ADELAIDE. — India won their first Test cricket on Australian soil in a decade yesterday, bowling out the home side in a nail-biting finale to clinch the opening match and raise hopes of their first ever series victory Down Under. Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant pouched a world record-equalling 11 catches for the match as India, after setting an improbable target of 323, finally dismissed Australia to win by 31 runs on day five at Adelaide Oval.
Australia, attempting what would have been a record chase at the ground, gallantly battled to 291 before Josh Hazlewood became the last man to fall to Ravichandran Ashwin, who finished with 3-92. Shaun Marsh made 62 and Tim Paine 41. It was a huge breakthrough for captain Virat Kohli’s men, who went 1-0 up with three Tests to go after becoming the first Indian team to win the opening match of a Test series in Australia. Pant took the plaudits after matching the record of 11 catches in a Test held by England’s Jack Russell and South Africa’s AB de Villiers. India’s last Test success in Australia was at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008, and the previous one in Adelaide was 2003. They have now won just six times in Australia in more than 70 years.
But with the home team missing banned batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, Kohli and his team sensed ahead of the tour that this could be their opportunity to make history by winning the series. They now take the momentum into the second Test in Perth starting on Friday, with Melbourne and Sydney to follow. “The odds were stacked against them. They fought really well but we executed our plans well and got that last wicket which we were intending to get,” said Kohli.
Source : The Herald