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Indian ace Ravichandran Ashwin feasts on Aussie lefties on day two of first Test

Indian spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin has made a career out of feasting on left- handers, and Australia's batsmen have proved no exception on day two of the first Test in Adelaide.

Ashwin spun through the hosts' top order on Friday, reducing Australia to 4-104 late in the middle session and bringing his team some much-needed momentum.

The offspinner's imposing average of less than 20 against left-handed batsmen in Tests had been a concern for Australia, considering their abundance of potential targets.

And it didn't take long for those fears to be borne out as debutant Marcus Harris, Usman Khawaja and a hapless Shaun Marsh all fell victim to Ashwin.

Both Harris and Khawaja were beaten in flight and caught in close, while Marsh chopped onto his stumps with an ill-judged stroke well outside off stump.

Fellow left-hander Travis Head, batting at No.6, survived an initial examination from Ashwin to be 13 not out shortly before tea.

Ashwin's improved lengths and willingness to take pace off his deliveries were noticeable aspects of a technique which he has worked hard to adapt to Australian conditions.

The 32-year-old had arrived in Adelaide under pressure to improve his record in Australia of 21 wickets at an average of 54.71 - a record that paled against his overall Test statistics of 336 wickets at 25.44 before this series.

Determined to make an impact for his team, Ashwin trained in the Adelaide Oval nets on India's rest day in the lead-up to the first Test.

Teammate Cheteshwar Pujara had predicted Ashwin would be a different bowler to the previously struggling version on Australian soil.
"If you see his recent bowling, I think he has made a lot of changes," Pujara said on Monday.

"I can't describe what it is, not in front of the media. But he has made some adjustments which has helped him.

"He has also played a series in 2015 (here) so he's very confident now. And whatever adjustments he had to make, he has already done it."


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