India Vs Australia Delhi Test ended in an anti-climax as the Aussie team had a major collapse in the Second Innings. Being ahead in most part of the match, the Aussies let it all slip away in a single session. Losing 9 wickets for 52 runs in a span of an hour and a half is not something any team can recover from. It didn’t take very long when the Indian fans across the globe saw the fairytale unfold of Pujara hitting the winning runs in his 100th Test against his favourite opposition in front of his family. Team India had snatched a victory from the Australians from a weaker position in the most brutal manner.

Winning Team – India (Won by 6 Wickets)

Player of the Match – Ravinder Jadeja

Strongest Performer of the Match – Axar Patel (For 85 mtrs Six)

Game Changer of the Match – Ravichandran Ashwin (For 6 Wickets in the Match)

Highlight of the Day – What a day for Saurashtra at both National and International level! They won the Ranji trophy! At the International level, a Saurashtian (Jadeja) took a 7-for, became the player of the match and another (Pujara) took India safely home in his 100th game!

Stat Update –

Most successive Tests at a venue without a defeat for India
13 Mumbai Brabourne (1948-65)
13* Mohali (1997-2022)
13* Delhi (1993-2023)
11 Kanpur (1959-82)
Hitting the winning run in the 100th Test
Ricky Ponting 4 off Johan Botha Sydney 2006
Cheteshwar Pujara 4 off Todd Murphy Delhi 2023
Pujara avg in Tests since 2021
1st inngs: 19.90 (21 inngs)
2nd inngs: 48.73 (18 inngs)

Who Changed the Match for India –

Ravindra Jadeja | Player of the Match: I think I was enjoying my bowling. These wickets suit me because the odd ball spins and some stay low. I knew they’d play sweeps and reverse sweeps, so my idea was just keeping it simple and straight. I knew they were looking for runs, so the plan was just bowling into the stumps. If they make a mistake, I have a chance. Don’t think the sweep is a good option against me on this kind of wicket (laughs and walks off).

What the Captains Said after the Match –

Rohit Sharma: 

Fantastic result for us. Looking at how things were yesterday, the way we came back and finished our job was great. Even if we were just one run behind, I felt we were trailing because we had to bat last. I think the bowlers were fantastic, to take 9 wickets today morning is commendable. And then we finished the job with the bat. On a pitch like this, people need to do something different. We were prepared for them coming out and playing shots.

Our idea was to not panic and just hit the right areas, waiting for the mistake to happen and that’s exactly what happened. Every game you play in this type of weather, there is some moisture. What I noticed is there is a lot to offer in the first session, but as it goes on it gets slower and there isn’t enough bite. So our focus was keeping it tight in the morning, and these guys are the masters of bowling in these conditions. (Game changing moment) There are lot of moments across four innings, but I thought the partnership between Jadeja and Virat, and then Axar-Ash was brilliant. I think that’s a big help because of the balance we have created for ourselves.

Pat Cummins: 

I thought 260 was a decent score in the first innings. The guys bounced back well. But India batted well, just 1-2 partnerships and you can get to that 260 mark quite easily. In the innings break, it was all even. Disappointed, we were ahead of the game but we slipped. We need a review on what could have been done different. (On batters getting out to sweeps) Everyone controls their own game, some balls just have your name. But we need a review on the shot choice, did we do things right? Both games were disappointing, this one in particular. We were ahead in the game and that doesn’t happen often in India. This loss hurts.

Match Report

Warner Gets Peppered by Siraj

It was a tough start to the India Vs Australia Delhi Test for the Aussie batters and the Indian wicketkeeper. The Australians won the toss and opted to bat. The Indian pacers were moving the ball and Bharat was having a tough time getting his gloves to it. It had been a painful start for Warner, who desperately needed to justify his place in the Playing XI. It took him 21 balls to get off the mark. The next ball was a skiddy short ball from Siraj that Warner inside edged onto his elbow. The physio was called to the park and the crowd was absolutely pumped. Thoughts went back to the Series between India and Australia in 2021 when the Indian batters were peppered by the Aussie pacers with some bodyline bowling.

Warner had a short stay at the crease with Shami picking up his first victim of the match. The experienced bowler came back for a second spell after the drinks break. He got the ball to straighten a touch from length. Warner ended up playing inside the line and feathered it to the wicketkeeper. Warner had complained of not feeling very well after being hit on the helmet by Mohammed Siraj. After a concussion test in the evening, which Warner failed, the Australian team management decided to sub Warner by Matt Renshaw.

Ashwin Gets Labuschagne and Smith in an Over

Australia looked to attack the India’s spin King Ravichandran Ashwin but he was not the one to get bogged down. First, he trapped Labuschagne from round the wicket angle. Ashwin then got the ball to break back into ICC Ranked Number 1 Test Batter to beat his defense. India took a DRS review and Marnus was a goner!

Then two balls later, Ashwin got the other big fish of the Australian side. The ICC Ranked Number 2 Test Batsman Steve Smith got one that goes straight on. He got a feather and KS Bharat took an excellent catch.

India had a pretty even split of the Australian wickets on the opening day. Mohammed Shami took 4 Aussie scalps, Jadeja took 3 and Ashwin took 3. Ravichandran Ashwin looked the best of the lot. Ashwin spoke to the broadcaster after the close of play, where he said, ‘“For Steve, I wanted to change the seam position and get it a bit more round-arm, to get it to move away. I was looking more to get him caught at slip, but I was happy to get the wicket.” Australia was ultimately bowled out for 263 in the first innings.

