Years of planning and anticipation for the Australian cricket team’s tour of India came to an abrupt end as they were bowled out for 91 in less than 33 overs of a slightly extended session and defeated in the first Test at Nagpur before tea on the third day. Steve Smith, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, and the rest of the team had been preparing for the tour for years with A tours, spin camps, and roughed-up practice wickets, but they were unable to find a way to play India’s contrasting finger spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. In the first innings, Australia’s score of 177 was insufficient, and India’s lead of 223 was too much for the team to overcome. Missed chances and elusive opportunities while bowling were noticed, but the game was effectively over when Australia was 64 for six, with Ashwin taking five wickets and Jadeja the other. Steve Smith was the only player to hold up his end while the others subsided, but even his absolute peak in 2017 couldn’t get the team to better than an honourable loss.
Today: December 2, 2023