Border-Gavaskar Trophy: 3rd Test - Talking points of the match
The third Test got off to an inauspicious beginning, with the first day being completely washed off, thanks to unseasonal rains. But even the rain Gods couldn’t stop the Indian team from defeating Australia by 6 wickets, thanks to some individual brilliance in batting and some excellent collective bowling performance. Here are some of the events that stood out in the 3rd Test of the series for Border-Gavaskar trophy.
1. ‘Starc’ difference in batting: Australia won an important toss and decided to bat first. But if not some brilliant batting by Steven Smith on the first day, Australia would have crumbled below 250. But then, by the end of second day, Australia had managed to score 270 odd runs with the loss of 7 wickets. On the morning of the third day, Australians would have wished for some resistance from their tail and somehow hope for a score of about 350 runs. However, what they got was a happy surprise. The No. 9 batsman from New South Wales, Mitchell Starc managed to do what his team’s frontline batsmen could not do – tame the Indian spinners. He was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserved century, but his strokeplay did create an impact. Australian batsman must try to take a leaf out of his book regarding how to play spinners.
2. Dhawan Destruction: On the first ball of the Indian innings, Mitchell Stark completed his run-up to bowl the first delivery when the ball slipped out of his hand and fell onto the stumps. Dhawan was ‘Mankaded’. But the Australians decided to keep the spirit of game intact and decided not to appeal. But even the greatest of astrologers could not have predicted what Dhawan would produce in his debut Test innings. His batting was flawless, his strokeplay perfect. His innings was a perfect combination aggression with technique. The Australian bowlers were clueless while bowling to him. Though he missed out on a well deserved double century, much will be expected from him in the future.
3. Spin trouble: The Australians have been hapless in this series against spin. This was clearly exposed on the fifth day, when the Indian spinners collectively cleaned up the Australian batting order. Only if any one of the batsman had put up a fight on the last day, the Aussies could have saved the Test match. They will need to pull up their socks if they want to salvage some pride on the low and slow Kotla pitch.
4. Jadeja’s bunny: Jadeja’s bowling has really been a revelation in this series, being the second highest wicket taker behind R Ashwin with 17 scalps. And not surprisingly, he had picked out one particular batsman as his target, none other than the Australian captain, Michael Clarke. Clarke would not be proud of being dismissed by Jadeja 5 times in this series, but what he has to accept that all the deliveries he got out to were proper wicket taking ones. Jadeja’s bowling has improved a lot but his contribution with the bat has been minimal in this series. He needs to improve his batting to get the tag of a genuine ‘all-rounder’.
5. Final day, final session: The last day of the Test match went according to plan for India, except the fact that batsman kind of messed up the chase big time. Chasing a target of 130 odd runs in 35-40 overs should have been a walk in the park. But some disciplined bowling from the Aussies ensured that the total of 130 looked more like 170-180. No Indian batsman actually got going after getting a start. But Jadeja and Dhoni did well to finish off the match with a flurry of boundaries. Now, one wonders how the chase would have progressed if Australia managed to add some 20-30 runs more.
India has attained an unbeatable 3-0 lead in the series and has won back the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. India would like to complete a whitewash, whereas the Aussies will be playing to savage some pride in the final Test at Feroz Shah Kotla.