The Test series opener between India and Australia got off to a thrilling start as the hosts took the early advantage in Nagpur. Despite the controversy surrounding the Nagpur pitch, the visiting Australian team opted to bat first, but the decision backfired quickly.
Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj, fresh off his recent climb to the top of the ODI bowling rankings, struck with his first ball of the series to dismiss opener Usman Khawaja. The ball nipped back and kept low, catching Khawaja in front of the wicket. Siraj delivered a brilliant wicket maiden to put the Australian team on the back foot.
𝑰. 𝑪. 𝒀. 𝑴. 𝑰!
1⃣ wicket for @mdsirajofficial 👌
1⃣ wicket for @MdShami11 👍
Relive #TeamIndia's early strikes with the ball 🎥 🔽 #INDvAUS | @mastercardindia pic.twitter.com/K5kkNkqa7U
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 9, 2023
Mohammed Shami followed suit, sending opener David Warner’s off stump flying with the first delivery of his second over. The ball snuck through the gap between the pad and bat, leaving the visitors reeling at 2/2.
Despite the early setbacks, the Australian team still poses a threat with top-ranked Test batsmen Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne joining forces in the middle. The Nagpur surface has already provided assistance to the bowlers, with the ball not only moving but also keeping low at times.
This match promises to be a closely contested battle as the Indian bowlers look to continue their dominance against two of the biggest threats in the Australian lineup.