Ravichandran Ashwin provided India the much-needed scalp of Steve Smith in his maiden over of the Test match, thus bringing an end to a passage of play where the visitors just refused to take any opportunity that came their way.
The moment came in the 27th over of the Australian innings when Ashwin flummoxed the No.1 ranked batsmen in the world with a straighter one.
Smith, who was expecting an off-spinner from Ashwin, was caught on the crease and opened up in his defense, leading to a thick edge flying to Ajinkya Rahane at first slip.
Rahane did not make any mistake and gobbled what was a regulation catch to end Smith’s 29-ball 1 struggle on the crease. Rahane’s catch came as a welcome relief for the Indians, who it seemed like, had refused to pouch onto anything that came their way.
The biggest beneficiary was Marnus Labuschagne, who was dropped twice in his innings by the Indian fielders.
The first culprit was Jasprit Bumrah, who was caught in two minds while trying to catch the Australian No.3 at the boundary, eventually ending up dropping an easy catch.
The second culprit was Prithvi Shaw, who also dropped an easy chance at short midwicket after Labuschagne once again top-edged a short-pitch delivery, this time off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah.
Nevertheless, at the time of writing, Ravichandran Ashwin had given another blow to Australia as he dismissed Travis Head courtesy an easy caught and bowled.
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— Rohit Jethwani (@the_jethwani) December 18, 2020