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Nagpur, Feb 11 – Ravichandran Ashwin bowled a devastating spell of 12 overs to claim 5 wickets for 37 runs as India bowled out Australia for 91 in their second innings to win the first Test of the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy Series by an innings and 132 runs at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium, Jamtha here on Saturday.
Ashwin bowled his overs from the North End of the ground and in 50-odd balls had the Australians reeling to their lowest-ever score in India. The previous lowest score for Australia was 93 they scored in 2004.
Australia were bowled out in less than a session, their innings lasting 32.3 overs and lasted just 131 minutes.
Ashwin, who claimed his 450th wicket in the first innings, recorded his 31st five-for as the Australian batters failed to read his bowling and went back to the pavilion in a procession.
Steve Smith remained not out on 25 as only four Australian batsmen managed to reach double figures in a disastrous batting display. At one time they were looking to get out for the lowest score at the VCA Stadium, Jamtha — 79 scored by South Africa in 2017.
Ashwin claimed the wicket of Usman Khawaja (5) caught by Kohli as he was deceived by the turn, trapped David Warner (10) lbw with one that stayed low, caught Matt Renshaw plumb in front of the wicket with another one that stayed low and got Peter Handscomb lbw, hitting the front pad around the knee roll.
Alex Cary played a premeditated reverse sweep and missed the line totally to be hit on the back pad as Ashwin destroyed the Australian batting.
Ravindra Jadeja, who had claimed 5-47 in the first innings, bagged 2 for 34 while Mohammed Shami claimed 3-13 from five overs as he wiped out the tail.
The Australians had come to India well-prepared for playing spin bowling. They had a camp at Sydney and Alur, near Bengaluru, where they got pitches tailor-made to what they perceived they would face in India. Their batsmen were given extensive practice for a sweep and reverse sweep shots and it was apparent from their two innings in the first Test that they were told to go for sweep or reverse sweep against the spinners as much as possible.
Their batters played pre-determined shots in the first innings and the innings folded for 177. They did not learn much from that debacle and went about in the same manner in the second innings, playing the ball for what they thought it would do and not what it was actually doing.
With the wicket offering a slow turn and low bounce, the Aussie batsmen had to use their feet and get to the ball to negate the lbw getting into the equation, which they couldn’t do so and crashed to a huge defeat.
Australia 177 & 91 all out in 32.3 overs (Steve Smith 25 not out; R Ashwin 5-37, R Jadeja 2-34, M Shami 2-13) lost to India 400 all out in 139.3 overs (Rohit Sharma 120, Ravindra Jadeja 70, Axar Patel 84, Mohd Shami 37; Todd Murphy 7-124, Cummins 2-78) by innings and 132 runs.