The first day of the Delhi Test continued to move quickly, with Australia still scoring at well above three runs per over. However, their improved batting, led by Usman Khawaja's 81 runs, was held in check as India continued to chip away, taking three more wickets to reduce Australia to 199/6 at tea.
In the second session, Australia added 106 runs, 59 of which came from a strong partnership between Khawaja and Peter Handscimb (36*). The visitors, who had already lost Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne to Ravichandran Ashwin before Lunch, ran the risk of folding once more cheaply. Especially since Rohit Sharma was successful in his plan to use a seamstress from one end to start the second session. Travis Head, who was brought back for this game, tried to cut a Shami pass, but he only got KL Rahul to make a good catch at second slip.
Khawaja and Handscomb then teamed up for the second half-century stand of the innings, looking confident against spin. When Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel bowled together, India were at their worst. Handscomb, in particular, got going by hitting three fours in the first 20 deliveries. At the other end, Khawaja continued where he left off in the first session and made excellent use of the sweeps, particularly the reverse.
Since runs were scarce in the first inning, Rohit stationed in-out fields, providing the two batters with opportunities for singles. Even though the pitch offered turn, it did not conceal any demons, which made it much simpler to play spin with the softer ball.
India eventually found some respite in a brilliant fielding moment. Khawaja was able to time a reverse sweep off Jadeja, but Rahul was leaping at cover point and Khawaja fell for 81. India took the lead when Alex Carey edged Ashwin to slip, but Pat Cummins and the impressive Handscomb put on another mini stand before the break to keep Australia on track for a competitive total. India took the lead and added another wicket.
After winning the toss earlier in the morning, Australia raced to 94/3 in the first session thanks largely to Khawaja's half-century. The left-hander scored 50 runs against a jittery David Warner and 41 runs off 44 runs against Labuschagne before India responded with a double-wicket over from Ashwin.
Brief scores: Australia 199/6 (Usman Khawaja 81, Peter Handscomb 36*; R. Ashwin 3-57) vs India