AUS vs IND: Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates a dismissal during the 2nd Test.© AFP
Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar feels it was Ravichandran Ashwin’s plan to restrict Australia batsman Steve Smith from opening up his arms and playing through the offside that saw the bowler dismiss him down the leg side. Ashwin picked Smith’s wicket in the first session of the Boxing Day Test on Saturday for a duck. It was the first time in history that the right-handed batsman got out without scoring against India in the longest format of the game. The senior campaigner extracted extra spin and bounce as Smith played along his wrist to get caught at leg slip.
Gavaskar was surprised by the turn spinners were getting on the opening day of the Test. The former Indian batsman explained the reason behind Smith’s dismissal.
“First and foremost, I’m pretty surprised at the fact that on Day 1 there’s a lot of turn for the Indian spinners,” Gavaskar told 7 cricket.
“He’s been bowling straight, he’s been bowling on the middle and leg, it’s been pretty much a plan to try and restrict the batsmen from playing any shot through the off-side. If you look at Smith’s dismissal because maybe he was on zero he wanted to get off the mark, wasn’t able to control it,” he added.
The legendary batsman also cited how Marnus Labuschagne weathered the storm.
“On the other hand, there were a couple of deliveries when Labuschagne was playing and he shouldered arms, Smith could’ve done that as well but I’m not complaining,” Gavaskar said.
At stumps, India’s score read 36/1 with Gill batting on 28 and Cheteshwar Pujara giving him company on 7. The visitors’ trail by 159 runs with nine wickets in the bag. For Australia, it was Mitchell Starc who picked the lone wicket to finish the day with figures of 1/14 from four overs.
Pat Cummins bowled without luck to finish wicketless despite bowling four fiery overs. But it was the Indian bowlers who once again showed why they are considered one of the best in the business at present.
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