Rookie skittles Aussies after Smith notches ton

Australian captain Steve Smith.
Australian captain Steve Smith. Rajanish Kakade

STEVE Smith scored his 20th Test century but Australia was pegged back by a debutant spinner on the opening day of the fourth Test.

Smith made 111 of Australia's 300 all out, with Matthew Wade's 57 and David Warner's 56 providing the best support. India faced one over before stumps without incident or run.

But the day also belonged to Kuldeep Yadav, 22 and playing his first Test.

After Smith and Warner marched Australia to a commanding 1-131 at lunch, Kuldeep turned the game with his impressive left-arm wrist spin.

He removed Warner caught at slip before bowling Peter Hanscomb (8) and Glenn Maxwell (8) with beauties. Shaun Marsh also fell in a collapse of 4-48, caught behind off Umesh Yadav for four.

Smith's century came from 173 balls and included 14 fours. He was completely dominant in the first session and then went into his shell as the ball began to turn and show variable bounce in the second.

Warner was dropped on the first ball of the match by Karun Nair at third slip, robbing the recalled Bhuvneshwar Kumar of a wicket. The Indians did not have to wait too long for a wicket, with Umesh Yadav bowling Renshaw for 1.

Wade scored his first half century in four years and three weeks, before he was the ninth man out, sweeping at a ball too far outside off and being bowled.

India survived one over from Josh Hazlewood before stumps and will resume at 0-0.

Kohli suffered a shoulder strain on day one of the third Test, and has been replaced by left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the XI. Ajinkya Rahane is captaining in his place.

Kuldeep took his first ever wicket when he had Warner caught at slip and followed up with a beauty to bowl Hanscomb. The ball that dismissed Maxwell was just as good and the Aussie batsman was bemused by how easily he was bowled.

Having stunned the Indians in the first Test in Pune, before losing a thriller in Bengaluru and battling out a draw in Ranchi, Smith's outfit has the chance to become just the third touring side to win a series in India this century.

Topics:  australian cricket team steve smith tour of india

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