India vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3: 5 Talking Points
Updated - Mar 6, 2017 6:24 pm
India made a brilliant comeback in the 2nd Test at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore and at the end of Day 3, it is even stevens and either team can win from here. India bowled out the Aussies cheaply in the morning session as Ravindra Jadeja finished with exceptional figures of 6/63 in 21.4 overs.
India came out in the 2nd innings trailing Australia by 87 runs. After a brilliant start, India lost 4 wickets for 122 and it looked Australia would again run through the Indian line-up. Rahul continued his good form with a half-century before falling to a brilliant catch from Steve Smith.
Rahane and Pujara batted splendidly in the final session and ensured the hosts didn’t lose a single wicket in the last two hour of the day. That said here we have a look at 5 Talking from the 5th day’s play
1. Ravindra Jadeja bags a 6 wicket haul
Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was simply exceptional on the 3rd day morning as he wiped off Australia’s tail in quick time. He was getting the ball to turn and getting purchase from the pitch. It was thus pretty baffling that why Indian captain Virat Kohli gave him only 22 overs while Ashwin and the two pacers got the bulk of the bowling.
His first wicket in the day came when he trapped Matthew Wade with a flatter trajectory delivery from around the wicket which got the LBW in play. It struck him straight in front and the umpire had no hesitation giving it out. His next wicket came in the very next ball as Nathan Lyon attempted a sweep and the ball again struck him adjacent to the stumps.
He missed the hat-trick but finished with a six-wicket haul after getting rid of Josh Hazlewood. His spell was instrumental in keeping Australia’s lead to below 100 in the 1st innings.
2. KL Rahul continues his good form
Opener KL Rahul scored his 2nd half-century in the match and yet again provided India with the much-needed stability at the top of the order. He was quite brilliant with his strokeplay. He began with a brilliant straight drive off Josh Hazlewood and cover drove Starc for another boundary. He looked in complete control of proceedings and was hardly troubled by any of the Australian bowlers.
Something special was needed to dislodge him and it came from the captain Steve Smith. As Steve O’Keefe bowled a loopy delivery outside the off stump Rahul went for the expansive drive. It took the outside edge of his bat and flew towards the slip. Smith dived and plucked the ball from thin air. It was one of the greatest catches you will ever witness in a cricket pitch.
3. Josh Hazlewood rattles Indian top order
Hazlewood was quite brilliant and troubled the Indian top order with his immaculate bowling. His first wicket came when he breached through Abhinav Mukund’s defence with a full-length delivery. The most prized wicket was the wicket of Indian captain Virat Kohli. He was a tad unlucky as replays suggested that it might have hit the bat before the pad. The umpire had ruled it in favour of Australia and the 3rd umpire had no conclusive evidence which suggested that the ball had struck the bat before the pad so the onfield decision remained.
Surprisingly Ravindra Jadeja was sent at No.5 and the experiment didn’t quite work. Hazlewood castled his timbers with a reverse swinging delivery to leave the hosts reeling at 122/4.
4. Important innings from Ajinkya Rahane
Coming into the innings, Rahane was under pressure as he had failed in quite a few of his last home matches. He hasn’t been able to play according to the merit of the ball and has been dismissed playing shots which we generally don’t associate with Rahane. After getting beaten for a couple of times Rahane slowly but steadily started coming back to his own and played some lovely shots.
He remained calm and unlike the 1st innings, he played with a soft hand and according to the merit of the ball. He didn’t overhit the ball and the results were in front of everyone to see.
Watch: The controversial Virat Kohli’s LBW Dismissal
(Video – Star Sports) pic.twitter.com/tkER7xvtYM
— Sai Kishore (@DivingSlip) March 6, 2017
5. Cheteshwar Pujara plays a brilliant innings
Pujara too didn’t score too many coming into this innings but played brilliantly when it mattered the most. He was dropped twice in quick succession by Mathew Wade and Steve Smith and the resilient batsman made full use of the dropped chances. He was unfazed after that and the Aussie bowlers found out that the dropped opportunities might go on to cost them the match.
The right-hander struck a couple of brilliant cover drives of Mitchell Starc and rotated the strike along. His partnership with Rahane for the 5th wicket will prove to be vital for India’s chances in the match and the series. The gritty customer will look to carry on from where he left today and go on to score a match-winning century.