Australia vs India 2018, 1st Test: After a scintillating show in England, India’s pace bowling spearhead Ishant Sharma was on the money again in the ongoing first Test against Australia at the iconic Adelaide Oval on Friday. Ishant provided the visitors a perfect start with the ball on the second morning by sending explosive opener Aaron Finch back in the hut for nought. However, his wicket of Aussie skipper Tim Paine in the post-tea session was little more memorable for the lanky pacer as he becomes the third Indian pacer to complete 50 Test wickets against Australia. Kapil Dev and Zaheer Khan are the other Indian pacers to pick up 50 wickets against the Aussies.
In the past couple of years, the 30-year old Ishant has come of age and wonderfully shouldered the role of team’s most experienced fast bowler. His impeccable line and length paid rich dividends and helped India to take command of the match
Ishant’s spell against Ricky Ponting in the 2008-09 Australia tour remains a highlight of his career.
As far as the first Test is concerned, India had the slight edge in a sedately-paced battle of attrition after senior off-spinner R Ashwin cleaned up the Australian top-order and a meticulous pace effort kept the home team’s scoring in check on the second day of the opening Test.
Travis Head (61 batting) and Pat Cummins (10) kept Australia in the game with a 50-run partnership in the last session but India walked away with the advantage after the latter fell towards the end of day’s play. At stumps, Australia were 191/7 in 88 overs with Ashwin being their primary tormentor, securing figures of 3/50 in 33 overs. He was aided well by the pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah (2/34) and Ishant Sharma (2/31).
Mitchell Starc (8 batting) was giving Head company at close of play with Australia trailing by 59 runs against India’s first innings effort of 250 all out, the highlight of which was Cheteshwar Pujara’s fighting hundred.