Australia sets India easy 106-run chase in a decider

Rajat Kain

Cricket-Test

Chasing 106 runs to win, KL Rahul’s three boundaries off Pat Cummins’ first over summed up India’s day in the final test. The statement was clear — aggression. India began the third day at Dharamsala 52 runs behind Aussies total of 300 with four wickets in hand and finished off with just 87 required to clinch the series, with all wickets in the ledger.

The middle of the day saw, India’s lower order fighting aggressively to go ahead of Australia’s total and take a crucial lead of 32 runs.

As the visitors resumed their second innings, it was another display of poor batting and even poor application of mind. It was perhaps more than a ‘brain fade’, where Steve Smith’s men surrendered before the top class test match bowling by both Indian pacers and spinners.

Both the openers perished soon to Umesh Yadav, who made best use of the wicket’s bounce and pace. Australia looked hunted and in the shell right from the word go.

First to go was aggressive and talkative David Warner, who ended his miserable tour scoring just 193 runs in eight innings, reaching fifty-mark just once. His mate, Mathew Renshaw, who had looked promising in the first two test, too failed once again.

While Steve Smith, man with three hundreds and nearly 80/innings average looked in good touch before he perished to a misjudged pull off a calculated delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The end was in sight. Australia had kissed the series good bye.

By tomorrow afternoon Border-Gavaskar trophy will be in Team India’s hand unless they replicate Australia’s poor batting performance.

While Glenn Maxwell showed hands and scored a doughty 45, laced with six boundaries and a six, no other Australian batsman practically threatened India bowling.

Another Australian promising batter Peter Handscomb failed to apply any skills or determination before being caught brilliantly by skipper Ajinkya Rahane, leading his team in the absence of injured Virat Kohli. You win matches by taking catches like those.

An over later, Shaun Marsh too ended his under-par tour, once again proving himself wanting at this level.

But let’s not take away the tremendous performance of Jadeja-Ashwin duo who looked liked taking wickets each over they bowled. The duo shared six wickets in the second innings, handing India a match.

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