India end 10-year win drought in Australia first Test nail-biter

India won their first Test on Australian soil in a decade on Monday, bowling out the home side in a nail-biting finale to clinch the opening match of the series at Adelaide Oval with Rishabh Pant equalling a world-record along the way.

The hosts were set an improbable target of 323, which would have been a record run chase at the ground but gallantly battled to 291 before Josh Hazlewood became the last man to fall to Ravichandran Ashwin, who finished with 3-92. Shaun Marsh made 62 and Tim Paine 41.

Wicketkeeper Pant made history by matching the record 11 catches in a Test currently held by England’s Jack Russell and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

In doing so, he beat the record 10 catches in a game by an Indian that was previously held by Wriddhiman Saha.

It was a huge breakthrough for Virat Kohli’s men, with Australia always proving a tough hunting ground.

The last Test they won in Australia was at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008, and the last one in Adelaide was 2003, with just six victories now in more than 70 years — and never one in the first match of a series Down Under.

Another blot on Indian cricket history is that they have never won a series in Australia.

But with the home team missing the banned Steve Smith and David Warner, Kohli and his team sensed ahead of the tour that this could be their opportunity to make history.

They now take the momentum into the second Test in Perth starting Friday, with Melbourne and Sydney to follow.

Tense finale

Australia resumed the final day needing another 219 for victory with four wickets down, but lost their last two specialist batsmen before lunch, shifting the odds heavily in India’s favour.

Marsh and Travis Head had started cautiously, grinding out 11 runs in the opening seven overs before seamer Ishant Sharma struck with the score on 115, bowling a bouncer that caught Head’s bat as he tried to fend it off and Ajinkya Rahane took the catch at gully.

Paine joined Marsh and they upped the ante, capitalising on some loose balls from Shami to chip away steadily and close the gap.

Marsh brought up a valuable 50 — his 10th in Tests — with a boundary from a pull shot off spinner Ashwin.

It was a much-needed knock for the left-hander, who was on a run of six consecutive single-figure Test scores, although he has been in scintillating form in domestic cricket.

But he didn’t last much longer with Jasprit Bumrah getting the big breakthrough as Marsh pushed at a perfectly angled delivery, getting a faint edge to Pant behind the stumps.

By lunch Australia had fought to 186 for 6, still needing a further 137 runs for victory, with Paine not out 40 and Pat Cummins on five.

But in the second over after they resumed Paine top edged a pull shot from Bumrah and Pant easily took a catch.

Cummins, who survived two big reviews within four balls, with the technology both times going in his favour, showed fantastic application with Mitchell Starc in a 41-run eighth wicket stand.

And when the runs needed dropped below 100, the crowd dared to dream before Starc fell to Shami for 28. It brought Nathan Lyon to the crease and he got the pulses racing with a quick 38 to set up a tense finale before Hazlewood departed.

© Agence France-Presse

Martin Parry
Martin Parry
AFP News Editor for Australia/New Zealand/Pacific
Advertisting

The business of unfinished busines

Physical and psychological violence will continue unless we self-reflect on our apartheid scars

R80-million: The cost of evacuating South Africans from Wuhan in...

The government is expected to evacuate citizens from Wuhan, where the coronavirus outbreak originated

Primedia CEO Essack leaves following internal battles

Omar Essack leaves the 702 and 94.7 owners after a protracted standoff with the board

‘We’re satisfied with SA’s land reform policy’— US Ambassador

Top US official is lobbying multinational firms to invest in South Africa

Press Releases

Tourism can push Africa onto a new path – minister

The continent is fast becoming a dynamic sought-after tourist destination

South Africa’s education system is broken and unequal, and must be fixed without further delay

The Amnesty International report found that the South African government continues to miss its own education upgrading targets

Business travel industry generates billions

Meetings Africa is ready to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity

Conferences connect people to ideas

The World Expo and Meetings Africa are all about stimulating innovation – and income

SAB Zenzele Kabili B-BBEE share scheme

New scheme to be launched following the biggest B-BBEE FMCG payout in South Africa’s history

Digging deep

Automation is unstoppable, but if we're strategic about its implementation, it presents major opportunities

TFSAs are the gymnasts of the retirement savings world

The idea is to get South Africans to save, but it's best to do your research first to find out if a TFSA is really suited to your needs

Achieving the litmus test of social relevance

The HSS Awards honours scholarly works based on their social relevance and contribution to the humanities and social sciences