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India vs Australia: Steve O'Keefe, Steven Smith Star as Aussies Crush India by 333 Runs

Australia reminded India of their might in the longest format of the game as the 'underdogs' thumped in-form India by 333 runs, inside three days in the first Test of the four match series in Pune.

Cricketnext Staff |February 25, 2017, 3:28 PM IST
India vs Australia: Steve O'Keefe, Steven Smith Star as Aussies Crush India by 333 Runs

New Delhi: Australia reminded India of their might in the longest format of the game as the 'underdogs' thumped in-form India by 333 runs, inside just three days in the first Test of the four-match series in Pune.

Just to put this Aussie victory in perspective, Virat Kohli and his troops seemed invincible and were touted as firm favourites to clinch the series ahead of this Test. In their last 20 matches on home soil, India had won 17 and drawn the rest three matches.

Also, India were on a 19-match unbeaten streak overall. But Steven Smith and his men put on a scintillating three-day performance that inflicted one of the heaviest defeat in India's Test history. This is also Virat Kohli's first Test defeat as captain in India.

India are known for their spinners and batsmen who can deal with spin better than any team in the world, but it was the Australian spinner Steve O'Keefe who turned the tables on the hosts, finishing the match with figures of 12/70 — the second-best figures for a visiting bowler on Indian soil.

India vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 3: As It Happened

After dismissing India for 105 on the second day of the Test, the Australian were firm favorites to clinch the match and they put on a very professional performance on the third day to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Australia resumed on their overnight score of 143/4 in the second innings, with a handsome lead of 298 runs already in bag with six wickets to go.

Skipper Steven Smith (59*) started from where he had left on Friday and he was gifted his fourth lifeline of the innings by the Indian fielders early in the day when his score read 67. Ashwin produced an inside edge of Smith's bat but Ajinkya Rahane failed to pluck the half-chance at leg slip.

From there on, it was a procession from the number one ranked Test batsman in the world as Smith notched up his 18th Test ton.

Jadeja finally broke the 56-run fifth-wicket stand between Mitchell Marsh and Smith, by dismissing Marsh for 31.

Matthew Wade (20) and Mitchell Starc (30) added crucial runs in the end as Australia were finally dismissed for 285, giving India a mammoth target of 441 runs to win.

In the fourth innings, it was deja vu for the Indian batsmen as the top order surrendered to the surprise package of the match — Steve O'Keefe.

Openers Murali Vijay (2) and Lokesh Rahul (10) were dismissed in a span of just five deliveries to O'Keefe and Nathan Lyon respectively. But both batsmen added insult to injury by wasting both the referrals on the dismissals which seemed plumb in real-time.

Reeling at 16-2, India now had their in-form batsmen at the crease — Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli. The onus was now on the duo to weather the Australian spin storm.

But Steve O'Keefe had other plans as he clean bowled India's talisman Kohli for just 13. Ajinkya Rahane then became O'Keefe third prey of the innings as he gave away a simple catch to Nathan Lyon at covers.

R Ashwin was promoted ahead of Wriddhiman Saha but that didn't change the course of the match as he became O'Keefe's tenth scalp of the match.

Saha was the next to bite the dust to O'Keefe for 5 as India went into tea reeling at 99/6.

Post-tea Cheteshwar Pujara's (31) 58-ball essay was ended by O'Keefe who got his sixth wicket of the innings.

Nathan Lyon then came to the party as he cleaned up Ravindra Jadeja's stumps for just 3. Two balls later, Ishant Sharma became Lyon's third wicket of the day as he gloved one to slips where David Warner plucked an easy catch.

India were finally dismissed for 107 as Virat Kohli's men were given a rude reality check on their home soil by the visitors in the first Test.

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9349 260
see more