Dream debut for Kuldeep overshadows Smith’s record ton

Chinaman claims four wickets to tilt scales in favour of India on opening day

Afp March 25, 2017
Photo: AFP

DHARAMSALA: Australian skipper Steve Smith hit his third ton of the series before debutant Kuldeep Yadav grabbed four wickets to tilt the scales in favour of India in the decisive fourth Test on Saturday.

Smith smashed 14 fours in his fine 111-run knock to become the first Australian skipper to hit three centuries in a Test series in India.

The 27-year-old also became only the second visiting captain to hit three hundreds in a series after England's Alastair Cook.

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The visitors squandered a promising start to be bowled out for 300 just minutes before the close of play after winning the toss and electing to bat first.

The Aussie looked firmly in control, having cruised to 131-1 at lunch but Kuldeep's scintillating spell meant the visitors lost their remaining wickets in the last two sessions.

At stumps, India had played out one over without scoring any runs.

With the series tied 1-1 going into the finale, the hosts must win the match to regain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

India's ploy to keep chinaman bowler Kuldeep (4-68) under wraps and use him for the final Test paid dividends as he caught the Aussies by surprise through his guile and unorthodox spin.

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Smith had put on 134 runs for the second wicket with David Warner (56) after Australia lost opener Matt Renshaw in the second over of the day.

The unassuming captain underlined his reputation as the world number one Test batsman, reaching his 20th century in the process and his seventh hundred in his last eight Tests against India.

Smith's efforts meant he remained on top of the batting chart in the series with a whopping 482 runs from seven innings.

He finally lost his wicket to spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, with Rahane taking another catch in the slip region.


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