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25 February 2024

India v Australia 1st Test: Honours even

By Allaam Ousman

Australia rode on a magnificent unbeaten century by skipper Michael Clarke (103) to reach 316 for seven at close on the first day after opting to bat first in the first Test against India at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.

Clarke and Moises Henriques (68) who hit a maiden half century on his Test debut lifted Australia with a 151-run partnership for the sixth wicket after Ravichandran Ashwin had sliced through the top order and finished the day with figures of six fof 88.

Ashwin turned the game on its head after the Australian openers David Warner (59) and Ed Cowan (29) had put on 64 runs in 14.3 overs before India hit back.

The offspinner claimed five wickets either side of the lunch interval as Australia stumbled to 153 for five on a dry turning surface.

But Clarke steadied the innings with the help of Henriques mixing aggression with caution as he completed 7,000 Test runs during a captain's knock.

He was fortunate to earn a reprieve on 39 when he was ruled not out after Pujara appealed for a bat-pad catch off Ashwin with TV replays showed he had got an inside edge.

But no one would grudge him his century as he took the battle to the Indian spinners stroking 11 boundaries and a six facing 169 balls forcing the hosts to take the second new ball with Australia 271-5 after 82 overs.

It did not pay immediate dividends but Ashwin managed to get a break through in the last half hour before the close, trapping Henriques leg before to finish with six for 88 off 30 overs.

Left arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja also struck for the first time from the other end bowling nightwatchman Mitchell Starc with a vicious delivery.

Peter Siddle survived a few tense overs before the close along with Clarke who completed his century by lofting Jadeja to the long off fence in the final over of the day.


Michael Clarke completes his 23rd Test hundred and sixth against India by lofting Jadeja to the long off boundary in the last over the day.

India have struck a double blow in the last half hour before the close to wrest back the initiative from Australia.

Australia are 312-7 after 94 overs after opting to bat first in the first Test against India at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on

Ravindra Jadeja has got into the act beating Mitchell Starc and bowling his through the gate for three.

Ashwin has struck again for India breaking the sixth wicket stand as Moises Henriques tries to sweep him across the line only to trapped leg before for 68.

Henriques faced 132 balls and hit five boundaries during his knock being associated in an innings rebuilding partnership of 151 for the sixth wicket with Clarke.

Moises Henriques brings up the 300 of the Australian innings with a sweetly timed off drive to the long boundary in the 88th over.

Mathew Clarke has whacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar's first delivery with the second new ball straight down the ground to move into the 90s.

Michael Clarke has flicked Ishant Sharma off his pads for the first boundary followed by another on the offside after the second new ball has been taken.

India have taken the second new ball has been taken after the final drinks break with Australia on 271-5 after 82 overs.

Moises Henriques scrambles for a single to reach his maiden Test half century on debut which came off 101 balls and contained four boundaries.

The 100 partnership for the sixth wicket between Clarke (67) and Henriques (45) comes up in 151 balls.

Ravichandran Ashwin has strayed down the leg side and Michael Clarke has punished him by pulling him to the fine leg boundary.

Test debutant Moises Henriques is racing to his maiden half century stroking Ashwin to the third man fence while Clarke pulls him to square leg for another boundary.

Henriques gets into the act square cutting Test debutan Bhuvneshwar Kumar for only his second boundary followed by a streaky shot to third man in the second over after the tea interval.

Michael Clarke reaches his 26th Test fifty in style stepping out and driving India's best bowler Ashwin for a six.

His half century which came off 88 balls contained five boundaries and a six.

Michael Clarke is unbeaten on 45 off 85 balls with five boundaries while Test debutant Moises Henriques is with him on 29 having added 62 runs for the sixth wicket.

Ravichandran Ashwin has figures of 5 for 51 from 21 overs so far.


Clarke has smacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar through the offside opening the face of his bat for his fifth boundary.

Australia are 215-5 after 66 overs having elected to bat in the first Test against India at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.

Michael Clarke (39) survives after being given not out for a bat-pad catch off Ashwin by umpire Kumara Dharmasena although replays showed he had got an inside edge as he lunged forward to play that shot.

The 50 partnership for the sixth wicket between Clarke and Henriques comes in 88 balls.

Henriques survives an inside edge off Sharma which nearly rattles his stumps but runs down to fine leg for a couple.

Michael Clarke is leading Australia's fightback in partnership with Test debutant Moises Henriques as they bring up the 200 of the innings in the 61st over.

Clarke has whipped Jadeja to midwicket and beat a diving Sharma at mid off as he picks up consecutive boundaries.

Test debutant Moises Henriques has pulled a lollipop from Harbhajan to midwicket for his first boundary.

Clarke has given the charge to Ashwin and driven him through the covers.

Wade is disappointed although he missed the line and ball appeared to straighten and would have hit middle and leg. He faced 35 balls for his hitting one boundary.

Ravichandran Ashwin has claimed his fifth wicket trapping Mathew Wade leg before to have Australia reeling.

Mathew Wade has cracked Ashwin on the off for his first boundary to bring up the 150 of the Australian innings in 45th over.

Michael Clarke cuts Harbhajan for his first boundary to reach 7,000 Test runs.

