Australia had their best day on the India tour, finishing the first day of the third Test in Indore with a 47-run lead and six wickets in hand, thanks to a maiden five-wicket haul by Matthew Kuhnemann and a hard-fought half-century by Usman Khawaja.
Pitch and Toss in India vs Australia
The pitch was bare at both ends with a green patch in the middle, prompting Rohit Sharma to bat first after winning the toss, the first time India had won the toss in the series. However, Australia’s spinners, Kuhnemann and Nathan Lyon, took advantage of the turn and variable bounce on offer, bundling India out for 109 in 33.2 overs. Kuhnemann took 5 for 16 while Lyon picked up three wickets. Todd Murphy took one and the remaining batter, No. 11 Mohammed Siraj, was run out.
Starc’s Near Misses
Mitchell Starc replaced Pat Cummins in the side but went wicketless. He had two near misses in the opening over of the match, finding Rohit’s outside edge with the first ball, but umpire Nitin Menon was unmoved. Australia chose not to review for caught behind, only for Ultra Edge to show a spike. Starc beat Rohit’s inside edge three balls later, but Menon denied the appeal again. Australia once again chose not to review, and ball-tracking indicated the ball would have hit the stumps. Rohit failed to capitalize on those reprieves and was out for 14 in the sixth over, stumped by Alex Carey off Kuhnemann.
Fall of Wickets
Shubman Gill fell in Kuhnemann’s second over, caught by Steven Smith at slip. Cheteshwar Pujara was bowled off his fourth ball, a ripping offbreak from Kuhnemann that pitched on the edge of the green patch and shot through his back-foot defense. Ravindra Jadeja and Shreyas Iyer fell to the slowness of the surface. Jadeja failed to keep a cut down against Lyon, and Iyer chopped Kuhnemann onto his stumps. Kohli was Murphy’s only wicket, lbw for 22 while playing across his front pad. KS Bharat tried to counterattack, slog-sweeping for a four and a six, but Lyon trapped him lbw for 17. Axar Patel and Umesh Yadav took India past the 100-run mark, with India all out for 109.
Khawaja and Labuschagne opened the innings for Australia in India vs Australia, with Jadeja and R Ashwin opening the bowling for India. Jadeja pinned Travis Head lbw in his first over, but the decision was overturned. Labuschagne played on off Jadeja in his second over, but the umpire had overstepped. India burnt two reviews in the next six overs, with Jadeja’s lbw appeals against Khawaja turned down. When Ashwin appealed for lbw against Labuschagne in the 11th over, Rohit chose not to review, and Labuschagne survived. Khawaja and Labuschagne added 96 for the second wicket, with Khawaja scoring the bulk of the runs. Labuschagne was given another reprieve when Bharat dropped a tough chance off Ashwin, but he eventually fell for 31, bowled by Jadeja with an arm ball. Jadeja took two more wickets in the last half-hour before stumps, with Khawaja and Smith both falling to him.