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India beats Austrailia by 75 runs in 2nd test- Scripts a stunning comeback

India beats Australia by 75 runs in the second test in Bengaluru. Chasing a target of 188 runs on a turning pitch, the visitors bundled out for 112 runs. Ravichandran Ashwin was the chief architecture of Aussie collapse as he took 6 wickets for 41 runs and broke the back of Australia’s batting lineup. Australia’s captain Steve Smith was their highest scorer with 28 runs.

India 189/10 (71.2) 1st Innings 276/10 (122.4)
Australia 274/10 (97.1) 2nd Innings 112/10 (35.4)

After biting the dust in Pune, Virat Kohli’s men surged to a stunning victory on the fourth day of the second test against Australia in Bengaluru. After a dismal performance on the first day of the test India’s hopes of retaining the  Border-Gavaskar Trophy were almost over. Nathan Lyon’s 8 wicket haul had pegged team India into a corner and Austrailia had added to the wound by scoring 40 runs for the without losing any wicket. A replay of the first test match was on the cards. But in cricket, they say it’s not over until the last ball has been bowled. That’s exactly what Team India showed for the next three days by staging a terrific fightback and winning the game.

The Indian teams’ comeback reached its climax on the fourth day. India started the day with 121 runs lead but the most important thing for them was that Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were still at the crease. India was hoping they will build on their unbeaten partnership and will take India to a huge total. But Josh Hazlewood Mitchel Starc had other ideas. Their stinging spells with the second new ball triggered a mini collapse which restricted India to a total of 274 runs. In this period India lost 5 wickets in a space of just 19 deliveries. Josh Hazlewood finished with his career-best figures of 6 for 67. India’s last batting pair, Wriddhiman Saha and Ishant Sharma applied themselves and hung together for 10 overs on a difficult pitch. Their effort had given India a chance to regroup and reflect on their strategy.

It required Australia to chase 188 on a cracking wicket with uneven bounce which was a difficult task but not impossible. Australia started their innings swiftly and despite losing Matt Renshaw early they quickly reached 42 runs for the loss of one wicket. Australia was definitely looking favourites to win the game.David Warner scored brisk 17 from 25 balls which included a six before he was given lbw trying to sweep R Ashwin. Warner asked for a review but to no avail. HawkEye showed the impact was in line with off stump and it was umpire’s call for clipping off. It was a huge blow for Australia and a massive boost for India.

Warner’s review error came back to haunt Australia when Shaun Marsh was given out lbw to a delivery from Umesh Yadav. As the visitors had only one review left, Marsh did not risk wasting it and decided to walk off. But the replays showed that the ball was missing the wickets by a long way. It was a lucky break for the bowling side. Now Steve Smith was the only real threat for team India who could take the game away from them. He was playing well and struck three boundaries on his way to 28. But on this pitch an “unplayable” delivery was inevitable. Smith got it from Umesh which kept very low and Smith was caught plumb in front of the wicket. Smith tried to take the dressing room’s advice on whether to opt for the review or not but the umpire Llong rightly stepped in to prevent that from happening as Indian skipper Virat Kohli also objected to it and Smith had to walk back to the pavilion. Even if he had reviewed it he would still be out.

Now India was clearly in the driving seat. Ravi Ashwin took the gas out of Australia’s chase with the wickets of Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade just before tea. Marsh was caught at short leg while Wade was undone by some lovely bowling and a superb diving catch from wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha after Wade inside edged the ball on to his pads.

From now on the result was just a formality and it took India less than eight overs after tea to complete one of their best ever test wins. After tea, Ashwin bowled Starc with a straight delivery and Jadeja who was bowling brilliantly right from the start also got into the wickets column. He rattled the stumps of Steve O’Keefe with his trademark delivery. The last recognised batsman, Peter Handscomb was fighting a lone battle. He knew that the only option he had was to score quickly and in the process, he got out on 24 as he tried to slog Ashwin for a maximum. He totally mistimed the shot and the ball went straight up in the air for a simple catch to Saha. Two balls later Ashwin put the final nail in the coffin by having Nathan Lyon caught and bowl.

It was the 25th time in his career that Ashwin has taken a five-wicket haul. He became the fastest man to achieve the feat. It took him just 88 innings to do so. Thus India levelled the four-match series. The series is 1-1 all which sets up for another fierce clash between the two teams at Ranchi.

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