India secured their fourth consecutive Border Gavaskar Trophy triumph, as the last Test of the series ended in a stalemate here in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. In a response to the hosts’ mammoth 570, Australia were batting on 175/2 when the adjudicators and captains unanimously decided to call curtains to the game.
Starting the day on 3/0, the baggy greens did not have the best of starts as night-watch Matthew Kuhnemann was trapped leg before wicket by Ravichandran Ashwin, whilst he was batting on six. However, having struggled to deliver throughout the series, Marnus Labuschagne picked the very last day to turn up.
Alongside Travis Head, Labuschagne kept the scoreboard ticking for the visitors, with Australia going into lunch at 73/1. By the time the two sets of players returned to the field, the news of India confirming their place in the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 had done rounds in the dressing rooms, and among the crowd.
Though it had every right to be, the second session here on Monday was not particularly uneventful, predominantly owing to Head’s decision of playing a few flamboyant strokes. As he neared what would have been his sixth Test ton, Labuschagne brought up his 15th half-century in this format during the 58th over.
The nerve-wracking nineties, however, got the better of Head, who missed out on his maiden Test century outside Australia by merely 10 runs. Having received the brunt of the blows earlier on the day, it was Axar Patel’s time for redemption as he bowled the South Australian batter.
Personal Milestone for Axar Patel
While it was not meant to be for Head, Axar did manage to reach a personal milestone as the breakthrough meant he is now among the players who have scalped 50 or more Test wickets for India.
The next few overs were a tad insipid, wherein both teams accepted their fates before the adjudicators called it a day – albeit only after the Ahmedabad crowd witnessed Shubman Gill bowling for the first time in international cricket.
This win also marks the conclusion of the ongoing World Test Championship cycle for both teams. Australia finished on top with 152 points and a PCT (percentage of points won out of points contested) of 66.67%, whilst with 127 points and a 58.80% PCT, India finished in the second position.