Classic win at Chinnaswamy

Cricket Second Test : Ashwin comes to the party with 6/41 as India shoot out Australia for 112 to level series 1-1

Classic win at Chinnaswamy

For its sheer magnitude and significance, the second Test here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium between India and Australia may not match the classic that was played between the same two sides in 2001 at the Eden Gardens. But the series-levelling victory by India here on Tuesday was no less stirring for its pulsating drama.

Despite being on the back foot for most of part of first three days’ play, India staged a splendid fightback to trounce Australia by 75 runs here on Tuesday’s fourth day and keep their hopes of regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy alive. Chasing a tricky target of 188 which was made even more daunting by the vagaries of the penultimate day surface, Australia crumbled to 112 in 35.4 overs with Ravichandran Ashwin (6/41) becoming the fourth bowler to take six or more wickets in an innings in this Test. In the process of taking his latest five-for, Ashwin also became India’s fifth highest wicket-taker in Tests (269 in 47 Tests), surpassing Bishan Singh Bedi (266 in 67). 

While Ashwin obviously was the chief destroyer, Ravindra Jadeja (8-5-3-1) was no less effective. His miserly spell was crucial in the successful defence of the low total. Pacers Ishant Sharma (1/28) and Umesh Yadav (2/30), though a bit expensive up front, were impressive again as Australian batsmen found the going tough.            

Resuming at their overnight score of 213 for four, Indian batting collapsed with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood (6/67) wreaking havoc with the new ball. Starc set in the rot with twin strikes off successive balls, after Australia took the second new ball immediately after it was due. In third over of the morning spell, the left-arm quick dismissed Rahane (52, 134b, 4x4) via DRS. The very next ball he sent Karun Nair’s woodwork rattled off an inside edge of his bat.

From the Pavlion End, Hazlewood continued the demolition act, removing a well-set Cheteshwar Pujara (92, 221b, 7x4) and R Ashwin in the space of four balls off the same over. In his next over, Hazlewood accounted for Umesh Yadav and from a position of relative strength at 238/4 in the 80th over, India slipped to 258 for nine. Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma hung on till lunch to add a valuable 16 runs to extend their lead closer to 200.

The target wasn’t certainly to Australia’s liking and it showed in their performance. The chase began on a wrong foot with their highest run-getter of the series Matt Renshaw falling to Ishant in the fifth over. Soon, Ashwin got his bunny, trapping a sweeping David Warner in front. The batsman reviewed the verdict but it turned out to be umpire’s call. Umesh was lethal in his second spell (5-1-17-2) when he dismissed Shaun Marsh and Steven Smith – both leg-before. Shaun was discouraged from taking a review and much to Australia’s dismay the replays showed the ball would have missed the stumps. Smith was plumb in front but against all norms and rules, he looked up to the change room to help him decide whether he should go for review or not before umpire Nigel Llong stopped him from doing so. 

This was the first time in the last six Tests against India that Smith had been dismissed without scoring a hundred and that was a body blow to Australia. Once Smith perished, Ashwin took the charge. He sent back Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade in successive overs to leave Australia reeling at 101 for six as teams broke for tea. The mayhem continued upon resumption as well. In the first over after tea, Ashwin castled Starc with a straight one. Jadeja finally got a reward for his relentless accuracy when he cleaned up Steve O’Keefe with a shooter. In the next over, Ashwin accounted for Peter Handscomb and Nathan Lyon to polish off the innings. Australia lost their last six wickets while adding just 11 runs in the space of 35 balls.           

India will now travel to Ranchi for the third Test (March 16-20) with a renewed confidence.

India assured of No 1 ranking

The Indian cricket team will retain its No. 1 position in the ICC Test rankings owing to the series-levelling 75-run win in the second Test against Australia in Bengaluru.
“Victory in the 2nd Test against Australia assures India a No 1 finish on the April 1 cut-off date and a cash prize of USD 1 million,” the ICC confirmed in a tweet.

score board

INDIA (I Innings): 189 all out
AUSTRALIA (I Innings): 276 all out
INDIA (II Innings; O/n: 213/4):
Pujara c M Marsh b Hazlewood    92
(293m, 221b, 7x4)
Rahane lbw Starc    52
(175m, 134b, 4x4)
Nair b Starc    0
(1m, 1b)
Saha (not out)    20
(65m, 37b, 2x4, 1x6)
Ashwin b Hazlewood    4
(4m, 3b, 1x4)
Umesh c Warner b Hazlewood    1
(10m, 5b)
Ishant c S Marsh b O’Keefe    6
(44m, 28b, 1x4)
Extras (B-11, W-4)    15
Total (all out, 97.1 overs)    274
Fall of wickets: 1-39 (Abhinav), 2-84 (Rahul), 3-112 (Kohli), 4-120 (Jadeja), 5-238 (Rahane), 6-238 (Nair), 7-242 (Pujara), 8-246 (Ashwin), 9-258 (Umesh). Bowling: Starc 16-1-74-2 (w-4), Hazlewood 24-5-67-6, Lyon 33-4-82-0, O’Keefe 21.1-3-36-2, M Marsh 3-0-4-0.
AUSTRALIA (II Innings):
Warner lbw Ashwin    17
(46m, 25b, 1x6)
Renshaw c Saha b Ishant    5
(22m, 12b, 1x4)
Smith lbw Umesh    28
(69m, 48b, 3x4)
S Marsh lbw Umesh    9
(24m, 19b, 1x4)
Handscomb c Saha b Ashwin    24
(84m, 67b, 2x4)
M Marsh c Nair b Ashwin    13
(26m, 16b, 3x4)
Wade c Saha b Ashwin    0
(5m, 5b)
Starc b Ashwin    1
(7m, 6b)
O’Keefe b Jadeja    2
(18m, 10b)
Lyon c & b Ashwin    2
(6m, 6b)
Hazlewood (not out)    0
(1m, 0b)
Extras (B-8, LB-2, W-1)    11
Total (all out, 35.4 overs)    112

Fall of wickets: 1-22 (Renshaw), 2-42 (Warner), 3-67 (S Marsh), 4-74 (Smith), 5-101 (M Marsh), 6-101 (Wade), 7-103 (Starc), 8-110 (O’Keefe), 9-110 (Handscomb). 

Bowling: Ishant 6-1-28-1 (w-1), Ashwin 12.4-4-41-6, Umesh 9-2-30-2, Jadeja 8-5-3-1.
Third Test is at Ranchi from March 16-20.

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