On Thursday, the fourth and final Border Gavaskar Trophy Test between India and Australia began with great fanfare in Motera, with thousands of spectators flocking to the world’s largest cricket stadium, including the prime ministers of both nations. However, as soon as the first ball was bowled, all eyes turned to the action on the field.
To everyone’s surprise, the visitors took control of the proceedings from the outset. Usman Khawaja and an aggressive Travis Head opened the innings, with the latter hitting seven boundaries in just 44 balls. Caught up in the excitement, Head played with abandon and took the game to the hosts.
The Indian team had a chance to take an early wicket when Travis Head, who had been playing with great flair, was on just seven runs. Umesh Yadav bowled a delivery that squared him up, and the ball flew towards Bharat’s gloves for a straightforward catch.
However, to India’s dismay, the wicketkeeper failed to hold on to it, allowing the ball to fall to the ground. This missed opportunity proved costly as the Australian openers continued to pile on the runs. After 15 overs, the score was 61/0, and it was then that Ashwin was brought on to bowl the fourth over of his first spell.
The first two deliveries of Ashwin’s over were hit hard but failed to find a gap in the field. Understanding that Travis Head was looking to score quickly, Ashwin tossed the third ball up, inviting him to go for a big shot. Like a moth drawn to a flame, Head charged down the pitch, trying to clear the long-off boundary.
Unfortunately for him, the ball gripped the surface and he could only make contact with the toe end of his bat. The ball went straight to Ravindra Jadeja, who took a comfortable catch, much easier than Bharat’s earlier missed opportunity, thereby providing some much-needed relief to the hosts.