He now has 1,595 runs from 11 matches which included four double hundreds in the past year with an average of 106.

Ashwin has turned the match on its head on the first day by grabbing four top wickets for 33 off 14 overs bamboozling the Australian batsmen by getting bite and bounce on a surface which is living up to its billing.

Ravichandran Ashwin strikes again removing David Warner who had been living dangerously LBW for 59 off 93 balls.

Warner who was dropped on 18 by Virender Sehwag off Ashwin's first over is finally gone playing back to a low delivery after a fluent knock of 59 which contained six boundaries.

Ravinchandran Ashwin strikes in the fourth ball after lunch trapping Shane Watson leg before without addition to Australia's total.

Watson is undone by the low bounce and trapped on the backfoot for 28 off 60 balls.

David Warner, dropped on 18 by Virender Sehwag off Ashwin, is unbeaten on 58 off 88 balls having hit eight boundaries so far in an aggressive knock.

Shane Watson was with him on 28 off 56 having hit three boundaries so far in a third wicket partnership worth 54 runs so far.

Australia were pegged back by the spinners after getting off to a flying start with Warner and Ed Cowan putting on 64 runs in 14.3 overs before being separated.

Ravichandran Ashwin struck twice within the space of five overs having Cowan (29) stumped while Phillip Hughes was bowled off an inside edge for 6.

Ashwin has figures of 2-30 in 11 overs while left arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has none for 17 from six overs.

Harbhajan Singh playing his 100th Test was disappointing going for 42 in his 10 overs being hit for a boundary by Warner in the last over before lunch. 


The 50 partnership for the third wicket between David Warner and Shane Watson comes up in 86 balls.

Australia are 122-2 after 33 overs after opting to bat first in the first Test against India at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on

David Warner completed his sixth Test fifty off 77 balls having hit five boundaries so far.

Shane Watson has lofted Ashwin for his third boundary as Australia continue to bat aggressively.

Shane Watson pulled Jadeja for his second boundary and brought up the 100 of the Australian innings with a single off the next ball in the 28th over.

David Warner has swept Ashwin for his fifth boundary to break the shackles while Jadeja sends down a second consecutive maiden.

Left arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja has come into the attack now with Australia 81 for two.

Shane Watson has despatched a loose delivery from Ishant Sharma to the cover boundary.

Phillip Hughes is bowled off an inside edge attempted to cut Ashwin only to see his leg bail disturbed after facing 15 balls for six.

Ashwin has bowled another maiden as India tighten the screws after the dismissal of Cowan.

Harbhajan has bowled a maiden over to Warner who survives an lbw shout.

Dhoni managed to collect a ball which bounced as Cowan beaten in flight as he stepped out and whipped the balls in a flash.

Cowan made 29 off 45 balls with four boundaries and a six.

MS Dhoni made amends for missing a difficult stumping off Warner earlier by pulling off the bails in a flash to dismiss Cowan off the bowling of Ashwin.

Ed Cowan has lofted Harbhajan Singh for the first six of the match in the 14th over.

David Warner has punched Harbhajan Singh for his fourth boundary to bring up the 50 of the Australian innings in the 10th over.

Virender Sehwag at first slip has dropped a straight forward chance off David Warner (18) off the third delivery bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin.

David Warner survives a confident lbw appeal having got an inside edge while Cowan sweeps him to the fine leg for the first boundary off Harbhajan.

Harbhajan troubled the batsman with low bounce followed by a maiden over from Kumar.

Spin has been introduced after just four overs with Harbhajan Singh being thrown the ball to a loud ovation as he plays his 100th Test.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has conceded a couple of boundaries, one off an inside edge and a ferocious cut to third man, as Australia are cantering along merrily.

David Warner has also whipped Sharma to fine leg and driven his straight in an expensive over for India.

Sharma has been given an official warning for running on the pitch in only his second over.

David Warner has also got his first boundary this time pulling Ishant Sharma to the square leg fence.

Ed Cowan hits the first boundary of the match pulling Bhuvneshwar Kumar to square leg.

Test debutant Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been handed the new ball to open the attack against to Ed Cowan and David Warner and gives away two runs in the first over.

Michael Clarke has won the toss and has no hesitation in batting first on a dry Chepauk wicket in the first Test between Australia and India at MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Friday.

"The toss is super important. With the red soil you know wicket is going to turn," said Clarke who was looking forward to playing in different conditions.

"It's a great challenge but we are up for it. It's going to be a great Test series. The preparation has been fantastic," he added.

Indian skipper MS Dhoni said they would also have batted first and expected the wicket to turn.

India have opted to go with Ravindra Jadeja to Ajinkya Rahane and Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Pragyan Ojha. Ishant Sharma handed Kumar his Test cap.

Moises Henriques was handed his first Test cap from Steve Rixon.

Harbhajan playing his 100th Test said it was a a great honour to join greats such as Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar who reach this landmark.

"I still remember the first game I played under (Mohammad) Azharuddhin's captaincy," he told Star Cricket.

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harbhajan Singh, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Australia: Michael Clarke (captain), Ed Cowan, David Warner, Phillip Hughes, Shane Watson, Moises Henriques, Matthew Wade, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson.