O'Keefe spins Aussies to shock win in Pune

From Australia, Steve O Keefe picked up six wickets.

With this loss, India and captain Virat Kohli's 19-match unbeaten streak also came to an end.

Cheteshwar Pujara (31) showed some character and tried to stay in there for as long as possible but O'Keefe had other ideas as he trapped Pujara right in front of the stumps just after tea.

Shaun Marsh (16) and Smith (27) added 34 runs between then but India bounced back sharply by dismissing both the set batsmen and Peter Handscomb (22) in quick succession which also saw Renshaw returning back to the middle. KL Rahul followed in the very next over, trapped on the backfoot to one spinning back in sharply.

O'Keefe and fellow spinner Nathan Lyon struck early, removing openers Murali Vijay and Lokesh Rahul, to dent the hosts' chase. Ajinkya Rahane adopted an aggressive approach and got himself to 18 off 21 before tamely chipping O'Keefe to Lyon at cover.

O'Keefe took 6-5 in an inspired burst of 25 balls and finished with test career-best innings figures of 6-35 - which surpassed Warne's best mark in India of 6-125. The control is missing; the variations are not quite there, be that in pace or delivery; the flight that made him so risky and a delight to watch against England hasn't been as prevalent either - Steve Smith got beaten in the flight once in this Test match, when he got out in the first innings, but otherwise, he kept playing Ashwin quite well, with Peter Handscomb using his feet fairly easily against the off-spinner as well.

Ashwin was given not out by the umpire before Australia pressed for DRS and got the verdict reversed in their favour.

The third and the last session was a complete setback for the guests as the hopes to take over this ongoing match completely ruined up.

O'Keefe, who had started bowling from the Hill End where he had had all the success in the first innings, caught Vijay LBW to inflict the first damage.

Mitchell Starc made a big contribution to Australia's lead, scoring 61 from 63 balls and sharing a 55-run last-wicket standing with Josh Hazlewood to lift the visitors from 205-9 on the opening day to 260 all out in the first over of day two.

India have never chased down a target above 440 runs in the past, in Test cricket. On a wicket like this, 155 runs is like gold dust. The experienced hands in the Australian line-up mainly waited for the ball to come to them to play it below their eye-line. From India, Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed four Aussies. Among them Yadav took four wickets in the first day where Ashwin took two and Jadeja took two wickets for the team. He would be one of the best captain in India. His superb effort effectively shut the door on the Indians in their pursuit of taking a 1-0 lead in the four-game rubber.

They managed to score 40 runs in the first hour of play with Warner starting slowly and then attacking off-spinner Jayant Yadav.

  • Julie Sanders