1st Test, Day 2: Steve O’Keefe Spins Australia to a Dominant Position

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Steve O’Keefe picked six wickets as Australia bowled India out for 105 in the first innings.

Australia found themselves in the driver’s seat closing Day 2 on 143 for 4, leading by 298 runs against India in the first Test match at Pune.

After putting up a strong resistance for the final wicket, Mitchell Starc was finally dismissed in the first hour of the first session as the visitors were bowled out for 260 on the second day.

Starc starred with the bat before he was dismissed for 61 as India had their work cut out in a pitch that was turning square right from the first ball.

India started off on a poor note as Murali Vijay (10) was the first one to go back to the pavilion with the score on 26. Cheteshwar Pujara (6) soon followed Vijay to the dressing room as India found themselves in a spot of bother after losing two early wickets.

The Indian captain Virat Kohli didn’t trouble the scorers much as the 28-year-old was dismissed for a rare duck, caught at second slip with Starc doing the damage with the ball.

India’s top-scorer KL Rahul (64) added 50 runs to the score along with Ajinkya Rahane before holding out at long off in trying to clear the fence, leaving India at 94 for 4 just after lunch. Rahane’s (13) stay at the crease was short-lived as India lost half their side with the score on 95.

The next thirty minutes saw India lose Ravichandran Ashwin (1), Wriddhiman Saha (0) and Jayant Yadav (2) in quick succession as the hosts were reduced to 98 for 8 with Steve O’Keefe spinning his web against the Indian batsmen.

Jadeja (2) didn’t last long as he threw his wicket away to the left-arm spinner Keefe who grabbed his career-best figure of 6 for 35 as India saw their innings end on 105, giving Australia a lead of 155 runs.

India lost seven wickets in a span of eight overs, adding only 11 runs to the total. Australia looked positive in their second innings but lost David Warner and Shaun Marsh early.

Ashwin trapped both Warner (10) and Marsh (0) lbw on a viciously turning track that was getting bad to worse. But Australia captain Steven Smith led from the front with an unbeaten 59 with Mitchell Marsh (21) giving him good company.

Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for India after claiming three wickets in the second innings so far, Peter Handscomb (19) being the third victim.

Matt Renshaw looked good in the second innings but his innings was cut short as the left-hander was dismissed on 31, giving Jayant Yadav his first wicket in the second innings.

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