India vs Australia | Hosts level series as Australia crumble

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India vs Australia | Hosts level series as Australia crumble

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SportsCafe Desk


After restricting India to a total of 188 in the morning, Australia looked on course before losing the plot to lose by 76 runs on Day 4 of the Bangalore Test. Cheteshwar Pujara missed out on a well-deserved century before R Ashwin scalped another 5-wicket haul as India leveled the series 1-1.

Brief scores: India 189 (KL Rahul 90; Nathan Lyon 8/50) & 274 (Cheteshwar Pujara 92, J Hazlewood 6/67) beat Australia 276 (S Marsh 66; R Jadeja 6/63) & 112 (Smith 28; Ashwin 6/41) by 75 runs. 

The defeat in the Pune Test had come as the wake up call for the home side who had been on a 19-match unbeaten streak ahead of the visit by the Aussies. An Australia win here would have meant that the visitors would retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, thanks to their win when India visited them in 2015-16. There was also the question of what kind of wicket would be on offer for the teams in Bengaluru after the Pune one got a "poor" review by the ICC. It turned out to be another surprise for the teams as the pitch looked like it had been cracked open by a 7+ Richter earthquake even on Day 1. 

Before the match, most pundits expected the wicket to be a batting haven but that went out of the window with India losing three wickets before even reaching triple digits. But, KL Rahul held the Indian innings together with a fifty on his home ground to take India to 160/5 at the end of two sessions. The Aussies, however, came out after tea with a renewed sense of desire and India surrendered their last 5 wickets for just 15 runs to end at 189 runs. Veteran spinner Nathan Lyon claimed the best-ever figures by a foreign bowler in India at 8/50 before the Aussies batted to end Day 1 at 40/0

Day 1 - Australia

The second day was an even battle between bat and ball. Australia managed to score just under 200 runs in the entire day’s play. India, on the other hand, could not make as many inroads as they would have hoped, claiming just six wickets in the day's play. India had come out with a plan and stuck to it. The pacers bowled tight lines not allowing the batsmen any runs, while the spinners were creating different problems on the other side. At the end of Day 2, Australia had gone past India's score and looked well in control of the match.

Day 2 - Australia

It was the Ravindra Jadeja show in the first session on Day 3 that turned the match - the spinner took a brilliant catch in the deep before claiming three quick wickets to restrict Australia to 276. By now, the pitch had settled down a bit and India took full advantage of it when they came out to bat.

The hosts levelled things up at the cost of just two wickets and looked like they were going to gain a foothold in the Test for the first time but the tables turned quickly again as Kohli and Jadeja fell cheaply to hand Australia the initiative. However, a brilliant partnership between Pujara and Rahane ensured that it wouldn’t be an easy chase for the Australians in the second innings. India finished the day with a score of 213/4 with a lead of 126 runs.

Day 3 - India

Keeping with the trend over the first three days of play, Australia fought back in the first session claiming the remaining six wickets for just 59 runs, setting the Aussies a target of 188 with more than five sessions of play left. India got off to a good start claiming the wicket of the dangerous Matt Renshaw as early as the fifth over to apply some pressure on the Aussies. The visitors added another 20 runs to take the score to 42 before they were lost David Warner and more importantly a review - that would have played a big part in the result of the match.

Shaun Marsh was the next to depart with the scoreboard reading 67/3. With just a review left in the kitty, Australia decided not to review a decision that would have been overturned easily. With Smith falling a few overs later, Australia just crumbled under pressure and were eventually all out for 112 with Ashwin finishing with figures of 6/41. 

India levelled the series at 1-1 with the win and the series now makes for a compelling viewing as the teams move to Ranchi for the third match of the series.

Day 4 - India

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