Australia reduced the deficit in the 2023 Border Gavaskar Trophy to 2-1, courtesy of a nine-wicket triumph over India in Indore’s Holkar Cricket Stadium. Chasing a meagre target of 76 runs, the baggy greens did not face many issues as they crossed the victory line in only 18.5 overs, at the loss of a solitary wicket.
Despite having a low score to defend, the hosts were presented with a glimmer of hope when Ravichandran Ashwin, who recently became India’s third-highest wicket-taker in international cricket, scalped the wicket of Usman Khawaja in only the second delivery of Day 3. In an attempt to play the front-foot defence, the left-handed batter ended up edging the ball straight into the gloves of wicket-keeper KS Bharat.
That, however, was the lone instance of India’s joy this morning, with the pair of Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne taking the game away from Rohit Sharma’s team soon after.
After a cautious first ten overs, which yielded all but 13 runs, the Aussie batters freed the shackles and started using the more flamboyant shots from their arsenal.
The next couple of overs, bowled by Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, produced 22 runs, including three boundaries and a six off Head’s willow. The passage of play proved to be a major dampener for Rohit Sharma’s team, as the Aussies took only 41 deliveries to score the next 43 runs, and subsequently, secure victory in the match.
Kuhnemann and Lyon Plotted India’s Downfall
Earlier in the fixture, India were bowled out for 109 runs in the first innings with Matthew Kuhnemann taking a five-wicket haul for the visitors. From the Indian team, former skipper Virat Kohli was the leading scorer with a 22-run knock.
Four wickets from Ravindra Jadeja and three scalps apiece by Ashwin and Umesh Yadav helped the hosts restrict Australia to a score of 197 runs in their first innings, but Sharma & Co. went through a second successive batting collapse, adding only 163 runs at the second time of asking. Cheteshwar Pujara's resilient knock of 59 runs was commendable, but it could not salvage the game for the hosts.
Yet another Aussie spinner worked wonders for Steve Smith’s team this time around, as Nathan Lyon scalped eight wickets by conceding only 64 runs.