India made a dream start on Day-5 as Ravichandran Ashwin picked up the wicket of Matthew Kuhnemann. But, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne brought Australia back on level terms at the 4th Test match of the Border Gavaskar Trophy against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Australia resumed the session with a score of 3/0 in 6 overs, trailing by 88 runs with Travis Head 3(18)* and Matthew Kuhnemann 0(18)* on the crease.
As an opening batter, Travis Head's approach has always been an issue for the Indian spin bowlers. His constant strike rotation and picking up boundaries for fun have always kept the pressure off Australia. Even though Ashwin got India's hope of winning the game a step closer to reality. However, Head and Labuschagne once again reflected the reality of the task that India is trying to achieve on Day-5.
As a night watchman, Kuhnemann failed to survive for as long as Australia would have hoped for. But Labuschagne came in to ensure that Australia doesn't fade away. With a defence that is as solid as a rock, Indian spinners have found it hard to create openings in their nearly perfect defensive stance. There was an appeal or two on a few occasions but for the majority of the first session, Indian bowlers' voices were quite hard to hear.
There was one incident in the 35th over when Head was stuck in a bit of trouble. It was once again the Indian veteran spinner Ashwin who created an opportunity with a bit of help from the pitch. The sharp turn deceived the Aussie opener and even the umpire. The impact was at such an angle that with the naked eye one can easily feel that it was bound to miss the stumps. But DRS revealed another story, the ball went on to clip the stumps. But the decision was not overturned because of the umpires' call.
This moment did raise some spirit in the Indians as Ravindra Jadeja followed up beautifully in the next over. Labuschagne ended up nicking a quick delivery from Jadeja. However, within a blink of an eye, the ball struck and went past KS Bharat's pad even before he could react. Other than that the Australian batters didn't face any major challenges.
At the end of the first session, Australia managed to put up a score of 73/1 and they trail by 18 runs.
Brief scores: (Travis Head 45(6)*, Marnus Labuschagne 22(85)* and Ravichandran Ashwin 1/24) vs India. (ANI)