Ashwin wreaks havoc, India thump Australia by an innings & 132 runs

NAGPUR, Feb 11:
A wily Ravichandran Ashwin blew away a panic-stricken Australia with a fifer as India dismantled visitors’ second innings in a single session to win the opening Test by a comprehensive innings and 132 run-margin, here today.
After taking a massive 223-run first innings lead, India decimated Australia for just 91 in 32.3 overs with the Test match finishing inside three days at Jamtha.
It’s rare that an Australian innings folds inside on session.
After Axar Patel’s career-best 84 and Mohammed Shami’s entertaining 37 took India to a commanding first innings total of 400, Ashwin (5/37) literally mauled the Australians with the new ball, taking his 31st five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
The Australian batters once again made the cardinal mistake of playing the pitch rather than the bowler and looked utterly confused on whether to defend or attack.
The Indian innings showed that demons were in the minds of Australian batters and not in the 22-yard strip.
The intent was to be positive but even with all the simulated training sessions, it was always going to be difficult to read Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja (2/34), latter playing the second fiddle this time.
They didn’t have slightest clue which one was turning and which one was coming straight.
Usman Khawaja (5) after hitting a boundary was lured with a tossed up off-break outside his off-stump and his half slash-half drive effort went into Virat Kohli’s hands in the slips.
Marnus Labuschagne (17) hit a few boundaries but when Jadeja flighted one which turned a shade after pitching, the right-hander premeditatedly rocked on to the back-foot rather than coming on the front-foot.
The result was an easy leg-before decision.
David Warner’s (10) stay was struggle and after he charged Ashwin to get two boundaries, Ashwin bowled a slider and he wasn’t half forward this time and got rapped on the pads.
Matt Renshaw was then trapped on the backfoot and right-hander Peter Handscomb got a classical off-break which would have disturbed the timber anyway. Alex Carey for the second time went for a non-existent sweep shot and perished.
Steve Smith could only helplessly watch as wickets fell like nine pins at the other end. He tried delaying the inevitable without much success.
Mohammed Shami (2/13), after a solid batting show put the final nail in the Australian coffin by trapping Scott Boland.
Earlier, Axar Patel’s resolute 84 and Shami’s entertaining 37 gave India a massive 223-run first innings lead. The hosts posted 400 by third day lunch session after resuming the day at 321 for seven.
They wouldn’t have envisaged that Australia had lost it in their minds even before they came out to bat for the second time. (PTI)

Australia 1st Innings: 177
India 1st Innings:
Rohit Sharma b Cummins 120
KL Rahul c&b Murphy 20
Ravichandran Ashwin lbw b Murphy 23
Cheteshwar Pujara c Boland b Murphy 7
Virat Kohli c Carey b Murphy 12
Suryakumar Yadav b Lyon 8
Ravindra Jadeja b Murphy 70
Srikar Bharat lbw b Murphy 8
Axar Patel b Cummins 84
Mohammed Shami c Carey b Murphy 37
Mohammed Siraj not out 1
Extras: (B-6, LB-1, NB-3) 10
Total: (All out in 139.3 overs)
Fall of wickets: 1-76, 2-118, 3-135, 4-151, 5-168, 6-229, 7-240, 8-328, 9-380, 10-400
Bowling: Pat Cummins 20.3-3-78-2, Scott Boland 17-4-34-0, Nathan Lyon 49-13-126-1, Todd Murphy 47-12-124-7, Marnus Labuschagne 5-0-24-0, Matt Renshaw 1-0-7-0.
Australia 2nd Innings:
Usman Khawaja c Kohli b Ashwin 5
David Warner lbw b Ashwin 10
Marnus Labuschagne lbw b Jadeja 17
Steven Smith not out 25
Matt Renshaw lbw b Ashwin 2
Peter Handscomb lbw b Ashwin 6
Alex Carey lbw b Ashwin 10
Pat Cummins c Bharat b Jadeja 1
Todd Murphy c Sharma b Patel 2
Nathan Lyon b Mohammed Shami 8
Scott Boland lbw b Mohammed Shami 0
Extras: (LB-1, NB-4) 5
Total: (All out in 32.3 overs) 91
Fall of wickets: 1-7, 2-26, 3-34, 4-42, 5-52, 6-64, 7-67, 8-75, 9-88, 10-91
Bowling: Mohammed Shami 4.3-1-13-2, Ravichandran Ashwin 12-3-37-5, Mohammed Siraj 1-1-0-0, Ravindra Jadeja 12-3-34-2, Axar Patel 3-0-6-1.