A brilliant 84-run knock by all-rounder Axar Patel and an entertaining cameo by Mohammed Shami put India in a commanding position, with a lead of 223 runs at lunch on the day three of first Test against Australia at Nagpur on Saturday.
India started the day at 321/7, with Ravindra Jadeja (66*) and Axar Patel (52*) at the crease.
The hosts had added barely seven runs to their previous day’s total when debutant Todd Murphy struck gold for Aussies, rattling Jadeja’s off stump. The all-rounder was gone for a well-made 70 off 185 balls. India was 328/8.
Mohammed Shami was next up at the crease.
Shami put a price on his wicket and played some fine strokes, including a four and a six. Axar continued to guard his wicket as well. India crossed the 350-run mark in the 128th over of their innings.
The duo took India’s lead beyond 180 runs.
Shami continued to entertain fans, smashing Murphy for two sixes in the 131st over, which also brought up the fifty-run stand for the ninth wicket. However, the debutant had the last laugh in his next over as he dismissed him for a well-made 37 off 47 balls with two fours and three six. With this, Murphy bagged his seventh wicket in the inning.
India was 380/9 in 132.4 overs and led by 203 runs.
Mohammed Siraj was the last man to arrive at the crease for India.
Cummins dismissed Axar Patel for a well-made 84 off 174 balls, consisting of 10 fours and a six. India was out for 400 runs and had a lead of 223 runs heading into lunch.
Murphy had a dream spell on his debut, taking 7 wickets for 124 runs in 47 overs. Cummins got two for 78 runs in 20.3 overs. Spinner Nathan Lyon could only get one scalp for 126 runs in 49 overs.
Brief Scores: India: 400 in 139.3 overs (Rohit Sharma 120, Axar Patel 84*, Todd Murphy 7/124) lead Australia: 177 (Marnus Labuschagne 49, Steve Smith 37, Ravindra Jadeja 5/47) by 223 runs. (ANI)