The fourth and final Test between India and Australia at the picturesque HPCA cricket stadium in Dharamsala has got off to an eventful start, with the Australians getting bowled out for a score of 300 in a see-saw battle, led by yet another century by their in-form captain Steve Smith.
Debutant Kuldeep Yadav took 4-68 as Australia wasted a strong start to its first innings and was bowled out for 300 on day one of the fourth test against India.
Smith (111) held the innings together at the HPCA Stadium with his 20th Test hundred. Openers KL Rahul and Murali Vijay successfully negotiated the one over remaining in the day's play with India scoreless at stumps on 0-0.
After tea, Matthew Wade (57) and Pat Cummins (21) had extended their seventh-wicket partnership to 37 runs, giving Australia much needed respite.
Kuldeep Yadav then broke through in the 73rd over, dismissing Cummins with a simple caught and bowled.
Wade, who scored his fourth test half-century, added another 24 runs for the eighth wicket with Steve O'Keefe (8).
O'Keefe was run out by substitute fielder Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja (1-57) bowled Wade close to stumps. India took the second new ball and Australia was dismissed with Nathan Lyon (13) falling to Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-41).
Earlier, Kuldeep Yadav took three wickets in the post-lunch session as Australia collapsed from 144-1 to 208-6.
The game however, is evenly poised with another four days to go. With the pitch already starting to produce sharp turn from the second session of Day 1 itself, there could be a lot in store for the likes of Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe, both of whom have enjoyed a decent amount of success in the ongoing tour so far.
Spinners aside, both Josh Hazlewood and comeback man Pat Cummins have also bowled attacking spells, and will look to utilise the bounce as well as swing, both of which were available in decent proportions on the opening day.
What they will have to keep in mind however, will be the fact that the pitch is still a decent track for batsmen, and along with the lightning-fast outfield, still has a plenty of runs in store. Unless they grab a few early wickets on Day 2, they could very well see the likes of KL Rahul, Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara (all of whom produced noteworthy knocks at Ranchi, especially Pujara) slip out of their control and guide the hosts to a sizeable total.
With inputs from AP