New Delhi: The 114-run stand between Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin helped India fight back after a top-order collapse. Patel’s fiery innings of 74 off 115 took India to 262 where the hosts are trailing just by one run. Nathan Lyon, who led the top-order collapse, picked up a five-wicket haul while Todd Murphy and debutant Matthew Kuhnemann took two each.

The day also witnessed a 59-run stand between homeboy Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja who rekindled the batting line-up after four wickets fell quickly. The pitch was not easy to bat on and Jadeja finally fell prey to a delivery by Todd Murphy. However, it was the controversial dismissal of Kohli that became the highlight of the inning.

kohli wicket

Playing at 44, Kohli looked in control before he was given lbw by Nitin Menon. The review showed a spike when the ball struck the pads and at the same time, it was closer to the bat and looked like it hit both the bat and the pad at the same time. TV umpire Illingworth did not find any conclusive evidence to turn the decision and the batter had to go.

The show was stolen by Axar and Ashwin. Axar Patel’s inning of 74 featured nine fours and three sixes once he let his eyes settle in. Ashwin also contributed with his 37 off 71 as they batted like there were no demons on the turf.

India started the day well as the partnership for the first wicket reached 46 runs before KL Rahul was dismissed by Lyon. It was followed by Lyon going through Rohit Sharma’s gate and dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara on a duck in his 100th Test. Peter Handscomb had a lucky grab at the ball to dismiss Shreyas Iyer, who is returning after an injury.

nathan lyon dismisses rohit

Picture courtesy: Getty Images

The new ball was crucial for Australia to strike and Pat Cummins dismissed Ashwin on the second delivery with the new ball. Cummins also took a stunner to dismiss Axar Patel as something special was needed to end his special innings. Patel, though he got only a few overs to bowl, proved himself with his bat in both games.

The contest will be decided in the second inning, but it can be said that Australia has the upper hand as the fourth-inning chase in Delhi is never an easy task. The pitch will develop more cracks and Indian batters will be asked a few more questions than in their first inning.