Australia vs India, 2nd Test – Who Said What

Australia won the Test match by 146 runs to level the series 1-1.

Virat Kohli and Tim Paine
Virat Kohli and Tim Paine. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Coming to the new Perth Stadium on the back of a disappointing defeat in Adelaide, Australia won the toss and decided to bat first. On a green top where India fielded an all-out pace attack, it could’ve been a gamble but it paid off for Tim Paine as his team posted 326 runs on the board. Then on, India were catching up and in the end, fell 146 runs short of the target and the series is squared 1-1.

It took the Indian pacers some time to get used to the Perth surface. Even though it was really green bowling full as a tactic didn’t work. In the meantime, Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch stitched together a 112-run partnership which laid a firm foundation for the hosts. India did make a comeback with a few quick wickets but there was bone in the Australian batting and it struck out. Almost everyone contributed and on the back of Harris and Finch’s 70 and 50 respectively, Shaun Marsh’s 45, Travis Head’s 58, Paine’s 38 and Cummins’ contribution of 19 they posted a total that could earn them a lead.

When India walked in to bat the surface still had life in it, it was behaving differently. The fact that the Aussie bowlers had seen Indian seamers figure things out helped them a great deal and they were on the money right at the start. A testament of the fact is that Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood let both the Indian openers collectively contribute just 2 runs. Murali Vijay was bowled for a duck and Rahul could add a couple before losing his timber to Hazlewood.

Skipper Virat Kohli played as well as he has ever done, he took the onus upon himself to lead the team once again. His hundred and a half century from Ajinkya Rahane couldn’t ensure India a lead and they fell 43 runs short of the target. On a wicket where India played four quicks, Nathan Lyon picked up a five-wicket haul which once again suggests the visitors misread the conditions.

Australia’s response in the second innings was solid as well. From the top till the last man they all knew what every run meant and took the total to 243. The target in front of India was 287 and it was always going to be too much in the fourth innings.

The Aussies could sense victory even before the start of the chase. It was a sorry story for the Indian top order again as Rahul fell for a duck and Cheteshwar Pujara was dismissed off a peach for 4. All the contributions were just worth 20 or 30 apart from the single digits. Australia wrapped things up pretty early on the last morning and India were bowled out for 140 thus winning the Test by 146 runs.

Indian captain Virat Kohli after the loss said:

“As a team, I think we played well in patches which we can hold onto. Australia played much better than us with the bat. 330 on that pitch we felt was a bit too much. They deserved to win. We had the belief we could do it, but they were more relentless and put us in trouble.

(India’s bowlers) are outstanding as a pack, to see them dominate was really good to see and something we want to build on. They are relentless even if they aren’t getting wickets which is a great quality. When we looked at the pitch we didn’t think about (playing Jadeja) but I thought Nathan bowled really well. We never thought we wanted to consider a spinner, thought four fast bowlers would be enough.

(On his knock) When you don’t win you don’t really rank your performances so it’s irrelevant because we didn’t get the result we wanted. I’m just focused on the next Test. (His controversial catch) It was a decision made on the field and it stays there. Nothing more to it.”

Winning skipper Tim Paine said:

“It’s probably more a relief at the moment, first Test win has taken a while. Really proud of the players and staff. Good to get a little bit of reward. It was as difficult Test, both have been tough Tests. Two really competitive sides with good fast bowling attack.

The pitch was flying through. It seemed like the roller had a real effect on it. Day one was a bit of a funny one, we crossed our fingers. Marcus and Aaron, to get us none for 100 was brilliant and probably the difference in the end. Uzzie has been batting well for a long time, bowling really well to all of us. He’s in a really good space. It’s great to have Gaz, every team wants a spinner like Nathan Lyon. He loves bowling to the best players in the world.”

Nathan Lyon for his match haul of 8 wickets was the player of the game, he said:

“It’s amazing to play a role in a victory, haven’t had one in a while. Thanks to everyone. Can’t wait to sing the song. It’s fair to say we’ve been in a drought, so good to break. Was special to wrap the tail up quickly. My role probably changed a bit, attacking in Adelaide to a defending on here.

But luckily they ran down to the wicket to create a few footholes. When you come up against the best players, to compete against Virat and take his wicket was pretty special. Big thanks to my brother, I’m not a very good batter so just trying to play my role.”

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