Ind vs Aus, WTC Final: Ajinkya Rahane offers some fightback to keep India alive
Ajinkya Rahane, who is making a comeback to squad, is un unbeaten on 29. Team India will need a big rescue act from Rahane for a fightback in the WTC Final against Australia.
If day one of the World Test Championship (WTC) final belonged to the Australia batters, the second day of the game was certainly dominated by Pat Cummins and his fellow pacers. Aussie bowlers ran through the Indian batting lineup to finish on top on the second day of the game at The Oval. Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Scott Boland, Cameron Green and Nathan Lyon picked up one wicket each as Team India are currently reeling at 151/5 on Day 2. Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane’s defiant batting helped India in somehow staying alive in the contest. While Jadeja fell two runs short of his 19th Test half century, Rahane remained unbeaten on 29.
Earlier on the day, Indian bowlers started off well. Mohammed Siraj and Mohammad Shami bagged some quick wickets to regain the momentum in the second half of the morning session. Steven Smith recorded his 31st Test century in style after hitting Siraj for a boundary. The former Aussie skipper became the second quickest to reach 31 Test hundreds. Smith required just two balls to breach the three-digit mark at the venue where he claimed his maiden Test ton almost a decade back. The Pat Cummins-led side eventually folded for 469 in the first innings of the WTC final.
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With a huge total on the board, India needed to kick off their batting with a certain sense of alacrity and swiftness. Skipper Rohit Sharma did exhibit all of those features during his stay in the crease but he had to depart soon. Having hit Mitchell Starc for two boundaries, Rohit seemed quite prepared to come up with a big knock but that did not happen. Pat Cummins’ good-length delivery did the trick as the India captain was trapped lbw after scoring just 15.
Soon after Rohit Sharma's dismissal, Shubman Gill departed in the very next over. The opening batter’s error of judgement saw him being bowled by Scott Boland. Following Gill’s dismissal, Virat Kohli came down to bat. Cheteshwar Pujara went back to the dressing room next and it was almost a mirror image of Gill’s dismissal.
Virat Kohli did hit two boundaries but his innings came to an abrupt end after Mitchell Starc produced a brilliant delivery to dismiss the star India batter for just 14. “You could have a look again, today because of the fact that there are only two bouncers per over, most batters are onto the front foot. This means they are not able to get onto the backfoot and give themselves the extra yard where you could have probably let the ball go by dropping your wrists," former India batter Sunil Gavaskar said on-air while talking about the manner in which Kohli was trapped.
Ajinkya Rahane, who is making a comeback to Team India squad, showed some resilience and determination to remain unbeaten on 29 at stumps on day two. India wicketkeeper KS Bharat, on the other hand, is batting on 5.
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