NEW DELHI: In a dominant display, Australia dashed India’s hopes of a miraculous comeback on the final day, cruising to a resounding 209-run victory at the Oval on Sunday. Led by Pat Cummins and his fellow teammates, Australia emerged triumphant, clinching their first-ever World Test Championship title.
India faced a daunting task of chasing a record-breaking target of 444 runs set by Australia on the final day. However, their aspirations were shattered as they lost seven wickets in the morning session, extending their poor performance in ICC events.
Pacer Scott Boland delivered an exceptional bowling spell, dismissing both Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja in the same over, effectively sealing India’s fate. The team was eventually bowled out for 234 runs in their second innings.
Australia clearly outclassed India in all aspects of the game, while India could only blame themselves for yet another disappointment in a global tournament. It marks India’s second consecutive defeat in the World Test Championship final, following their loss to New Zealand in the inaugural edition in 2021.
Day 5 – Live Updates
The exclusion of R Ashwin from the playing XI on the opening day sparked discussions, but India’s defeat in the title contest can be largely attributed to the failure of their high-profile batting lineup. The top four batsmen, comprising Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Kohli, failed to deliver in this high-stakes game.
Attempting to chase the monumental target of 444 runs at The Oval, Indian fans entered the final day with high hopes as Kohli (49) and Ajinkya Rahane (46) took the crease.
However, Boland’s removal of Kohli and Jadeja (0) in the seventh over of the morning session practically closed the door on India. They resumed the day at 164 for three, needing an improbable 280 runs for victory.
Kohli, who displayed excellent form on day four, needed to score a big hundred for India to come close to the massive target. However, on a pitch with uneven bounce, there was always the chance of an unplayable delivery, and that’s precisely what happened to both Kohli and Jadeja.
Boland’s relentless line around the off-stump added a new dimension to the Australian attack. From the pavilion end, the seamer bowled a wide delivery, tempting Kohli into a drive that ended up being caught by a diving Steve Smith at second slip. Two balls later, Boland found seam movement from round the wicket, resulting in Jadeja offering a simple catch to the wicketkeeper, leaving India at 179 for five.
K S Bharat then joined Rahane, who played a couple of exquisite straight drives off Mitchell Starc, igniting the crowd’s enthusiasm. However, Starc adjusted his length, and Rahane, attempting an unnecessary shot, was caught behind, sealing his team’s fate. Frustration was evident on the experienced batsman’s face as he realized his mistake.
Shardul Thakur’s stay was short-lived as he fell lbw to Nathan Lyon after facing just five balls, making the score 213 for seven. It seemed the match would extend till lunch, but the Indian tailenders made the task easier for the Australians and were eventually dismissed during the extra half hour of play.