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Australia take control on day one of chaotic third Test



Australia were firmly in control after the first day of the third Test against India as left-arm spinner Matthew Kuhnemann achieved career-best figures of 5-16 and Usman Khawaja scored 60 with the bat.

India won the toss and elected to bat first, crashing out for just 109 runs in the hectic morning session.

Despite the uncomfortable conditions, Khawaja managed to lead the team to 156-4 in reply, Peter Handscomb and Cameron Green being left unbeaten at the close of play.

Umpire Nitin Menon refused to accept two decisions that would have seen Rohit Sharma out within the first over, though one was eventually overturned as Kuhnemann stumped him for 12.

Shubman Gill followed soon after getting caught out for 21 at slip, while Cheteshwar Pujara was bowled by Nathan Lyon for one.

The ball had started to spin sharply by that point, and Shreyas Iyer was the latest outrageous victim of the pitch, bowled for a duck when going for an expansive cut.

Virat Kohli showed some cautiousness in his 22 off 52, eventually succumbing to spinner Todd Murphy.

Australia held their hand for the rest of the shots, with Kuhnemann claiming two more and Lyon one, bringing the total to an humiliating 109.

Khawaja then kept the leading charge with a solid effort at bat, including a 96-run partnership with Marnus Labuchagne, before being caught at deep midwicket for 31.

Labuchagne was almost out shortly after, saved by a no-ball by Ravindra Jadeja who was now getting back at them with the bat with 4-63 against Steve Smith and Khawaja, the latter already out.

However the focus of the day remained on the pitch; not up to Test standard, it offered little to no sustained resistance, spinning from the first moment and leading to a large amount of wickets.

Despite the two teams not being able to share the full five-day match, Australia now have the advantage and need only take eight more wickets to win.



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