NAGPUR: Indian spinner Ravindra Jadeja grabbed a five-wicket haul on his international return as India ruled the opening day of the first Test against Australia on Thursday.
Jadeja returned figures of 5-47 and fellow spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets to bowl out Australia for 177 in the final session on a turning Nagpur pitch.
In reply, India were 77 for one at stumps, with skipper Rohit Sharma on 56 and Ashwin, yet to score, at the crease. The hosts still trail Australia by 100 runs.
Rohit began by hitting three boundaries off Australian skipper Pat Cummins’ first over, and put on 76 runs with opening partner KL Rahul, who made a laboured 20.
The Indian captain reached his fifty with a four off Nathan Lyon and remained sharp to see off the day’s play.
Rahul fell caught and bowled off debutant spinner Todd Murphy, who celebrated his first Test wicket.
Jadeja, a left-arm orthodox bowler who came back into the Indian side after a knee injury, stood out with his guile, taking key wickets including those of Marnus Labuschagne (49) and Steve Smith (37).
Both Australians had launched a fightback with their third-wicket 82-run stand after losing openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner early in the day.
Peter Handscomb (31) and wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey (36) also put on a partnership of 53 before Ashwin ended Carey’s spell at the crease to record his 450th Test wicket.
Jadeja’s double strike on successive balls soon after lunch rocked the tourists as he sent back Labuschagne and then trapped Matt Renshaw for a first-ball duck.
He later bowled Smith with a delivery that went through his bat and pad.
Ashwin and Jadeja kept up the charge to get into the Australian tail when the tourists took tea at 174-8, and added just three runs in the final session.
Earlier, seamer Mohammed Siraj struck on his first ball to get Khawaja trapped lbw for one with a delivery that swung in to the left-hander, after the tourists elected to bat at the start of the four-match series.
An appeal was turned down by the on-field umpire but India successfully reviewed the decision.
Mohammed Shami raised the noise in the next over when the seamer bowled the left-handed Warner for one.
Australia controversially left out in-form left-hand batsman Travis Head, while India handed Test caps to Twenty20 sensation Suryakumar Yadav and wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat.
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