Jadeja, Axar frustrate Australia after Murphy takes five on debut

SUMMARY: Australia 177 all out from 63.5 overs (Marnus Labuschagne 49, Steve Smith 37, Alexy Carey 36; Ravindra Jadeja 5-47, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-42) vs India 321-7 from 114 overs (Rohit Sharma 120, Ravindra Jadeja 66*, Axar Patel 52*; Todd Murphy 5-82)


Spinner Todd Murphy took five wickets on his Australia debut, but Rohit Sharma’s century helped India build a big lead on day two of the first Test.

Rohit hit a classy 120 as the hosts closed on 321-7 in Nagpur, leading by 144 despite off-spinner Murphy’s 5-82.

India were 229-6, just 52 ahead, when Rohit was bowled by Pat Cummins after tea, but Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel then put on an unbroken stand of 81.

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Jadeja, who took 5-47 on day one, ended on 66 not out and Patel unbeaten on 52.

Murphy caught and bowled KL Rahul on day one for his maiden Test wicket and took the first three to fall on the second day, including Virat Kohli taken down the leg side for 12.

The 22-year-old dismissed fellow debutant Srikar Bharat lbw on review to clinch his five-wicket haul – his first in any form of senior professional cricket.

Steve Smith dropped three catches during the day, including Jadeja off the penultimate ball of the final session.

Australia will fear India’s lead, built in response to the visitors being dismissed for 177, could already be decisive on a turning pitch that is expected to deteriorate further throughout the match.

Todd Murphy claimed five wickets on Test debut (Photo: BCCI)

Who is Todd Murphy?

Murphy, who had only played seven first-class matches before his Test debut, bowled with impressive accuracy throughout his 36 overs – the highest number he has ever bowled in a senior match – and extracted notable turn from the Nagpur pitch.

He also dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin lbw and had Cheteshwar Pujara caught at short fine leg.

The Victorian – he was born in the small, rural town of Echuca – has already been tipped as the heir to senior spinner Nathan Lyon during his short career.

He did not start bowling off-spin until he was 16 but has represented Australia Under-19s and went on a tour of Sri Lanka with the A side.

Preferred to fellow spinners Mitchell Swepson and Ashton Agar in Nagpur, Murphy’s action and quick approach to the crease has drawn comparisons to former England off-spinner Graeme Swann. (BBC Sport)

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