December 18, 2018
Tim Paine-led Australia registered its first Test win since the infamous Sandpaper Gate as the hosts defeated India by a margin of 146 runs. The hosts needed to get five wickets on the final day of the game, with India still 175 runs away from the target. The things were made easy when Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon sent back Hanuma Vihari and Rishabh Pant respectively, writing the script of the win for the hosts. Pat Cummins wrapped up the tail by removing Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah. With this win, Australia have levelled the series 1-1. The hosts had lost the first Test in Adelaide by a margin of 31 runs.
Australia had the upper hand right from the first day of the game as their openers provided a good start to them, not losing any wicket in the first session on the 1st day. Australia put up 326 runs on the board, to which India responded by scoring 283, conceding a lead of 43 runs. Virat Kohli (123) and Ajinkya Rahane (52) made handsome contributions with the bat.
In their second innings, Australia negated the Indian pacers well and went on to score 243, asking India to chase down 287 runs in the final innings of the Test match.
After yet another failure from openers, India crumbled under pressure and lost key wickets of Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahane right on the fourth day, which put pressure on the middle-order.
Vihari and Rahane were never expected to pull off an unlikely win on the final day and as it happened, it took Australia a little over an hour to pack India’s bag and scalp five wickets to level the series.
Indian skipper is likely to make some changes in the playing XI in the next Test, with the addition of Mayank Agarwal a likely one. Hardik Pandya might also be seen in playing XI. Australia, on the other hand, might retain the 14-member squad, with Shaun Marsh still keeping his place.