India have never won a Test series in Australia and their recent oversees record has also been poor with 1-2 loss to South Africa in February and 1-4 defeat to England in September.
Cheteshwar Pujara scored a gritty 123 in punishing conditions to claw India back into the opening Test cricket in Adelaide yesterday after Australia seized early control with some blistering bowling.
After dismissing the tourists for their overnight score of 250, Australia's inexperience showed as they stumbled to a score of 7-191 at the end of the day's play, 59 runs behind India's first innings total. The fast bowler had sent down 19 overs during the day, picking the big wicket of captain Virat Kohli and then ending the solid partnership between Pujara and Ashwin.
Starc hoped to be more consistent with the ball in the coming days. The story was no different - (drive-edge-caught-slip) - as the visiting side lost their four wickets with just 41 runs on the board.
Virat Kohli later handed Ashwin the second new ball but the offspinner could not prise out Head or Mitchell Starc. That should have been a note of caution for the batsman, but he didn't heed it and skied the very next ball for Harris to take an easy catch in the deep.
His figures of 14/184 in the previous Test not only helped his side level the series but also help him record the second-best figures by a Pakistan bowler in Tests, behind only Imran Khan's 14/116.
Sharma then needlessly tried the same shot on the next ball, and this time debutant Marcus Harris comfortably collected the steepling catch, with the right-hander once more failing to capitalise on a good start. But Rohit was dismissed for 37 and Pant, for 25. In the process, Pujara brought up his half-century and kept pushing India towards a respectable first-innings score. He was aided well by the pace duo of Jasprit Bumrah (2/34) and Ishant Sharma (2/31). The two added 62 runs for the seventh wicket before Ashwin got a peach of a delivery from Cummins that he nicked to Peter Handscomb at second slip. The 30-year-old kept most of the strike but there was still no recklessness from the Saurashtra batsman.
"So I don't think spin bowling is a big threat, but it seems to me that Australia are anxious about the spinning options of India, deciding to go with Handscomb who's such a good player of spin". "I took the chance but Pat Cummins fielded brilliantly", he said of run out on what turned out to be the final ball of the day.