Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Ravichandran Ashwin took a six-wicket haul to not only help India beat Australia by 75 runs in Bangalore, but also bring them level at 1-1 in the series.
Starting off the day on 213/4, India lost Ajinkya Rahane early on as he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Mitchell Starc for 52, which came off 134 balls and included four boundaries.
Starc struck again on the very next ball as he clean bowled Karun Nair for a golden duck.
Josh Hazlewood then joined the party as he removed Cheteshwar Pujara for 92, which came off 221 deliveries and included seven boundaries.
Three balls later, Hazlwood had his five-wicket haul as he clean bowled Ashwin for four runs.
In his next over, Hazlewood secured his sixth wicket as he dismissed Umesh Yadav before India were bowled out for 274, which set Australia a target of 188 to win, after Ishant Sharma was dismissed by Steve O’Keefe for six runs.
Hazlewood was the pick of the bowlers with six wickets, while Starc and O’Keefe snapped up two wickets apiece.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Chasing 188 to win, Australia lost opener Matt Renshaw early as he was caught behind off the bowling of Ishant for five runs.
David Warner, Shaun Marsh, captain Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade were all removed at regular intervals as India put themselves back in the driver’s seat.
Sensing that they were on track for a gritty, hard-fought win, India continued to take the fight to Australia as Ashwin clean bowled Starc for one before Ravindra Jadeja took out O’Keefe for two runs.
Ashwin wrapped things up for India as he dismissed Nathan Lyon caught and bowled for two runs, which led to Australia being bowled out for 112.
Ashwin was the most successful bowler with six wickets, while Umesh took two and Ishant and Jadeja claimed one wicket each.
Smith was gutted to have lost, and said: “Great Test match. Certainly ebbed and flowed throughout. I am proud of the way the boys played it. The partnership between Rahane and Pujara hurt us. They played really well. And we weren’t up for it today.
“It was quite hard to play. Bit up and down with the quicks throughout the match, and that rough outside off. Quite difficult but Test match cricket is not supposed to be easy. A wicket like that, always umpires have to make a lot of calls. Everyone makes mistakes. Not that I am saying they made any. Series is well and truly alive. Great two Tests. Plenty to play for when we go to Ranchi.”
Kohli was delighted to have levelled the series at 1-1, and said: “After losing the first Test the way we did, we wanted to bounce back and not show anyone but ourselves what we are made of. They showed the intent and the belief that we can win from any position. It was about taking responsibility. The way they showed heart and character, along with the crowd, is unbelievable. The moment they did not score big in the second innings, we knew we had a chance. We knew if we got anything over 150, we had a chance.
“After conceding the lead, Pujara and Rahane had a champion partnership. Two best Test batsmen we have got, so much character and technique and heart. Wriddhi’s knock in the end, Ishant’s application, that was a bonus. We would have liked anything over 200, we thought from 225 there was only one winner. The moment we got 187, we knew we needed in-out fields, we needed to finish it today. Can’t wait for Ranchi. We need to push that momentum further. The team is not going to look back now.”
India opener Lokesh Rahul was named Man of the Match for scoring 90 and 51, and said: “There is no better place for to perform like I did. After that first loss, to come here and do what we did is really, really special. We have achieved a lot but this win for a young team will be really really special. I have played all my cricket here.
“I told them if we get 150 lead we will win by 30. We knew the third day was the best day to bat on, and the approach from us was brilliant. There was a time they said when I get past 20 I get a hundred. That was a problem. Now if we get just fifty, that is a problem. On a serious note, I was disappointed. Openers need to get big runs. This was a disappointment but now that we have won, that disappointment is gone.
“My shoulder gets quite sore, I can’t dive, and I have to restrict a couple of shots. It is not such a bad thing. I can bat within myself. I am enjoying batting with the problem.”