India beats Australia by an innings thanks to its spinners.
Australia was destroyed by spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in just over two hours, giving India a crushing innings-and-132-run win on the third day of the first Test.
The hosts took a commanding 223-run lead in the first innings in Nagpur, India, and then held Australia to just 91 runs in the second innings. This gave them a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.
Steve Smith was left on 25 when Ashwin, who had taken five wickets in the innings and eight in the match, caused a complete collapse of the batting in just one session.
“We know it’s important to get off to a good start in a series like this,” Rohit Sharma, the team’s captain, told reporters.
“I’m glad all of our batters were able to put on a show, get 400 runs, and give us enough of a lead before the spinners came in.”
Ashwin sent back Usman Khawaja (five), David Warner (ten), and Matt Renshaw when they were batting. He did this with his off-spin (two).
Marnus Labuschagne, who scored the most runs for Australia in the first innings with 49, was trapped lbw for 17 by Jadeja, who took five wickets in the first innings.
But Ashwin dominated the afternoon to run through the Australian batting, which failed on a pitch where India’s tail, including Axar Patel (84) and Mohammed Shami (37), scored well in the first session.
“Their spinners will always be hard to beat when the wicket is spinning,” said Pat Cummins, the captain of the Australian team.
“In the first innings, the wicket turned, but it wasn’t too hard to play on. Would have liked another 100 or so runs to put a little more pressure on their first innings. It’s clear that starting here is hard.”
Shami got Nathan Lyon out to keep the session going, and then he finished the job by trapping Scott Boland lbw.
Todd Murphy, a spinner who was making his debut, was the only thing that saved the tourists. On Saturday morning, he took two more wickets to bring his total to 7-124.
On Friday, Murphy became the youngest Australian spinner to take five wickets in his first Test. Early in the morning, he bowled Jadeja for 70 to end his partnership with Axar, which had lasted 88 runs.
Jadeja, a left-hander who was making his international comeback after hurting his knee, added only four runs to his 66 runs from the day before.
But Axar didn’t give up on his plan to get Australia out of the game, and number 10 Shami helped him by taking advantage of a dropped catch on six.
Before becoming Murphy’s seventh wicket, Shami hit two fours and three sixes to add to the score.
Cummins took two wickets and bowled Axar right before lunch, ending India’s turn at bat. Nathan Lyon, a senior spinner, got one out.
Rohit’s powerful 120 put the hosts in charge after they bowled Australia out for 177 on the first day of the first match.
The captain and Jadeja made a key stand of 61 runs, which put India in the lead when they were 168-5.
Jadeja’s 5-47 helped get rid of the visitors, who had chosen to bat first, soon after tea on the first day. This set the tone for the thrashing. On Friday, the second Test starts in New Delhi.