INDvAUS, 2nd Test: Ashwin skittles Australia as India level series

Ravi Ashwin

India have leveled the Bordar-Gavaskar series in style, surging to a dramatic 75-run win over the visitors on the fourth day of the second Test match in Bengaluru, as Australia fall apart in their pursuit of 188 for victory.

India found the intent and aggression that had been missing in Pune, as they skittled Australia for 112 in 35.4 overs in little more than a session to keep their hopes retaining the trophy alive. Ashwin played the central role of destroyer-in-chief, as he claimed figures of 6-41 to send Australia packing.

The outcome is scarcely believable for India, who were bundled out for just 189 in their first innings, and had conceded 40-0 at the close of play on day one. But India fought back to claim the remainder of the match to level the series at 1-all.

A thrilling fourth day started promisingly for Australia, as they stormed their way back into the contest courtesy a six-wicket haul from Josh Hazlewood. Hazlewood benefited from the invariable bounce in the pitch in no small measure, as he claimed career-best figures of 6 for 67 to dismiss India cheaply. Mitchell Starc was fiery in his morning spell, as he got Ajinkya Rahane out lbw upon review, and shattered the leg stump of Karun Nair with a 154 kph screamer.

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Chasin 188 to win on a dry, cracking pitch, Australia knew that they have to score rapidly in order to stay in the run-chase. Early wicket of Matt Renshaw, who was caught behind by Ishant Sharma outswinger, didn’t bother David Warner from launching Ravi Ashwin out of the park. But Ashwin eventually got the revenge when Warner(25) was adjudged lbw trying to attempt a complicated sweep shot and also wasted a review in the process.

Shaun Marsh was out lbw by Umesh Yadav on a delivery that was later found to be missing the stumps. Marsh decided not to use the final review, as he walked off.

Steven Smith’s dismissal sparked controversy: he was undone by a delivery that barely bounced, but unerringly hit the pads. Smith and non-striker Handscomb got together to consult the decision of a review but were quickly forbidden as Nigel Llong spotted both batsmen signaling dressing room for advice.

In the next 15 overs, India had wrapped up a win. Marsh edged one to Nair off Ashwin, and Wade fell in the same over, caught brilliantly by Saha. Starc’s stumps were flattened by Ashwin and O’Keefe’s by Jadeja, as Aussies never looked to threaten the target.

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Captains Comments:

“Well absolutely yes. Specially after the way we lost the first Test, we wanted to bounce back hard. Not show anyone but prove ourselves how well we can play. They showed the intent, they showed the belief that we can win from any situation. The snake didn’t fall off eventually. There are many important players in the team and they took the responsibility. Today the boys showed their heart and character along with the crowd.”– Virat Kohli — captain India said.

“Yeah, it was a great Test match. Certainly ebbed and flowed throughout the whole Test. It was a good one. I am proud of the way the boys competed. We were outplayed on the last day or so. The partnership between Rahane and Pujara really hurt us. I think they played particularly played well. But I am proud of the way we came out today, hit good areas and picked up some wickets.” Steven Smith — captain Australia said.


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