Victories by 8 wickets after conceding a significant lead in the first innings are rare in Test cricket. But not rarer than bowling out a team for just 36 runs. That is what Australian captain Tim Paine can be proud of doing on Saturday.
The hosts trounced Virat Kohli and Co. by 8 wickets. Tim Paine was also awarded the Man of the Match for his crucial knock of 73 on Friday.
India was up to the mark for the first two days. However, Josh Hazlewood (5-8) and Pat Cummins (4-21) breathed fire to blow out their second innings just 21 overs. No Indian batsman managed to even reach double figures, and the team folded like a pack of cards.
After the match, Tim Paine was astonished by India's performance but exuded confidence in the ability of his bowlers. He said:
"No, not really. I said this morning in the media that both these attacks have the ability to take quick wickets. Didn't expect them to come this quick. When our boys execute and there's anything in the wicket, this is what can happen."
Tim Paine's exploits with the bat lifted Australia from a precarious 79-5 to a respectable total of 191. He counter-attacked the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin and looked the most fluent among the batsmen from both teams. On his knock, Tim Paine said:
"For the team very important to get close to that total. Obviously 5 for 79 you lose a few more and India go ahead in the test... Absolutely rapped with the way we bowled (but) still, a bit of work to do with our batting. Our first innings batting was well below what we'd expected."
'We are thrilled for Joe Burns' - Tim Paine
Erratic bowling from Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah, and the absence of Mohammed Shami, allowed out-of-form Joe Burns to gain some touch back.
Burns came into this Test with only 62 runs in nine First-Class innings behind him. But chasing a low total, he came with all guns blazing and found some good strokes to remain not out on 51. On his performance, Tim Paine said:
"Burns is a really important part of our team. All cricketers know how hard it is to come out of a run like that. Then to come out in Test match cricket to try and find your way out of it is a very difficult place to be in. So we are thrilled for Burns he was able to get 50 not out, it will do his confidence a world of good."
The second Test will commence on 26th December at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground.Published 19 Dec 2020, 15:20 IST