Todd Murphy, making his debut for Australia, took five wickets.
The first day of the first Test between India and Australia saw Indian bowlers dominate as the two teams met at Nagpur’s VCA Stadium. After pacers Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami provided early breakthroughs, Ravindra Jadeja’s five-wicket haul and Ravichandran Ashwin’s three-wicket haul gave India the upper hand over the visitors.
India finished the first day at 77/1 after dismissing Australia for 177 in their first innings. Todd Murphy dismissed KL Rahul near the end of the first day’s play, so Rohit Sharma and Ashwin began the second day with the bat. Murphy ended their partnership by dismissing the Indian all-rounder after they had put up a 42-run stand.
While Rohit Sharma continued to bat on one end, he ran out of batters with whom to form a good partnership. Following Ashwin’s dismissal, Cheteshwar Pujara joined the Indian captain but was dismissed after scoring only seven runs off 14 deliveries. Former India captain Virat Kohli couldn’t help himself and was dismissed for a 26-ball 12.
Murphy, an Australian debutant, was at his best and stunned the Indian team with his maiden five-wicket haul in his first international appearance. After dismissing Rahul on the first day, he went on to take four more wickets, posing a threat to the hosts. While Murphy was successful in picking wickets at regular intervals, India’s captain led the charge with the bat.
After Suryakumar Yadav was dismissed, Ravindra Jadeja joined Rohit at the crease, and the pair resurrected India’s innings. Rohit managed to play a composed knock and bring up a brilliant century, his first as India’s Test captain, becoming the fourth captain in the world to do so after Tillakaratne Dilshan, Faf du Plessis, and Babar Azam.
Australian skipper Pat Cummins ended Rohit’s blitzkrieg by sending the off-stump cartwheeling. Following Rohit’s dismissal, Jadeja batted brilliantly, scoring a comprehensive half-century. After Rohit walked back, Srikar Bharat joined Jadeja, but he could only contribute eight runs, becoming Todd Murphy’s fifth victim.
After losing several wickets, Jadeja and Axar Patel worked together to rebuild the innings and keep India on track. The Indian batters batted all day, and while Rohit got his century, Jadeja and Axar ended up with half-centuries while putting up an 81-run stand. The spin-bowling all-rounders remained unbeaten at the end of the second day, as India finished at 321/7, 144 runs ahead.