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Border-Gavaskar Trophy: India reap as Aussies sweep!

Updated on: 20 February,2023 07:24 AM IST  |  New Delhi
R Kaushik |

World No. 1 Australia place all their eggs in the basket of sweeps—orthodox, reverse and slog—on a pitch where the shot was not an intelligent choice; Ravindra Jadeja has a feast with career-best 7-42 as India win second Test by six wickets to retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy

Border-Gavaskar Trophy: India reap as Aussies sweep!

India players celebrate as Australia’s Steven Smith is dismissed LBW while trying to play a sweep shot at New Delhi yesterday. Pics/PTI, AFP

Even given the pace at which events unfold on subcontinental pitches, Sunday’s Australian collapse was of epic proportions. Unexpected as well as unedifying, it once again showcased their questionable techniques and addled mindset as they handed over a Test they had appeared in slight control of at the end of the second evening on a platter to India.

Ahead by 62 and with nine second-innings wickets in hand at the start of the third day, Australia swept to their doom in a stunning encore of their shabby second-dig effort in the first Test in Nagpur. The track at the Arun Jaitley Stadium tested the skillsets and the adaptability of batsmen, but was by no means unplayable, which made Australia’s slump from their overnight 61 for one to 113 all out in 91 minutes and 19.1 overs even more inexplicable.

Ravindra Jadeja is ecstatic after claiming the wicket of Australia’s Alex Carey yesterdayRavindra Jadeja is ecstatic after claiming the wicket of Australia’s Alex Carey yesterday

Ravindra Jadeja feasted on Australia’s propensity to place all their eggs in the basket of sweeps—orthodox, reverse and the slog—with a career-best seven for 42, his unchanged third-day spell of 9.1-1-19-6 presenting a picture of a web of canny deceit and great guile when all he actually did was put the ball in the right areas and wait for the mistakes which came at no little regularity. R Ashwin had started the carnage by producing a beauty in the first over to pack off the dangerous Travis Head, caught behind, after which it was pretty much the Jadeja show as six of the Australian batsmen perished to the sweep. 

On a pitch of this nature, the sweep wasn’t the most intelligent choice, but opting to stick to their game plan, one batsman after another made an unseemly procession to and from the middle, with even the accomplished Steven Smith featuring in that infamous six. 

Having stared overnight at a potential chase in excess of 200, India were thankful that they only needed 115 to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead at the halfway stage of the four-match series. They got there with few alarms, the six-wicket margin comprehensively decisive and a tribute to their resilience, and to their familiarity with and comfort in the knowledge of conditions they are most used to.

Rohit Sharma set the chase on the way by using his feet and opting to go down the ground—the contrast with Australia’s methods couldn’t have been any more stark—before running himself out, while KL Rahul’s poor form was compounded by bad fortune when he 
was caught behind off a ricochet from the short-leg fielder. Virat Kohli played his part, KS Bharat unleashed glorious drives and Cheteshwar Pujara brought up the winning boundary in his 100th Test to ensure a big holiday crowd got its money’s worth.

Also Read: IND VS AUS: Axar soars, Lyon roars

No. of wickets Australia lost for just 52 runs against India on Sunday

Brief scores
Australia 263 & 113 (T Head 43, M Labuschagne 35; R Jadeja 7-42, R Ashwin 3-59) lost to India 262 & 118-4 (C Pujara 31*, R Sharma 31; N Lyon 2-49) by six wickets

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