New Delhi: Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb have led the visitors to a decent score of 263, and as the pitch deteriorates on day 2, this might prove to be a par score. Mohammed Shami picked four wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took three each. The first inning also witnessed four sixes, one each by Khawaja and Travis Head while captain Pat Cummings hit two maximums.
Khawaja came back in touch and played an inning with changing gears as he scored 81 off 125. Peter Handscomb took the inning forward as he stood his ground with wickets falling on the other end. He scored 72* off 142 and contributed to various partnerships to take Australia beyond 250.
Australia started the day with a 50-run opening stand between Usman Khawaja and David Warner. The partnership was broken by Shami as he dismissed Warner for 15 off 44. A small partnership between Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne was broken by Ravichandran Ashwin as he got Australia’s top batters Labuschagne and Smith out in a single over before Lunch.
Travis Head came back into the XI and tried to be the X-factor but was soon dismissed by Shami as KL Rahul took a fine catch in the slips. Khawaja was also dismissed due to a stunning catch by Rahul off a reverse sweep.
ICYMI – WHAT. A. CATCH 😯😯
WOW. A one-handed stunner from @klrahul to end Usman Khawaja’s enterprising stay!#INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/ODnHQ2BPIK
— BCCI (@BCCI) February 17, 2023
Pat Cummins played a brilliant cameo of 33 off 59, hitting three fours and two sixes. Jadeja trapped him lbw and dismissed Todd Murphy in the same over. Shami picked the last two wickets to end the visitor’s inning on 263.
Chasing in the fourth inning has never been an easy task in Delhi and Australia’s first-inning total has given the bowlers some room to exploit. Spinner Matthew Kuhnemann making his debut will be a player to look out for.