given out on field.
When Lyon had KS Bharat caught at slip off a gloved sweep to complete his five-wicket haul, a three-figure – and likely match-deciding lead – was within reach for Australia.
However, India’s lower order was not finished yet.
Ashwin and Patel led a remarkable fightback, adding 114 runs for the eighth wicket.
Ashwin scored 37 off 71 balls with five boundaries, while Patel finished on 74 off 115 balls with nine boundaries and three sixes.
In the process, Ashwin has completed 5000 runs in first-class cricket.
India was eventually bowled out for 262 in 83.3 overs, with Lyon taking five wickets, and Todd Murphy and Matthew Kuhnemann taking two each.
When Australia began their second innings, Usman Khawaja opened with Travis Head as David Warner was declared unavailable due to injury.
Warner was struck on the helmet by Mohammed Siraj at the end of the 10th over in the 1st innings having previously taken a painful blow on the left elbow in the eighth over.
Both times he was struck he had tried to pull a Siraj bouncer but was beaten for pace.
Matt Renshaw took his place in the middle order.
Khawaja was dismissed early, but Head and Marnus Labuschagne remained unbeaten at stumps, with Australia at 61 for 1.
There is no word yet on Warner’s health following his stint off the ground.
“I think the medical staff will have to assess tomorrow,” Khawaja said.
“He is a little bit weary at the moment. He obviously got a knock to the arm and then to the head, and the head has made him a little bit weary at the moment and hence why he didn’t come out to field.”
Australia 263 and 61 for 1 lead India 262 (Axar 74, Lyon 5-67) by 62 runs