Cricket / third test
India-Australia: Positive cricket at Sidney, Kohli after winning the third Test
India has taken an insurmountable 2-1 lead over Australia in the Third Test match played at the MCG in the lead-up to the last and final match in the four-match Border-Gavaskar trophy. Cricket fans in the two countries and beyond were suddenly absorbed in a riveting drama, not unlike a Bollywood blockbuster, after two days of unexciting cricket. In fact, it is reported that there were record searches for “Melbourne weather” on google trends with a vast majority of the searches coming from the South Asian region. In the southern hemisphere, fans took to social media saying that they were doing the rain dance to appease the rain Gods. Indians celebrate victory Source Though the Indians won the match after having bowled just 27 balls today, the weather frustrated them much longer than Cummins did last evening. This win ensures that India retains the Border-Gavaskar trophy even if the series is drawn at Sidney by virtue of being the current champion. It was also India’s 150th win in the 532 Test matches that they have played so far. The triumph also gives India a great opportunity to clinch an elusive series victory at Sidney since their first tour of Australia in 1947-48. The last match that India had won at the MCG was 38 years back in 1980-81 under the captaincy of Sunil Gavaskar. Play started after the Umpires decided to have an early lunch. Virat Kohli must have been kicking himself for not having enforced the follow-on the third day. In the social media, aficionados of the game were recollecting the Boxing Day match of 1985 played at the very same venue. Kapil Dev was the captain and India needed just 126 runs to win the Test match in almost two sessions. But the Indian batsmen chose to ignore the weather forecasts and the rains washed the match out when India were 59 for 2 in 25 overs. The first session was washed out today and when play started India could bowl a maximum of 77 overs if there were no further interruptions by rain or light. Virat Kohli, the Indian captain appeals for Cummins' wicket Source Bumrah took the first wicket, upon the start of play, in his second over and the 20th ball of the morning. He induced Cummins to edge a good length ball pitched just outside the off stump and moving away to Pujara at first slip who took a fine low catch. Cummins, who had added just two runs to his overnight score of 61, ended up with the highest score that any Australian batsman scored and the only one to score a fifty in the Test. He was also the most devastating bowler for Australia taking nine prized Indian wickets. Bumrah too finished with nine wickets in the match and was the wrecker-in-chief of the Australian first inning with six wickets. Ishant Sharma took the last Australian wicket when he had Lyon caught by Rishab Pant when trying to pull a short ball. With the 137 run victory, the Indians will be going into the fourth Test at Sidney with their tails up. Virat Kohli will be keen to pull out all the stops and win the final test also. That will greatly help the Indians to wear the ‘No 1 Test Team’ label, which is being questioned after their away match performances this year, quite proudly. The SCG is reputed to help the spinners and the tourists will be looking to include Ashwin in the starting eleven if he is fit enough to play. With injuries nagging them the Indian team management will have to do some juggling when it comes to choosing who goes out and who comes in. Jasprit Bumrah, the Man of the Match Source The Australians too have their own worries. A specialist middle-order batsman in the Sheffield Shield, Aaron Finch has been cast in the role of an opener in Test matches and has been all at sea in the three tests that he has played so far. Mitchell Marsh has also squandered a good opportunity to prove his ability an able batsman at number 6. He bowled exceedingly well though, and the miserly 26 overs that he sent down were massive support to the frontline bowlers. With just three days between the three Tests, the decision makers on either side do not have much time. It will be an interesting final Test match. Pat Cummins: A valient effort for Australia Source
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