WATCH: Ashwin outfoxes Steve Smith again, gets him for a duck. Sunil Gavaskar says ‘it was a plan’

India vs Australia: Ravichandran Ashwin removed Australia’s Steve Smith for a duck by setting up a leg-side trap on ay 1 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. Sunil Gavaskar said it was a plan to restrict Smith.
Ashwin dismissed Steve Smith for a duck(Screengrab)
Ashwin dismissed Steve Smith for a duck(Screengrab)
Updated on Dec 27, 2020 08:25 AM IST
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New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com

Ravichandran Ashwin once again emerged as one of India’s most successful bowlers after Australia won the toss and elected to bat first on Day 1 of the Boxing Day Test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Ashwin got two important wickets including the one of Steve Smith to give India the early advantage of the second Test.

There was a lot of talk around how Ashwin dismissed Smith with a slider in the first innings of Adelaide and chances are high there would more chatter this time after he removed Smith for a duck – his first against India in Tests – on Saturday.

IND vs AUS 2nd Test Day live score

Unlike Adelaide where Ashwin bowled an outstanding delivery, this time it was more about the collective planning. India set a leg-side trap, with a backward and forward short-leg and Smith fell right into it. He got an inside edge and Cheteshwar Pujara at leg slip dived towards his left to take a sharp catch.

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Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said Smith was perhaps more anxious to get off the mark and that’s why went to push at it and got the inside edge.

 

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“First and foremost, I’m pretty surprised at the fact that on Day 1 there’s a lot of turn for the Indian spinners. He’s been bowling straight, he’s been bowling on the middle and leg, it’s been pretty much a plan to try and restrict the batsmen from playing any shot through the off side. If you look at Smith’s dismissal because maybe he was on zero he wanted to get off the mark, wasn’t able to control it. On the other hand, there were a couple of deliveries when Labuschagne was playing and he shouldered arms, Smith could’ve done that as well but I’m not complaining,” Gavaskar told 7 cricket.

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This was only the fifth duck for Steve Smith in Test cricket. He has now been dismissed by Ashwin five times – twice in Australia and three times in India.

Ashwin, who was brought into the attack in the 11th over by stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, struck in his second over by removing Matthew Wade for 30.

Earlier, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah gave the tourists a flying start, having opener Joe Burns caught behind for an uneasy 10-ball duck in his second over.

It was an exquisite delivery that did for Burns, nipping back off the seam and tickling an edge on the way through to recalled wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.

Makeshift opener Wade survived an early nick to the slips off Umesh Yadav and kept India’s bowlers at bay for the first hour.

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