It was a disappointing day for India as the Rohit Sharma-led side slumped to a nine-wicket loss against Australia in the third Test encounter in Indore on Thursday. It took Australia just over an hour to clinch the win with Indian bowlers unable to take wickets in the first session. While Mohammed Siraj was unsuccessful in taking any wickets in the second session, he won hearts by handing his energy drink to a fan while fielding at the boundary. In a video making the rounds on social media, he can be seen talking to the fan and handing him his own drink.
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here was no twist in the tale as Australia turned the tables on India with an emphatic nine-wicket win in the third Test on a track that offered wicked turn and variable bounce, confirming their place in the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
Wins in India are rare for the visiting teams and it is no different for Australia, who recorded their first victory on Indian soil in six years.
For India, it was only their third defeat in the last 10 years and they will need to rework their plans ahead of the final Test, beginning in Ahmedabad from March 9.
The pitches in the series have also come under scathing criticism but, going by Rohit Sharma’s views on the subject, one can expect a raging turner to be dished out at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
India’s batters have been found wanting against the spinning ball and Rohit wants them to raise their game and find a way to score runs.
The hosts managed only 109 and 163 in their two innings here, with the top-order letting the team down again.
“On pitches like these, you have to find a way to score runs and you have to find your own method. We were disappointing with the bat in both the innings,” said Rohit after the loss.
Considering the way Australia had collapsed in second innings of Nagpur and Delhi, “anything” was on the cards on Friday morning.
Chasing a meagre 76, Australia were favourites but R Ashwin raised hopes of a miracle by getting Usman Khawaja caught behind in the second ball of the day.
The ball turned sharply and took a faint tickle on way to the wicketkeeper. The wicket added to the nervousness in the Australian dressing room.
Labuschagne eased some of those nerves by square cutting Ravindra Jadeja for the first boundary of the day.
Both Labuschagne and Head, who is known for his attacking approach, were looking to defend in the first 10 overs, with Australia reaching 13 for one.
However, the momentum changed decisively in favour of Australia after the ball change following the 10th over.
Ashwin was not happy even after the change of ball and that reflected in his bowling. Head smashed the star Indian spinner for a four and six over mid-on in the 11th over as the premier spinner was guilty of bowling too full.
Head took the attack to Jadeja in the following over, hitting one straight over the bowler’s head, and that also gave confidence to Labuschagne who went for the sweep in the same over to take the score to 35 for one in 12 overs.
After that, there was no looking back for the Australian duo who had gained enough confidence to go for their shots.
Labuschagne hit the winning runs, a four over mid-wicket, to complete a memorable victory.
(With PTI inputs)
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