IND vs AUS 4th Test: Khawaja 104* puts Australia in strong position as Ahmedabad dishes out batting pitch

IND vs AUS 4th Test: Khawaja 104* puts Australia in strong position as Ahmedabad dishes out batting pitch

IND vs AUS, BGT 2023: Australia posted 255 for 4 till stumps to take the upper hand against India on Day 1 of the series-finale in Ahmedabad.

Rohan SenUpdated: Thursday, March 09, 2023, 09:32 PM IST
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Australia finally got a pitch where they could express themselves and they grabbed the opportunity with both hands as the visitors reached 255 for 4 on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

The pitch played low and slow but didn't take nearly as much turn as the other venues offered on the first day, allowing the batters to cash in and get some runs under their belt.

Usman Khawaja became the first Aussie batter to score a century in this four-match series, ending up unbeaten on 104 off 251 balls along with all-rounder Cameron Green on 49 not out.

Khawaja goes past Rohit's tally

Khawaja also went past Rohit Sharma as the highest run-scorer in the series and is still going strong. He is currently on 257 runs from 4 Tests at an average of 42.83 with a hundred and two fifties.

"A lot of emotion in that. Has been a long journey, getting a hundred, as an Australian you always want to do that. It's very special," Khawaja said after the day's play.

"I have been to India on two tours before this, and carried the drinks in eight Test matches."

Khawaja happy with Ahmedabad pitch

The left-handed opening batter also praised the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium, something which no Aussie cricketer has done so far in this series.

"It was such a nice wicket, I didn't want to give my wicket away. It was a mental battle more than anything else. You need to keep doing it for a long time," Khawaja added.

Khawaja and Green have already added 85 runs for the fifth wicket in less than 20 overs and the signs look ominous for the hosts if they don't break this partnership soon on Day 2.

Khawaja was also part of two decent stands with fellow opener Travis Head (32) and captain Steve Smith (38), adding 61 and 79 runs for the first and third wickets, respectively.

Shami shines for India

Mohammed Shami was the best bowler on the day for India as he bagged two wickets for 65 runs while spin-twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja took one each.

It was Ashwin who broke through first for the hosts as he removed Head to break the opening stand before Shami got rid of the dangerous Manrus Labuschagne as both teams shared the first session.

Australia then consolidated through the Khawaja and Smith partnership for the third wicket. No batter got out in the second session, making it the first session in this series which went wicketless.

India then fought back through Jadeja as he sent back Smith against the run of play and Shami returned for another spell and castled Peter Handscomb with a brute of a delivery.

But the visitors took control of the proceedings from there on as Green joined Khawaja in the middle and started to express himself.

Australia upped the ante in the final hour of the last session, with Green hitting 8 boundaries while Khawaja scored 15 fours during his knock.

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