India wins the first Test match by 31 runs and leads four-match series 1-0. Cheteshwar Pujara was awarded the man of the match.
India had last won a Test match in Australia way back in 2008 under the leadership of spin bowling legend Anil Kumble. Since then India toured twice to Australia under MS Dhoni but couldn’t win a single game.
Ten years later it is Virat Kohli and Company who have registered a win against the Aussies on their home soil. It is also a record that India has won the first match of the series in Australia for the very first time.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) December 9, 2018
This is India’s sixth win Down Under since independence. India won 2 Test matches in 1977-78, 1 Test match in 1980-81, the famous Adelaide test in 2003-04 wherein the Wall Rahul Dravid scored a brilliant 233, the Perth Test in 2008 in a series mostly remembered for the monkeygate. Today’s victory makes Virat Kohli the first Indian captain to win Tests in Australia, England and South Africa.
As It Happened:
India (First Innings)
Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first. The Australian fast bowling trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins got early breakthroughs. They dismissed KL Rahul, Murli Vijay and Virat Kohli in the first 10 overs.
Then it was all upto the ever dependable Cheteshwar Pujara to become the rock on one end when wickets were tumbling on another. He showed his masterclass and made an outstanding 123. He was supported by Rohit Sharma (37), Rishabh Pant (25) and R Ashwin (25) as India posted 250 runs.
Hazelwood claimed 3 wickets while Starc, Cummins and Lyon took a couple wickets each.
Australia (First Innings)
India’s most experienced bowler Ishant Sharma gave the fans a delightful sight in the first over itself when he clean bowled Aaron Finch. The debutant Marcus Harris made 26 while Australia’s only trusted batsman Usman Khwaja made 28 until Ashwin produced a dream delivery. Travis Head provided some heft to the weak batting order. He made 72 as Australia made 235 and fell 15 runs short of India’s total.
Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin picked up 3 wickets each while Ishant Sharma and Shami claimed 2 wickets apiece.
India (Second Innings)
India win opening Test! ?
Ashwin gets his first wicket of the day, snaring Hazlewood, to deny Australia what would have been a terrific victory.
— ICC (@ICC) December 10, 2018
India started with a small 15 run lead but the openers KL Rahul and Murli Vijay gave India a fantastic partnership of 63. Rahul made 44. Kohli looked good until Lyon got the better of him. He made 34. It was again upto Pujara to stretch India’s lead. He was ably supported by the Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Pujara made 71 while Rahane made 70 and India put up 307 runs on the board and set Australia 323 runs to win the game.
Nathan Lyon became India’s nemesis picking up 6 wickets in the innings. Starc got 3 while Hazelwood got 1 wicket.
Australia (Second Innings)
323 seemed to be a big task on hand but Australia never goes away with a fight. The Australian batting showed resilience. Shaun Marsh made 60 and Captain Tim Paine made 41. The tail which always troubles the Indian bowlers did it again.
Pat Cummins (28), Starc (28) and Lyon (38) did bring the hearts of the Indian fans in the mouths. But the Indian bowlers were upto their task. Bumrah, Ashwin and Shami picked up 3 wickets each while Ishant got one as India created history by beating the Aussies by 31 runs.
Records created in the match:
Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant equals the record for the most catches in a Test match. The wicketkeeper-batsman equalled a World record held by Jack Russell and AB Devillers, both of whom had taken 11 catches in a Test match.
Captain Virat Kohli became the fastest batsman to score 1000 runs in Australia ahead of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. He is the 4th Indian to score 1000 runs in Australia.
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