Match report: Ind vs Aus – 1st Test, Day 4
A determined 75 not-out by Moises Henriques took Australia to a 40-run lead with one wicket in hand at the end of Day 4 in the first Test of the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
After MS Dhoni’s double-ton helped the hosts take a 192-run lead, nine Australian wickets fell to the spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Harbhajan Singh for 175. But debutant Moises Henriques once against put up a fight and added 57 runs with Nathan Lyon in an unbroken partnership for the last wicket to avoid an innings defeat. When stumps were called, Australia were 232 for nine and Lyon was batting on 8.
Earlier, resuming his innings on the overnight score of 206, MS Dhoni added 18 runs to his total, before a bouncer from James Pattinson took the glove of the Indian captain and was collected safely by Matthew Wade behind the stumps. The Indian skipper by then had surpassed Sachin Tendulkar’s record of the highest score by an India captain. Bhuvneshwar Kumar who had until then played the supporting role to perfection in the 140-run partnership decided to take the lead and with Ishant Sharma at the other end looked to extend the innings and increase the lead. They added 26 runs for the last wicket, before Kumar handed a catch to mid-off to depart for 38. Bowled out for 572 runs, India posed a stiff challenge for Australia.
When the visitors took guard on the fourth-day Chepauk wicket, Shane Watson came out to open the innings with Ed Cowan in place of the ill David Warner. With the pitch affording turn and bounce, India opened the bowling with Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh. Dhoni rotated his spinners and at the stroke of lunch the local hero Ashwin claimed the prized wicket of Shane Watson to give India their first breakthrough.
While the Australians continued to struggle against the spinners, Dhoni’s go-to man, Ashwin, claimed Cowan leg-before, while a Ravindra Jadeja delivery rose and took Phillip Hughes glove and was pouched by Virender Sehwag. The No.4 bat’s departure left the visitors on 65 for three. And 36 runs later Harbhajan Singh trapped Warner Lbw and followed up by disrupting Wade’s woodwork to put India in a commanding position. Dropped on naught by Virat Kohli at backward short-leg, Clarke continued to negotiate the spinners, while his partners struggled. He was joined by Moises Henriques who survived a run-out chance while on one.
Floundering on 128 for five when tea was called, the Clarke-led side was facing a tough ask and their problems were further compounded when Ashwin sent back the Australian skipper in the first over after tea to expose the Australian tail. Peter Siddle then joined debutant Henriques in the middle but lost his stumps to Jadeja for two. A while later Pattinson offered a low catch to Sehwag in the slips off Ashwin and walked back for 11. Mitchell Starc was the off-spinner’s next scalp; Ashwin got a five-for in the second innings as well. Henriques however continued to put up a resistance with Nathan Lyon for support, and he reached his second half-century of the match in trying conditions to ensure India bat again.
At the end of Day 4: India 1st innings 572 all out in 154.3 overs (MS Dhoni 224, B Kumar 38, J Pattinson 5/96); Australia 2nd innings 232/9 in 84 overs (M Henriques 75*, N Lyon 8*, R Ashwin 5/90)
At the end of Day 3: India 1st innings 515/8 in 141 overs (MS Dhoni 206*, V Kohli 107, SR Tendulkar 81, N Lyon 3/182)
At the end of Day 2: Australia 1st innings 380 all out in 133 overs (M Clarke 130, R Ashwin 7/103); India 1st innings 182/3 in 52 overs (SR Tendulkar 71*, V Kohli 50*, C Pujara 44, J Pattinson 3/25)
At the end of Day 1: Australia 1st innings 316/7 in 95 overs (M Clarke 103*, M Henriques 68, D Warner 59, R Ashwin 6/88)