Australia 197 ( Khawaja 60, Jadeja4-78) & 78/1 (Head 49*) defeated India 109 ( Kuhnemann 5-16) & 163 ( Pujara 59, Lyon 8-64) by 9 wickets
With a decisive nine-wicket victory over India in the third Test at Indore, Australia guaranteed their spot in the World Test Championship final. India is still in control of its fate, if they win in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad, they will also qualify for the same. But, if they don’t win, they must rely on New Zealand. To keep India’s hopes alive, Kiwis need to win the series 2-0 against Sri Lanka.
Australia needed 76 runs to win the match after they bowled India out for 163 on the second evening. It is very difficult for the fielding side to be optimistic when you are defending such a low score on the third morning of a test as India did.
R. Ashwin kept little hope for India when he took Usman Khawaja’s wicket on the second delivery. But Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne made sure that India’s hopes didn’t turn into reality. The duo took just 18.5 overs to win the match. Australia still has a chance to tie for the series, but India would still want to lift the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
In their first innings, Australia lost its final six wickets for a total of 11 runs. The early dismissal of Khawaja and a good bowling performance by both Ashwin and Jadeja in the morning may keep the Aussies on the back foot for some time. But Head and Labuschagne prioritized survival during that time, with only 13 runs scored by Australia in the first ten overs.
Then came the pivotal moment, when the umpires requested that the ball be changed after noticing that a portion of the seam had fallen off. Head hit a four and a six in Ashwin’s opening over with the substitute ball. Jadeja leaked two boundaries from the opposite end, one to Head and the other to Labuschagne. There was plenty to let down India’s hopes.
Australia quickly reached 56 in 15 overs, thanks to four additional boundaries in the next three overs. After the break for drinks, Rohit Sharma introduced Umesh Yadav to the attack, but the outcome was already known. Many people were curious to find out if Head could raise his fifty. He was unable to do so, but he remained unbeaten on 49 off 53 balls as Labuschagne hit a four to end the game.
Australia played very beautifully in the third test match and defeated India by 9 wickets. Now everyone’s eye is on the fourth and final test match of the Border – the Gavaskar trophy which will be played at Ahmedabad from March 9 to 13.
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