Arjun Bhalla ∙ Feb 9 2023, 11:32 AM

Rohit, Jadeja emerge as heroes in Team India's big-budget production

image-ldx0jdvjRohit scored a fifty on Day 1

Apart from the 82-run partnership between Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith, nothing went in the favour of Australia on Day 1 of the first Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 

First, the visiting batters got ripped away by the left-arm spin of Ravindra Jadeja and then the captain and vice-captain duo of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul pulled the game more towards India.

Starting the last session on Day 1, Jadeja carried on from where he left off in the post-lunch session. He bagged a spectacular five-wicket haul in his comeback match, sending Peter Handscomb back to the hut to complete his 11th Test five-fer.

Bundling Australia for 177, the home team had an entire session to pile on runs and put more pressure on the visitors. The Indian skipper did exactly that as he started off the innings with three boundaries, of which two came on the first two balls, in the very first over. 

KL Rahul, at the other end, took a rather cautious road to counter the Aussies as he defended the good deliveries and rotated the strike timely.

The host openers didn't let the seamers settle with the new ball, while Rohit, with his feet moment and strong defence, didn't allow the spinners to pass by easily. 

Smashing 9 boundaries and a solitary maximum, the Indian leader-in-chief completed his 15th Test half-century. 

However, India had an anti-climax to the session when Rahul looped a return catch to Todd Murphy as the hosts ended the day on 77 for 1. The most awful part about the vice-skipper's dismissal was he threw away his wicket after facing 71 deliveries.


Talking Points

Rohit Sharma told how to bat on these Indian pitches. He used his feet to perfection and never allowed the spinners to settle with their lines and lengths.

Just like the usual Ravindra Jadeja, the left-arm tweaker attacked the batters with a stump-to-stump line; and his oddball came with the arm into the right-hander. 

After KL Rahul's dismissal, India sent Ravichandran Ashwin ahead of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli to everyone's surprise. With 5 centuries to his name, calling Ashwin a night watchman would be a disregard to Ash, the batter.

In the first innings of the Test, Ashwin entered the 450 Test wicket club, becoming the ninth bowler overall and the fifth spinner to do so. He is also the second fastest at it.

Brief Scores

Australia: 177-10 (63.5 overs)
Marnus Labuschagne 49 (123), Steve Smith 37 (107);
Ravindra Jadeja 5-47 (22), R Ashwin 3-42 (15.5)

India: 77-1 (24.0 overs)
Rohit Sharma 56* (69), KL Rahul 20 (71);
Todd Murphy 1/13 (7)

India trail by 100 runs.