India vs Australia: Mohammed Shami Sends David Warner’s Stumps Cartwheeling. Watch | Cricket News

India were off to a brilliant start on Day 1 of the first Test encounter against Australia in Nagpur on Thursday thanks to quick wickets from Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj. While Siraj trapped Usman Khawaja LBW, Shami produced an absolute ripper of a delivery to castle David Warner. The left-hander had no idea about the ball’s movement as it moved slightly to crash into the off-stump. It was a brilliant sight for the bowler as the stump went cartwheeling towards the wicket-keeper KS Bharat.

Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne handled the Indian spinners with a lot of confidence as Australia recovered from early jitters to reach 76 for two at lunch.

Mohammed Shami (1/12) and Mohammed Siraj (1/13) removed Usman Khawaja (1) and David Warner (1) in quick succession but Labuschagne (47) and Smith (19) led the Australian fight back in an engaging first session where they didn’t let India’s spin troika get better of them.

Labuschagne, who hit eight shots to the fence in his 110-ball innings, played the role of an enforcer whereas his senior Smith defended doggedly during his 74-ball stay, nullifying the Indian spinners to a great extent in their 74-run stand for the third wicket.

There were a few deliveries from both Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel that turned and jumped, making life difficult for debutant Kona Bharat behind the stumps but Australia’s two best batters were on top of their game during the session.

Ravichandran Ashwin, who primarily bowled around the wicket to the right handers, didn’t look threatening initially and then changed to traditional over-the-wicket bowling.

All the pre-match talk by a section of Australian media about “doctored pitches” seemed presumptuous as the VCA Stadium track seemed like a typical dry Indian wicket, which will gradually offer significant turn from second day onwards.

There is turn on offer but that is standard for Indian wickets and the manner in which Smith and Labuschagne played showed that good technique is key to adaptability in any conditions.

Pat Cummins did win a good toss and opted to bat as batting fourth would be an onerous task on a pitch which will deteriorate as the match progresses. A first innings score of 275 could put Australia in a very good position to dictate terms in this game.

Khawaja got a classical outswinger from Siraj (inswinger for southpaw) and Rohit Sharma was right in taking the DRS which went in India’s favour.

In case of Warner, Shami came around the wicket and fired from wide of the crease and the angular delivery sent the left-hander’s off-stump for a cartwheel.

India looked in control before world No. 1 Test batter took charge. Labuschagne started with a picture-perfect straight drive off Siraj and then deliberately used the pace of his delivery to get boundary through vacant fourth slip region.

But two of his best shots were — late cut off Axar’s bowling and an inside-out cover drive off Ashwin.

Ashwin was trying to peg the batters on the leg-stump line but his ploy at least in first session hasn’t worked well.

(With PTI inputs)

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