Match report: Ind vs Aus – 4th Test, Day 1
The Indian spinners put the home team in an advantageous position at the end of first day’s play of the final Test at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, after Australia’s stand-in captain Shane Watson elected to bat first. Outplayed in the first three Tests, Australia were left struggling on 189 for eight. But Peter Siddle and James Pattinson put together an unbroken 42-run partnership for the ninth wicket after that. Unbeaten on 47, Siddle took Australia to 231 for eight with Pattinson on 11 when play ended on Day 1.
Australia first lost the explosive David Warner in the second over of the day. The opener nicked an Ishant Sharma delivery to the slips for a catch to give the hosts an important breakthrough. However, Phillip Hughes then took guard and scored at a brisk pace and stitched together a valuable partnership with Ed Cowan. But as the Australian innings gained momentum, Sharma struck again to end the stand for 67 runs. Hughes who had done bulk of the scoring until then and looked in sublime touch was sent back for 45. Cowan and Watson took Australia to 94 for two at the end of the first session.
Ashwin and Jadeja then sent back five more Australian batsmen in the next session to send the tourists on the back foot. The duo claimed four wickets within an hour into the second session. Cowan lost his stumps to Ashwin while attempting to sweep the off-spinner. And nine runs later, Watson was stumped off Jadeja. Back in the side after recovering from injury, Matthew Wade was the next to depart, caught at silly point by Murali Vijay off Ashwin. Glenn Maxwell, who was attempting to take the aerial route against Jadeja, was caught at mid-on by Sharma a few overs later. Ashwin also dislodged Mitchell Johnson’s bails a little later to leave Australia reeling on 136 for seven. Although Steven Smith held up one end and saw the session through with Peter Siddle to take the team to 153 for seven at tea, he faced an uphill task. In the last session of the day, he was the first to depart. Four runs short of a half-century, Smith was caught at short-leg by debutant Ajinkya Rahane off Ashwin.
But Siddle played a valiant knock to keep his team afloat in the 1st innings and see the day through without losing further wickets. Ably complemented by James Pattinson, he denied India the opportunity to bowl out visiting team on first day. He watchfully negotiated the Indian bowlers as they strove to end the ninth-wicket partnership.
Debut: Ajinkya Rahane for India, who was handed his Test cap by veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh.
Changes in playing XIs: India: Ajinkya Rahane replaced the injured Shikhar Dhawan who had a memorable debut in Mohali; Australia: Shane Watson is back in the side and is standing in as captain for the injured Michael Clarke, while wicketkeeper Matthew Wade too returned to replace Brad Haddin in the team. Pacemen Mitchell Johnson and James Pattinson replaced Mitchell Starc and Xavier Doherty, and Glenn Maxwell came in place of Moises Henriques.
At the end of Day 1: Australia 1st innings 231/8 in 98 overs (P Siddle 47*, S Smith 46, J Pattinson 11*, R Ashwin 4/40, R Jadeja 2/34, I Sharma 2/35)