Australia in India: Usman Khawaja’s century gives tourists best of day one in Ahmedabad
|Fourth Test, Ahmedabad (day one):|
|Australia 255-4: Khawaja 104*, Green 49*; Shami 2-65|
|India: Yet to bat|
Usman Khawaja hit a resolute century to give Australia the better of the first day of the fourth Test against India.
The opener batted all day for 104 not out from 251 balls, only the second century of a series dominated by spin.
On a flatter surface in Ahmedabad, his total, plus Cameron Green’s 49 not out, helped the tourists close on 255-4.
Australia batted slowly for much of the day before all-rounder Green increased the intent against the new ball in the final session.
Khawaja reached his century in the last over of the day, capping a solid start to the Test from Australia as they seek a victory in order to draw the series 2-2.
In doing so, they would become the first side to avoid defeat in an away Test series against India since England won on their tour of 2012.
India, meanwhile, need to win the match to guarantee a place in the World Test Championship final in June.
After an opening stand of 61 with Travis Head, Khawaja put on 79 in a third-wicket stand with Steve Smith that lasted 41.2 overs.
They batted throughout the afternoon session – the first session in the series in which a wicket did not fall – before Smith was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja for 38 from 135 balls after tea.
Seamer Mohammed Shami bowled Peter Handscomb for 17 but the partnership between Khawaja and Green, who hit eight fours in his 64 balls, tipped the day in Australia’s favour.
Khawaja’s century was his 14th in 60 Tests and his sixth since his recall in the Ashes in January 2022.