Steve Smith’s seventh century in eight Tests against India put Australia on course for a big total, but debutant Kuldeep Yadav stole the show with a magnificent haul of 4/68. India fought back to restrict the visitors to 300 all out on the first day of the fourth Test here on Saturday. (Day 1 BLOG)
Kuldeep’s spell negated the advantage created by Smith’s 134-run second-wicket stand with David Warner (56) as India made a remarkable comeback on a day when there was drama even before the first ball was bowled. (Day 1 SCORECARD)
Virat Kohli was ruled out of the match as he failed to recover from a shoulder injury he sustained in Ranchi. Kuldeep was named his replacement as Ajinkya Rahane became the 33rd captain to lead India in Tests.
In the first ball of the match, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, brought in for Ishant Sharma, lured Warner into the drive but Karun Nair at third slip dropped the catch. Umesh Yadav though struck early dismissing Matt Renshaw for 1.
Kuldeep makes a mark
Smith and Warner batted comfortably as Australia went into lunch at 131/1. Following the lunch break, Warner fell for 56 as Kuldeep got his first wicket, with his first delivery in the session. Umesh dismissed Shaun Marsh for 4 by strangling him down the leg side with a short ball.
At the other end, Kuldeep settled into a rhythm and bowled a solid 14-over spell in which he ran through the Australian middle order. He cleaned up Peter Handscomb, the hero of the Ranchi Test, for eight with a delivery that drifted away and spun back in to knock his stumps.
Kuldeep reserved the best ball for Glenn Maxwell as he bowled a wrong one which spun away to square up the Australian as they slumped to 178/5.
Kuldeep set up the Ranchi centurion brilliantly, bowling two deliveries around his leg-stump before delivering one just a touch short to keep Maxwell rooted on the backfoot as the ball zipped past the outside edge to clip the bails.
The rookie received plenty of support. Coach Anil Kumble walked up to him while he fielded on the boundary give him tips, and his control made it very difficult for the batsmen.
Smith registers a ton
As Smith reached his 20th Test century, he seemed to have set Australia on course for a big total but Ravichandran Ashwin picked up his 79th wicket of the season as he dismissed Smith for 111 just before tea.
In the final session, Matthew Wade and Pat Cummins stitched a 37-run stand before Cummins became Kuldeep’s fourth wicket. Wade smashed his fourth fifty but fell for 57 as he missed a slog sweep off Ravindra Jadeja.
India took the second new ball in the 88th over and Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Lyon for 13 as Australia were bowled out. India negotiated one over safely at stumps.
Brief scores: Australia 300 all out (Steve Smith 111, Kuldeep Yadav 4/68) vs India 0/0.