ICC WTC Final, Day 2 Report: Indian top order surrender against Australian pace attack

Saurabh AnandSaurabh Anand

June 8 2023
Mitchell Starc, Virat Kohli, India, ICC WTC final

India batsmen managed to score 151 runs in 38 overs losing 5 wickets on 2nd day of the ICC WTC final.

The Indian batting line-up surrendered against Australian bowlers on day 2 at The Oval in the World Test Championship Final. Lack of application and absent-mindedness around off-stumps have cost them 5 wickets in one and a half session of play. India are chasing Australia’s first-innings score of 469 runs and have finished at 151/5 at the end of day two. India’s top 4 made a good start but errors in judgment sent them back in the dressing room. Starting on day 2, Steve Smith (121) completed his 31st test ton with two consecutive boundaries on half volleys given by Mohammed Siraj in the first over. Indian bowlers did make a comeback against overnight centurion Travis Head (163) with a short ball attack and picked up a wicket early. Soon after Head’s departure, Indian bowlers found their length and picked up 4 wickets in the first session. 

Bowlers made a good comeback

Mohammed Siraj picked up 4 wickets in the innings, while Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur picked up 2 each. Ravindra Jadeja also chipped in with Alex Carey’s wicket when a partnership was building with captain Pat Cummins. Carey (48) contributed nicely to Australia’s 469 runs total. Once he made it look like Australia will touch the 500 runs mark. Jadeja knocked him over and helped India restrict Australia on 469 runs. Travis Head and Steve Smith’s 285 runs marathon partnership put Australia in a commanding position on day one. Tired and out of rhythm, the Indian pace attack bounced back nicely in the first session and executed their plans nicely. Indian pacers tested Head with short balls directed to his body. Shardul Thakur once again emerged as India’s crucial partnership breaker. He knocked down Steve Smith on 121 and made India believe they can restrict Australia under 450. 

Absent-mindedness in batting!

Indian openers came in to bat with positive intent. Captain Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill started nicely and were looking to score runs whenever the opportunity arose. Australian captain Pat Cummins trapped Rohit Sharma in front on 15 runs. Soon after, Cummins’s key weapon Scott Boland did the damage for India. Unaware of Boland’s ability to target stumps, Shubman Gill (13) left open his off-stump guard. Boland bowled a straighter one which nipped back in and castled Gill who offered no shot. Cheteshwar Pujara had a similar dismissal against Cameron Green. Pujara also offered no shot to one of Green’s straighter ones which also came in. Both the batters were unaware of their off stump and left it open for the bowlers to run in and sent them back to the dressing room. 

Starc bowled an unplayable delivery to get big fish Virat Kohli

Mitchell Starc spent his time away from the cricketing action in the last two months. Coming after a long rest, Starc steamed in with his usual pace and bowled around 89-90 miles per hour. Starc got the big fish, Virat Kohli, with one of his brutal bouncers to which Virat had no answers and the ball went past him touching the shoulder of his bat straight into the hands of Alex Carey. This wicket made sure Australia will finish day two on a high note. Ravindra Jadeja made a small recovery along with Ajinkya Rahane (29*) but Nathan Lyon got him caught in the slips on 48. Lyon used the early patches against Jadeja and drew him forward to play a forward defense. India finished off day two on 151/5, Ajinkya Rahane and wicket-keeper KS Bharat (5*) are at the crease. India needs 118 runs to avoid the follow-on. 

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