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WTC final 2023: India's batsmen face uphill battle after cummins and starc dent their innings

Ajinkya Rahane and KS Bharat, struck by Mitchell Starc's brutal delivery, stood strong as unbeaten Indian batsmen on Day 2 of WTC Final.

Written by  Annesha Barua -- June 09th 2023 01:52 PM
WTC final 2023: India's batsmen face uphill battle after cummins and starc dent their innings

WTC final 2023: India's batsmen face uphill battle after cummins and starc dent their innings

New Delhi, June 09: In the highly anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and Australia, the second day saw a remarkable display of skill and resilience from the Australian team. Steve Smith, who resumed his innings at 95 not out, went on to score his 31st Test century, contributing significantly to Australia's first-innings total of 469 at The Oval.

Australia's captain, Pat Cummins, playing his 50th Test match, proved to be the catalyst for India's downfall on the second day. Cummins struck early by dismissing the Indian skipper, Rohit Sharma, for 15 runs. This dismissal initiated a collapse for the Indian team. Ajinkya Rahane, unbeaten on 29, faced some painful blows but managed to hold firm with Ravindra Jadeja's support (48 runs).

Also Read: Who is the best Test player of this generation?

However, India stumbled to 151-5 at stumps, trailing by a massive 318 runs. The unbeaten batsmen at the crease were Rahane and KS Bharat, the latter having suffered a nasty blow from Mitchell Starc's delivery in the last over.

Cummins bowled a full-length ball to dismiss Rohit Sharma, who was given out lbw. Cummins finished the day with impressive figures of 1-36 in nine overs. Shubman Gill (13) fell four balls later when he was deceived by a sharp off-cutter from Scott Boland and was bowled while playing no shot.

Prior to the match, England's Stuart Broad had expressed his desire to tire out the Australian team before the upcoming Ashes Test series. However, both Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli fell for 14 runs each. Pujara was bowled while leaving a delivery from Cameron Green, and Kohli was undone by a lifting ball from Mitchell Starc, resulting in a catch by Smith at second slip.

Ravindra Jadeja played an aggressive knock, defying the Australian bowlers with a brisk innings of 51 runs from 71 balls, including seven fours and a six. However, his partnership with Rahane came to an end when he edged a turning delivery from off-spinner Nathan Lyon to slip, ending their stand of 71 runs.

Australia's Scott Boland expressed his team's satisfaction, stating, "We are in a really good spot so hopefully we can get a few more wickets in the morning. The pitch is going a little bit up and down so it should be harder for the India batters tomorrow."

At the start of the day, Australia seemed poised to set a massive first-innings total with Smith and Travis Head (163) at the crease. However, India's pacemen fought back, and Australia lost four wickets for 41 runs, including the crucial wickets of Head and Smith, causing them to slip from 361-3 to 402-7.

After lunch, India managed to bowl out Australia, with fast bowler Mohammed Siraj leading the attack with figures of 4-108 from 28.3 overs. Smith's century in the first over of the day placed him alongside Steve Waugh with seven Test hundreds in England, surpassed only by the legendary Don Bradman, who scored 11 centuries. Smith's 31st Test century now puts him at the 12th position on the all-time list.

Travis Head, who had partnered with Smith in a remarkable 285-run stand after Australia was struggling at 76-3, was dismissed when he attempted to whip Siraj legside but gloved a catch to wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat.

Also Read: WTC final 2023: India win toss, opt to field first in final title clash against Australia

- With inputs from agencies


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