Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Umesh give India lead

By ScoreLine Desk - December 18, 2020

Adelaide: India’s day it is and what a show with the ball from the visitors. R Ashwin spun a web with four wickets and Umesh complimented by taking three as India bowled out Australia for 191. Prithvi SHaw failed to carry is bat through but Mayank Agarwal and Jasprit Bumrah ensured, India ends the second day with a healthy lead of 62 runs.

Having taken a 53-run lead — something which could have been more had the last three Australian wickets not added 80 runs – India were 9/1 in the second essay when the umpires ended play on the second night. The 62-run lead with nine wickets in the bag could prove to be crucial as the wicket isn’t getting any better for batting.

But the day certainly belonged to the duo of Ashwin and Umesh. Both have often been the ones sacrificed whenever the team has found the need to cut out a spinner or remove an extra fast bowler from the XI. But on Friday, they stole the show after Bumrah sent the openers back in the last half of the opening session.

While Ashwin started by picking the all-important wicket of Steve Smith (1), Umesh picked the man who was looking to stand tall and script a fightback – Marnus Labuschagne (47). With the duo constantly picking wickets, it looked like India would bag a lead of over 100.

But skipper Tim Paine had other ideas as he kept battling it out with quality contributions from both Starc (15) and Nathan Lyon (10). More than the runs, the 37 balls that the two combined to play out, kept giving Paine more confidence to stick it out and get closer to the Indian total of 244.

Australia finally folded for 191 as Umesh returned to end Josh Hazlewood’s stay at the crease (8 off 10 balls in 25 minutes). While Mohammad Shami didn’t pick a wicket, he bowled impressively and finished with the best economy rate of 2.41. India’s fielding also left a lot to be desired and catches went down left, right and centre.

The two moments that stood out in the field for India both involved Ashwin. While the first one was when he bowled one slightly shorter and got it to straighten after pitching to take Smith’s edge, the second was a long hop from him that all-rounder Cameron Green (11) hit wide off Kohli who pulled off a brilliant catch, diving to his right.

Earlier, India managed to add just 11 runs to their overnight score as Cummins and Starc made short work of the Indian lower-order. While Starc finished with figures of 4/53, Cummins returned figures of 3/48. While the first hour looked a little disappointing for the Indians, Bumrah handed India the upper hand with the ball towards the close of the opening session as he sent back the Australian openers in quick succession.

By ScoreLine Desk

Related Articles