Ashwin six-fer pulls India back after Khawaja, Green tons

Ashwin six-fer pulls India back after Khawaja, Green tons

It was another day of attrition in the fourth Test of the series between India and Australia in Ahmedabad. Usman Khawaja continued his marathon effort from day one and shared a 208-run stand with Cameron Green, who notched up his maiden Test ton to ground the hosts out before Ravichandran Ashwin dragged India back into the contest with his six-wicket haul to end the visitor’s innings on 480.

It was another testing day for the bowlers on day two, and Cameron Green and Usman Khawaja made full use of the pristine batting conditions to further Australia’s advantage. Green resumed the day on 49 and played the role of the aggressor in the morning session to take the attack to the bowlers, while Khawaja comfortably rotated the strike and kept the scoreboard ticking after bringing up his century on the first evening.

The pair added 92 risk-free runs in the morning session, with the only nervy moment coming off a Khawaja edge that didn’t carry to KS Bharat. The southpaw brought up his 150 on the stroke of Lunch, while Cameroon Green reached his long-awaited maiden Test ton after the break, with the all-rounder cutting Ravindra Jadeja for four behind square.

India continued to keep the runs tight despite the lack of assistance from the surface, and the Men in Blue finally found some respite in the afternoon session through Ravichandran Ashwin. The off-spinner removed Green for 114 to break the 208-run stand, getting the all-rounder to glove a sweep to KS Bharat. Ashwin added to India’s delight with the wicket of Alex Carey in the same over, with the wicket-keeper carelessly top-edging the all-rounder to short third man to fall for a duck.

Ashwin also added a third in quick succession, getting Mitchell Starc to fend one to Shreyas Iyer at short leg. Axar Patel removed Usman Khawaja on the first ball after Tea for 180 following a DRS review, but the lower-order pairing of Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy joined hands to frustrate the weary Indian attack.

Lyon batted for 96 deliveries – his longest innings in whites – while Murphy added a career-high score of 41 in the 70-run stand. The tail took Australia’s lead closer to 500 before Ravichandran Ashwin finished off the innings with the third new ball to seal his 32nd Test five-wicket haul.

Despite standing in the field for the best part of two days, the Indian openers – Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill – showed no signs of fatigue in the final ten overs before stumps. Gill even smashed the first six of the game in the final over, taking India to 36 for no loss at the close of play.