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India vs Australia: Visitors Seal Eight-wicket Win at Melbourne to Draw Level in Four-match Series

India vs Australia: Visitors Seal Eight-wicket Win at Melbourne to Draw Level in Four-match Series

India defeated Australia by 8 wickets in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Tuesday to level the four-match series 1-1.

India defeated Australia by 8 wickets in the second Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Tuesday to level the four-match series 1-1. Chasing 70 to win in the second session of the fourth day, India managed to get the runs needed in 15.5 overs despite losing two early wickets. A 51-run stand between Ajinkya Rahane and Shubman Gill ensured the visitors got home with minimal fuss despite an early double strike giving the hosts a glimmer of hope. However, no one can argue that India's win was anything but deserves given they dominated for most parts of the Test match.

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India started the chase steadily, with both openers Mayank Agarwal and Shubman Gill looking to score runs but not taking any unnecessary risks.

However, Agarwal fell victim to Mitchell Starc as the left-arm pacer angled one outwards to the opener that he decided to play at woth hard hands. The ball took the edge and flew straight to Tim Paine behind the stumps.

Pat Cummins then struck in the very next over, getting one to shape away from Cheteshwar Pujara ever so slightly and forcing the batsman to play at it. The thick edge flew to Cameron Green and suddenly Australia sensed a glimmer of hope.

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Skipper Rahane, who scored an excellent century in the first innings, came in and proceeded to restore some calm in the middle. At the other end, Gill looked to score more freely and managed to get two boundaries off Starc in the same over.

Gill also managed to get a boundary off Cummins and Rahane then drove Josh Hazlewood for four as India took back the initiative from the hosts.

Given the small nature of the target, Australia needed to get wickets on a regular basis but Rahane and Gill ensured there would be no more hiccups along the way.

They were aided by some ordinary bowling as well as some poor fielding, with Starc dropping Rahane despite managing to get to the ball in good time.

Also Read: Jasprit Bumrah Equals Anil Kumble's Unique Boxing Day Record at MCG

Resigned to their fate, skipper Tim Paine brought on Marnus Labuschagne to bowl his part-time leg spin when India needed 10 to win. 9 came off the over and the one run needed came via a single in the next over bowled by Nathan Lyon.

Earlier Australia were bowled out for 200 after Jasprit Bumrah (2/54 in 27 overs) and debutant Mohammed Siraj (3/37 in 21.3 overs) were both fast and accurate during a trying Test match session. They accounted for three wickets, remaining patient and not trying too many things on a deck that offered minimal assistance.

Ravichandran Ashwin (2/71 in 37.1 overs) got the final wicket and Ravindra Jadeja (2/28 in 14 overs) made up for an injured Umesh Yadav's absence with another top-notch bowling performance.

The second new ball did the trick as Cameron Green (45 off 146 balls) and Pat Cummins (22 off 103 balls) were dismissed after their frustrating 57-run stand for the seventh wicket.

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Green's gutsy knock had five boundaries as he tried to get Australia out of the woods during a classical Test match session.

Skipper Rahane, after giving a three-over spell to Bumrah on the fourth morning, understood instantly that the old ball is not doing anything and took him off the attack to keep him fresh for the second new ball.

It was another great tactical decision from Rahane as Bumrah bounced Cummins to end the stand that consumed more than 36 overs.

It was a well-directed bouncer aimed between the batsman's jaw and shoulder and the awkward fend was taken by Mayank Agarwal at second slip.

Green, who was starting to become a thorn in the flesh, tried to pull Siraj but the extra bounce did him in as Ravindra Jadeja, fielding at mid-wicket, timed his spot jump to perfection ending the batsman's vigil.

Siraj then bowled another short one that accounted for Nathan Lyon caught by Rishabh Pant down the leg side.

While India didn't bowl too many loose balls in the first hour, the attack wasn't threatening either. Credit must be given to both Green and Cummins for eliminating any kind of risk in their approach.

The 50 partnership came off 192 balls, which was an indication that Australian top-order didn't apply itself well.

The third Test will take place at Sydney from January 3 onwards.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking