R Ashwin dismissed Steve Smith: It was a highly entertaining first session in the second Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023 Test match, in Delhi, and India will be the happy team going into Lunch with 3 wickets in the bag, despite conceding 94 runs.
Because the 3 wickets including Australia’s two best and in-form batters – Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith – the number 1 and 2 ICC ranked Test batters – both were dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin – Labuschagne beaten on the inside edge and Smith on the outside edge, Ashwin again showing his elite mastery over the ball, and his great understanding of the batters’ minds.
Usman Khawaja has been on the attack in the first session, after Australia won the toss and elected to bat first, in particular, the left-hander took down R Ashwin, who conceded 24 runs in his first 8 overs.
Ashwin retorted significantly then with back-to-back wickets: he had Labuschagne, lbw after being beaten on the inside edge while trying to defend; then he nicked Smith’s outside edge with wicket-keeper KS Bharat taking a superb low catch.
Smith must have seen Labuschagne being foxed on his inside edge. So when he faced his second delivery, still not having scored any run, Smith played for the turn to a delivery that Ashwin had angled across from around the wicket angle.
The ball kept going on straight with the angle and took a thin outside edge of Smith’s bat. The ball had stayed low, and KS Bharat did an excellent job in catching it to dismiss Steve Smith for a duck. The Indian players and the crowd erupted in joy as soon as Bharat started celebrating the big wicket.
Watch: R Ashwin dismissed Smith for a duck:
GONEEEEE!#TeamIndia bowlers have the ball talking and Aussie batters dancing to their tunes!
Ashwin gets two huge wickets of Labuschagne and Smith! 🔥
Tune-in to the action in the Mastercard #INDvAUS Test on Star Sports & Disney+Hotstar! #BelieveInBlue #TestByFire pic.twitter.com/xxgiqyrRau
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) February 17, 2023
Usman Khawaja reached his half-century, off 71 balls, at the stroke of lunch. He has played audaciously, deploying the sweep and reverse sweep, and an inside-out shot against Ashwin to great use. But how can Khawaja go with the pitch spinning and breaking down right from the first session?
Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey(w), Pat Cummins(c), Todd Murphy, Nathan Lyon, Matthew Kuhnemann
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat(w), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj