Australia takes the first blood in the ongoing 4-match Test series as they beat the Virat Kohli-led India by 8-wickets, chasing a 90-run target on Day 3 of the first Test at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Courtesy of the swashbuckling performances from pacers Josh Hazlewood (4/21) and Pat Cummins (5/8), Australia now have a lead of 1-0 in the series underway and would look to capitalize on the winning momentum in the upcoming feuds.
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India, who came out to bat on the third day with the scorecard reading 9/1 and expecting to put over 300-runs on board, witnessed a collapse in their batting order with the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara (0), skipper Virat Kohli (4), Ajinkya Rahane (0), and Hanuma Vihari (8) added merely 12 runs to the total.
Jasprit Bumrah (2), who was sent as a night watch-man following Prithvi Shaw’s departure early on in the innings the previous day, was the first to be dismissed on the third day’s play and didn’t take the Aussies much time in sending back Mayank Agarwal after a few overs.
With wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha (4) and Ravichandran Ashwin (0) now back in the pavilion, and Mohammed Shami (1) copping a blow on his right fore arm and being retired hurt, the team couldn’t add any significant runs on board and eventually declared on 36 runs setting a 90-run target for the hosts.
Post the comfortable win over India in the day-night Test in Adelaide, Australian skipper Tim Paine, who was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ for his fighting 73* off 99 deliveries comprising a tally of 10 fours in the first innings, lauded the team’s bowling attack as that turned the tides back in their favor.
“Not really. I said this morning in the media that both these attacks have the ability to take quick wickets. Didn’t expect them to come this quick. When our boys execute and there is anything in the wicket, this is what can happen,” said Paine in the post-match presentation.
In response to India’s 244 in the first innings, Australia could manage only 191 runs, with Paine being the highest run-getter in the lineup followed by Marnus Labuschagne (47), and the duo added 32-runs to the 6th wicket. The quartet of Matthew Wade, Steve Smith, Travis Head and debutant Chris Green had a dry run with the bat in the first innings which put Kohli’s men in an advantage.
“For the team very important to get close to that total. Obviously 5 for 79 you lose a few more and India go ahead in the Test. When you are as tall as our boys and as quick as our boys, it can become very difficult so credit to our bowlers again. Absolutely rapped with the way we bowled, but our batting was below what we expect.” said the 36-year-old.
Burnsy is a really important part of our team: Tim Paine
Joe Burns hadn’t had a decent outing with the bat in the last five Test innings, however, the opener came back strongly with a quickfire 51* off 63 deliveries with 7 fours and a six in the final innings to chase the 90-run target.
“Burnsy is a really important part of our team, and all cricketers know how hard it is to go on a run like that, to come out in a Test match and do that will do Burnsy a lot of good,” Paine spoke while concluding.
With Virat Kohli now on paternity leave and heading back home for the remaining Tests, the onus will be on Ajinkya Rahane to lead the visitors to a competitive show.
India will now lock horns with Australia in the second match of the 4-Test series, a boxing day Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) from December 26.