Team India produced yet another clinical performance to beat Australia by 8 wickets in the Boxing Day Test and level the four-match series 1-1 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
The Indian pacers continued to dominate proceedings as they bowled out Australia for 200 in the extended first session on Day 4, which meant the visitors needed to get just 70 runs to bounce back in the series.
Overnight batsmen Cameron Green and Pat Cummins showed some resistance in the first hour of play before stand-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane decided to take the 2nd new ball with Australia reeling at 149 for 6 in 80 overs.
The decision worked wonders for them as Jasprit Bumrah bounced out Cummins for 22 in the 83rd over before Mohammad Siraj sent back Green (45) and Nathan Lyon (3) in quick succession. Ravichandran Ashwin then wrapped up the proceedings with the wicket of Josh Hazlewood in the final over before Lunch.
SIRAJ SHINES ON TEST DEBUT
Siraj finished as the pick of the bowlers with 3 wickets for 37 while Bumrah, Ashwin and Jadeja got a couple each and Umesh Yadav, who bowled just 3.3 overs on Day 3 before going off the field with a calf injury, got 1 wicket.
Green and Cummins’s 7th-wicket partnership was the highest for Australia in this innings as the Indian bowlers dominated proceedings once again to take the visitors within touching distance of a memorable win in Melbourne.
MAYANK FLOPS AGAIN
India got off to a poor start after the break with Mitchell Starc getting rid of opener Mayank Agarwal yet again for 5 in the 5th over before Pat Cummins sent back Cheteshwar Pujara for 3 in the 6th to leave the visitors in a spot of bother at 19 for 2.
But Shubman Gill (35 not out) and Rahane (27 not out) settled their nerves and batted positively after the early wickets to take India to victory in the Boxing Day Test for the second time in succession after their 137-run win over the Aussies in the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Series.
The momentum has well-and-truly shifted in India’s favour now as they dominated all four days of this Test after a splendid hundred from Rahane in the first innings which was backed up by the bowling attack that was without Umesh Yadav in Australia’s 2nd innings as he left the field with a calf injury after bowling just 3.3 overs.
India’s performance in Melbourne also represents a stunning reversal of form, following an embarrassing 8-wicket loss in the series-opening Pink-ball Test at the Adelaide Oval last week in which they were bowled out for a record low of 36 in their second innings.
The third Test is scheduled to be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 7 next year but the rising number of coronavirus cases in the city might force Cricket Australia to host the match at the MCG, which will be kept on standby.