Ahmedabad: Ace India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took three in the afternoon session on Day 2 of the fourth Test. But Usman Khawaja still stood tall to be unbeaten on 180 at tea and carry Australia to 409/7 in 146 overs.
It was a session in which India bounced back after going wicketless in the morning essay. After a change of ends as well as of load-up, Ashwin used his pace, angles, lines and control very well, which fetched him three crucial scalps.
He first struck by taking out Cameron Green and breaking the 208-run stand for the fifth wicket, followed by taking two more quick wickets. But for Australia, Khawaja is still at the crease, with Nathan Lyon giving him company at six not out.
The session got off to a great start for Australia as Green reached his first Test century in 144 balls with a square cut off Ravindra Jadeja through point. He got runs in quick succession – a drive on an overpitched ball from Mohammed Shami was followed by drilling one through extra cover off Jadeja.
India finally had a breakthrough in the 131st over when Green went for a sweep on an off-break going down the leg from Ravichandran Ashwin. But Green could only glove it behind to KS Bharat, departing for 114 off 170 balls.
Ashwin had another success in the same over, foxing Alex Carey with a lovely off-break pitched outside off-stump. Carey went for a big shot but was nowhere near the pitch of the ball, and the thick outside edge flew to point.
Ashwin’s persistence was rewarded when Mitchell Starc came out to defend, but the ball took an inside edge to the short leg for a sharp catch. Khawaja and Lyon took a boundary each by the fag end of the session to take Australia past 400.
Earlier, Khawaja and Green, unbeaten on 150 and 95 respectively, solidified their positions at the crease to fetch another wicketless session for Australia in this Test, adding 92 in 29 overs.
At lunch, their partnership for the fifth wicket stood at 177. For India, it was a session of toil under harsh Friday sun on a nice batting pitch, where their control with the ball was off the mark, till Ashwin corrected it in the second session.
Brief Scores: Australia 409/7 in 146 overs (Usman Khawaja 180 not out, Cameron Green 114; Ravichandran Ashwin 4-83, Mohammed Shami 2-102) against India.