Indian spinners produced an impressive effort to thrash Australia by an innings and 132 runs in the first Test of the four-match series at the VCA stadium in Nagpur. Team India produced a brilliant performance with both bat and ball to register a memorable win, taking a 1-0 lead in the series. India’s senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin claimed a fifer while Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami scalped two wickets each to bundle out Australia for 91 runs in their second innings.
Earlier on Day 3, Todd Murphy cleaned up Jadeja (70) early in the first session. The star all-rounder became the first Indian cricketer to score a fifty and take a five-wicket haul in a Test match on five occasions, breaking the record of legendary Indian captain Kapil Dev. Shami played a beautiful cameo of 37 before Murphy picked him as his seventh wicket. Australia captain Pat Cummins bowled out Axar Patel, who batted well for his 84 and helped India to post 400. Debutant Murphy was superb with the ball but lacked good support from other Australian bowlers.
Trailing by 223 runs, Australian batters were never in the contest and failed to deliver their batting skills. Ashwin stunned the visitors by removing Usman Khawaja (5) very early. Moments later, Jadeja dismissed Marnus Labuschagne (17) who looked in good touch. Ashwin then dismissed David Warner (10) who hit him for back-to-back boundaries.
Ashwin rattled the opposition batting with his off-spin as he sent back Matt Renshaw (2), Peter Handscomb (6), and Alex Carey (10) in quick succession. Jadeja then bagged Cummins (1) while Shami wrapped up the proceedings by dismissing the tail-enders quickly. Steve Smith who fought lonely remained unbeaten on 25. Ashwin recorded his 31st fifer in Test cricket. The second Test will begin on February 17 (Friday) in New Delhi.