LONDON: An eventful day of cricket came to an end with Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane holding down India’s fort at the end of Day-4 of the ongoing World Test Championship Final 2023 between India and Australia on Saturday.
At the end of the day, India scored 164/3 in 40 overs with Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli at the crease with scores of 20(59)* and 44(6)*.
After Shubman Gill’s loss at the end of the second session, India bounced back with Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara keeping the scoring rate intact by scoring boundaries at every possible opportunity.
In the 20th over the Indian team suffered a major setback as Nathan Lyon dismissed Rohit who had found his groove for a score of 43(60). Rohit tried to play a clean sweep but failed to read Lyon’s intentions and missed the ball completely.
In the next over Pat Cummins dismissed Pujara, who tried to play an unorthodox shot over the keeper’s head but failed to time it well and it went straight into Carey’s hands.
From that point, Rahane and Kohli took on the Australian bowlers and subdued them with their defensive skills and attacking shots. They went on to build an unbeaten 71-run partnership at the end of the day.
India ended the day with 164/3 and they still need 280 runs to win the game.
Before the second session came to an end, Indian batter Shubman Gill was declared out following a catch from Cameron Green at slip. There was a lack of evidence about whether Green took the catch cleanly or not. The matter went straight to the Third Umpire and he declared the catch was cleanly taken.
India suffered a major blow in their hunt to break the record for the highest fourth-innings run chase in the history of Test cricket.
At the beginning of the second session, the Australian team looked calm and composed with Alex Carrey and Mitchell Starc on the crease. They kept the scoreboard ticking and eased off the pressure on the team.
After establishing a 93-run partnership, Starc lost his wicket to Mohammad Shami in the 83rd over for a score of 41(57). Australian skipper Pat Cummins came in struck a boundary and then lost his wicket to Shami for 5(5).
This marked the end of Australia’s second innings as they decided to declare for a score of 270/8 leaving India to chase down a massive total of 444 runs,
India started their second inning on a positive note, with the opening pair of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma picking up boundaries in the initial five overs. India scored 24 runs in the first five overs but Gill’s controversial dismissal marked an end to their explosive start.
India ended the second session with a score of 41/1.
In the first session, Umesh Yadav gave the Indians a strong start at the start of play on Day 4, sending back Marnus Labuschagne for 41 (126). The Aussie poked at a good-length ball outside off-stump, nicking it to Pujara at the slip cordon.
Carey joined Green in the middle at the fall of Labuschagne’s wicket, and the two set about taking Australia to a position of strength.
They put together a partnership of 43 runs before left-armer Ravindra Jadeja got Green to edge one straight onto his stumps. The wicket was Jadeja’s third of the innings.
While the Indian bowlers continued to operate on disciplined lines and lengths, they failed to effect any further breakthroughs as Carrey and Starc drove Australia’s lead.
Runs, though, were hard to come by as the bowlers, aided by a bit of help from the surface, gave nothing away.
However, Jadeja conceded 4 byes in an hour, as his delivery spun viciously, not only missing the Starc but also Bharat behind the stumps. The boundary, in a way, broke the shackles that the Indians had on the Aussies up until then.
As play resumes in the second session, Australia will look to cross the 400-run mark as quickly as possible, with a maximum of 154 overs remaining in five remaining sessions.
Brief Scores: India (Ajinkya Rahane 20(59)*, Virat Kohli 44(6)* and Nathan Lyon 1/32) vs Australia (ANI)