Jadeja and Gill prop up India despite Steve Smith's century!
Galatta | Jan 08, 2021, 04:30 pm
India and Australia are involved in one of the most gruelling and testing series of all time, in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy! The 2 teams have won 1 Test match each, with the current match and 1 more to go after this. A lot hinges on this match, with speculations over the next match happening or not still running high! India went into this match with a very depleted bowling attack but the batting was reinforced with Rohit Sharma joining the team! Day 1 of this 3rd Test was marred by rain and despite losing two Wickets, the Australians ended the day on a high with Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith getting among the runs. Australia began Day 2 on 166/2 with two dangerous batsmen looking very set at the crease! The two batsmen combined to form a fluent partnership to take Australia to 206/2 but the Indian bowling and the innovative stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, kept at the Aussies' heels.
Ravindra Jadeja proved his allround skills and got Labuschagne to cut a ball to Rahane at slip, where the Indian captain took a sharp catch to send back the set batsman in the 90s. This ended the second consecutive century stand for Australia and in turn almost triggered a collapse. Matthew Wade tried to be aggressive against Jadeja and it cost him his wicket, bringing India firmly back into the game. With the arrival of the 2nd new ball, one of the best bowlers in the business - Jasprit Bumrah, proved his class. He first dried up the runs for Cameron Green and eventually worked him over, to claim his first Wicket of the match. The players then took lunch and when they returned, Bumrah claimed his second with a peach of a delivery, going through Australian captain Tim Paine's defenses and breaking the timber! Unfortunately for India, Smith didn't seem like slowing down and kept going strong at the other end.
Jadeja returned to york out Cummins with a stunning delivery before Starc combined with Smith to keep the scoreboard ticking. Smith reached his 27th Test century and celebrated expansively, letting out some of the built up frustration. But the Indian bowlers did not allow the Australians to build a lead as high as they would have liked and wrapped up the innings for 338, with a great throw from Jadeja catching Smith short of his crease, after scoring 131. Australia's last 8 Wickets fell for a mere 132 runs and India had come back into the game! The new opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill gave India a solid start and the duo put up a 50 opening stand without seeming troubled by the Australian bowlers. Unfortunately, Sharma offered a simple return catch to Hazlewood to become the first Indian Wicket to fall, getting out on 26! Gill went on to score his maiden half-century with some dazzling strokeplay but fell almost immediately to Cummins, off a very sharp catch by Cameron Green. The Australian bowlers strangled both Rahane and Pujara, who played out about 12 overs to Stumps, scoring just 11 runs. Though India have lost 2 Wickets for just 96, they can start Day 3 with 8 Wickets in hand and being just 242 runs behind! The weather reports state that there would be clear skies for the rest of the three days and hopefully, India can erase the deficit and set an imposing target for Australia to chase down in their second innings. Stay tuned for updates...