Star India openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill gave the hosts a solid start after Australia posted 480 on the scoreboard in the first innings of fourth and final Test match in Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2023. The Indian openers batted with positive intent and didn’t show any sign of panic against the Aussie bowlers.
India were 36/0 in 10 overs at stumps on Day 2 with Rohit (17*) and Shubman (18*) in the middle.
India vs Australia, 4th Test Day 2 - Highlights
The Indian openers came out strong after Australian batters frustrated the hosts for more than 5 and a half sessions with their grit and resilience.
Meanwhile, Australia dominated the Indian bowlers courtesy of a marathon 180-run knock of Usman Khawaja and counter-attacking 114-run innings from Cameron Green. The Motera pitch didn’t offer much to the bowlers but Ravichandran Ashwin once again displayed his class by claiming a 6-wicket haul with an economy rate of 1.9 in 47.2 overs.
Khawaja and Green shared a 208-run stand for the fifth wicket to put Australia on the top in the fourth and final Test which is extremely crucial for India in terms of qualification in the World Test Championship Final.
Khawaja faced 422 balls - most by an Australian player on Indian soil in a single Test innings. The previous record was Graham Yallop’s 392-ball knock in Kolkata, also in 1979. Khawaja’s marathon knock was laced with 21 fours. While Green also showed good maturity during his 170-ball stay in the middle in which he hit 18 boundaries. It was his first international century with a four in second session before getting dismissed on 114.
Ashwin led India’s fightback by dismissing Green and Alex Carey in the same over to give the home crowd some joy. While soon Khawaja was trapped in front of the wicket by Axar Patel.
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After the important wicket of Khawaja, the bowlers looked a bit laidback as tailenders Nathan Lyon (34) and Todd Murphy (41) shared a 70-run stand for the ninth wicket to frustrate India further. The duo kept hitting boundaries at regular intervals as the Indian bowlers crumbled under pressure.
Meanwhile, it was once again Ashwin who dismissed the duo to bundle out Australia for 480 in 167.2 overs. The ace Indian spinner trapped Murphy, a left-hand batsman and off-spinner, lbw and then sent back Lyon to wrap up the innings.
The pressure will be on the Australia spin troika - Nathan Lyon, Matthew Kuhnemann and Todd Murphy to trouble the Indian batters on Day 3 on a batting-friendly surface.
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