Melbourne: India clinched a famous victory at the MCG by defeating hosts Australia by 8 wickets on the fourth day of the second Test here on Tuesday. Australia were bowled out for 200 leaving India to chase a modest target of 70 runs. Opener Mayank Agarwal’s (5) torrid run continued as he nicked one by Starc again to the wicket-keeper. Cheteshwar Pujara was again disappointing as he scored mere 3 runs and returned to the pavilion. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane (27*) meant business while youngster Shubhman Gill (35*) looked steady as both of them chased down the target quickly.
The win comes 10 days after a horrific batting collapse in Adelaide, where they were bundled out for their lowest Test score of 36.
Earlier, Speedster Jasprit Bumrah (2/54 in 27 overs) and debutant Mohammed Siraj (3/37 in 21.3 overs) gave the Australian batsmen a tough time on the wicket as they could manage only 5 runs more than their first inning total. The duo accounted for three wickets, remaining patient and not trying too many things on a flat deck.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2/71 in 37.1 overs) grabbed the final wicket and Ravindra Jadeja (2/28 in 14 overs) made up for an injured Umesh Yadav’s absence during another splendid bowling performance.
Brief scores: Australia 195 and 200 (C Green 45, M Wade 40, M Labuschagne 28, M Siraj 3/37, J Bumrah 2/54, R Jadeja 2/28, R Ashwin 2/71, U Yadav 1/5) vs India 326 and 70/2 (S Gill 35*, A Rahane 27*)
Green and Cummins’s 57-run stand had frustrated India
The second new ball finally worked for India as Cameron Green (45 off 146 balls) and Pat Cummins (22 off 103 balls) played gritty knocks to frustrate the visitors with their 57-run stand for the seventh wicket.
Green’s gutsy knock had five boundaries as he tried to get Australia out of the woods during a classical Test match session.
Skipper Rahane, after giving a three-over spell to Bumrah on the fourth morning, understood instantly that the old ball is not doing anything and took him off the attack to keep him fresh for the second new ball.
Rahane’s tactical decision worked as Bumrah bounced Cummins to end the stand that batted for over 36 overs. It was a well-directed bouncer aimed between the batsman’s jaw and shoulder and the awkward fend was taken by Mayank Agarwal at second slip.
Green, who was starting to become a thorn in the flesh, tried to pull Siraj but the extra bounce did him in as Ravindra Jadeja, fielding at mid-wicket, timed his spot jump to perfection ending the batsman’s vigil.
Siraj then bowled another short one that accounted for Nathan Lyon caught by Rishabh Pant down the leg side.
While India didn’t bowl too many loose balls in the first hour, the attack wasn’t threatening either. Credit must be given to both Green and Cummins for eliminating any kind of risk in their approach.
The 50 partnership came off 192 balls, which was an indication that Australian top-order didn’t apply itself well.
(With additional information from PTI)