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India is on the edge of a major victory over Australia as Ravichandran Ashwin records his 31st test five-for


In Nagpur, Ravichandran Ashwin bowled superbly to take his 31st five-wicket haul in Test cricket, giving India a commanding lead over Australia. On Day 3 of the first Test match, India had a 223-run advantage over Australia. With Australia having a difficult challenge on a turning pitch, Ashwin turned the tide for the home team. Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Handscomb, and Alex Carey were all dismissed by Ashwin to reach the milestone.

The pitch gave Ashwin a lot of help, and the Australia batters found it easy to play against his disciplined bowling. The four other dismissals were all LBWs because the batsmen had difficulties judging his line and length, with the exception of Warner, who was beautifully caught by Virat Kohli.

India built a commanding 223-run first innings lead over Australia by scoring 400 runs, led by the sturdy 84 of Axar Patel and the entertaining 37 of Mohammed Shami. In the 52-run ninth-wicket partnership, which helped India defeat Australia on a pitch that the visiting media said was “doctored,” Axar kept his head down and let Shami bat.

With Ravindra Jadeja (70) and Patel at the crease, India had started the day at 321 for 7. Jadeja did not endure for long as he raised his arms in response to a Murphy delivery that slammed into the stumps from an oblique angle.

The pitch’s characteristics haven’t altered much; it is still a slow-turner that will provide hits for any batter who is willing to work hard. When the Indian innings concluded, lunch was consumed. After being caught at number six by Scott Boland at long-on off Nathan Lyon, Shami made the quick decision to counterattack Todd Murphy, the opposition’s top bowler (7/124).

Along with a few boundaries throughout his 47 ball stay, he blasted the bespectacled off-spinner for three sixes: a slog sweep over mid-wicket, a flat six over long-off, and a huge shot over long-on. It was impressive to add 50+ runs in little over an hour (65 minutes), and Patel did his part by giving Shami the most of the strike. Boland’s error killed Australia any hope of winning since Shami made them pay hard for it. While Lyon’s (1/126) performance has been underwhelming to say the least because his bowling lacked the bite, Murphy’s (1/126) performance has been superb on debut.

The seasoned off-spinner was simple for almost all Indian hitters to defend from the back foot. Patel made the decision to attack after Shami was removed while attempting to hit Murphy for his fourth maximum and lofted the rookie directly onto the sightscreen for his first six. He was bowled by the opposing captain Pat Cummins, ending his innings as well as India’s.

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