BGT 2023 | Twitter in awe of Ashwin as he makes Warner his bunny for record 11th time in Tests

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Match-up holds the key whenever two evenly-poised sides go head-to-head against each other. Many were keen to witness how David Warner would tackle R Ashwin in the first Test between India and Australia in Nagpur, and it was the talismanic off-spinner who had won the mini-battle against the Aussie.

Ravichandran Ashwin was on fire on Saturday during the first Test of the four-match Border-Gavaskar series, taking place at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur. The 36-year-old, at the time of writing, claimed 4/34 to reduce Australia to 62/5 after India closed on 400 in the first innings. The visitors lost all ten wickets for just 177 after opting to bat, suggesting that a humiliating innings defeat for them against Rohit Sharma and his boys could be on the cards.

Out of Ashwin’s four wickets thus far, the one which attracted a lot of attention was David Warner’s. Warner had an average of 22 against Ashwin when the last time Australia toured India in 2017 and given the fact that Ashwin has always been more clinical against the left-handers, the contest should be a treat to watch. 

However, the Aussie, who fell for just 1 in the first innings, made little show against Ashwin in the second. After playing defensively for 38 balls, off which the left-handed opener scored just two runs, Warner broke the shackles by hitting two back-to-back fours against Ashwin. To be fair, both of Ashwin’s deliveries were slightly overpitched and Warner did what they deserved. But then, the next ball which Ashwin bowled was pitched around the middle and leg stump at good length. It was a slider which Warner did not expect before the ball hit his pads. Moments after Warner was trapped, Ashwin made LBW appeal and the umpire had no hesitation to raise his finger.

Despite knowing it was plumb, Warner went to discuss with Steve Smith whether he should take the review. Smith, however, was confident that the ball might miss the leg stump, and convinced him to take DRS. The replay showed Smith was not totally wrong, as the ball, unlike it was visible to the naked eye, clipped the leg stump. Yet, the decision remained as the umpire’s call was given out, and Warner, as well as Smith, looked dejected after losing the wicket in that manner.

It was Ashwin’s 11th success against Warner in Test cricket, the joint-most dismissal for India’s veteran in Test cricket. The other one whom he dismissed 11 times in red-ball cricket is Ben Stokes.

Just another wicket!

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