Nathan Lyon Creates Havoc in Delhi

For the first time in a long time, India’s batting depth has faced a proper challenge thanks to deteriorating pitch and a good Australian score. Nathan Lyon turned out to be a nightmare for the Indian batting top order on Day 2 of the India Vs Australia Delhi Test Match. He got his first victim in the form of the Indian Vice-Captain KL Rahul. Lyon’s off-break from round the wicket went through Rahul’s defense. He was ultimately adjudged OUT by the DRS. The Aussie Spinner’s next prey was the Indian big-wig and Captain Rohit Sharma. Rohit got stuck on the crease to a length delivery and the ball skipped straight on. It went past his outside edge to hit the timber. The next to go was India’s On-field soldier Cheteshwar Pujara. He became one of the few infamous players who got a duck in their 100th Test match.

Duck in the 100th Test: Dilip Vengsarkar, Allan Border, Courtney Walsh, Mark Taylor, Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum, Alastair Cook, Cheteshwar Pujara

There was no stopping Nathan Lyon as he claimed his fourth scalp of the morning session in the form of Shreyas Iyer. But this was a wicket for Peter Handscomb, the short-leg fielder. Iyer had middled the ball as he looked to work it to the legside. Handscomb used all of his body and his presence of mind to hold on to a phenomenal catch. Shreyas Iyer, as well as the Indian dressing room looked shell-shocked.

India Vs Australia Border Gavaskar Trophy – Cricket Maiden

Nathan Lyon Gets a Five-for

The Indian expectations took a major hit when Ravinder Jadeja and Virat Kohli were sent back to the pavilion by the Aussie spinners. Todd Murphy sent back the all-rounder and Kohli had a tight call going against him on DRS, giving the debutant Kuhnemann his first wicket in Tests. It was Nathan Lyon who then claimed his fifth wicket of the innings in the form of KS Bharat.

Virat Kohli’s Controversial LBW Decision

Kohli dismissal came as a shock to the Indian team and fans. Though it seemed like the ball hitting the pad and bat simultaneously, but it is important to report that the third umpire ruled it “pad first”. Had he ruled it as simultaneous impact, he would have over-ruled the on-field call because of the LBW law. Here I quote 36.2.2 of the MCC Laws of Cricket. In assessing point 36.1.3, if the ball makes contact with the striker’s person and bat simultaneously, this shall be considered as the ball having first touched the bat. However, here in Kohli’s case, the third umpire did not feel that it was simultaneous contact but touching the pad first. At this stage, the India Vs Australia Delhi Test seemed to sway a bit on the Australian side.

Axar Patel is India’s Crisis Man

When India lost their seventh wicket, they were behind by 124 runs. With the way the Indian wickets were falling, anyone would have been sure that the Aussies would be ahead by a hundred or so. And then Axar and Ashwin had that stand! When Axar left the field after a blinder of a catch by Pat Cummins, the Indians were a mere 4 runs behind. A century run stand, the first of the match, bought India out of a hell hole. According to Rohit Sharma, in the post-match presentation, this century stand was one of the main reasons why India outclassed the Aussies in the Delhi Test Match.

Delhi Test Becomes One Innings Shootout

Thanks to Axar’s brilliance, the Aussies went into the second innings with a 1 run lead. The new opening pair of Travis Head and Usman Khwaja started quick, but the latter fell to an excellent catch by Shreyas Iyer. This early loss however did not deter Travis Head from playing positively and scoring at over 5 runs per over. The Aussies ended Day 2 at 61/1 in 12 overs, leading by 62 runs.

Jadeja, Ashwin Destroy Australian Batting

The Third Day of India Vs Australia Delhi Test Match started with a bang for India. Those fans who thought of getting up late on a Sunday morning lost a chance to witness one of the greatest collapses in recent times. The Aussie batters did not know what hit them and from where. Ravindra Jadeja finished with figures of 7 for 42. Not an over of pace in the morning session as the spin duo rattled the visitors like never before. Australia batted a little over an hour and a half to lose their nine wickets for the addition of just 52 runs.

Aussies Fell Like Nine PinsHow it Folded:

Ashwin struck early in the morning with a great delivery. It gripped from around off stump, brought Head forward, shaved the outside edge into the keeper’s gloves. Australia went to 65-2.

Steve Smith was Ashwin’s next victim. He was adjudged LBW while trying to sweep. The review was taken, and the ball was clipping leg stump. Australia was 85-2.

Another 10 runs were added to the score before the game turned on its head. Jadeja got rid of Labuchagne in style. The ICC Ranked Number 1 Batsman in Tests Marnus Labuschagne was gone! That ball kept a bit low, but the Aussie batter could’ve committed on the front foot on that one. This was a quicker delivery from Jadeja that went straight and Labuschagne misjudged the length and went on the back foot. But the ball skidded through and even kept a little low to sneak below Labuschagne’s vertical bat and hit the stumps. Australia had lost three wickets inside the first hour on Day 3.

After this Ashwin removed the Sub Matt Renshaw from the equation. Then Jadeja came back in his next over to get rid of Handscomb and Cummins. Not one run was added to the total and the entire Aussie middle order was back in the hut with the score paused at 95.

Jadeja With a Five Wicket Haul

There was no stopping Ravinder Jadeja as he got his fifth wicket of the session and the innings in the form of Alex Carey. Without an over of pace in the second innings, the Australians had fallen like a stack of nine pins to Indian Spin. Jadeja made swift work of the remaining two wickets, sending back Nathan Lyon and debutant Kuhnemann in successive overs. The hosts were given a target of 115 in the final innings to retain the Border – Gavaskar Trophy.

KL Rahul is Double Trouble

When you try to play someone into form or give them more chances than you would have probably given to the best of the best, and he still doesn’t come good then you must realize that you are adding to his pressure. You are doing him more harm than good. Not only is it injustice for the batsman who cannot find his rhythm but also for the one who is in great rhythm and has been asked to sit out to make place for his out-of-form senior. This is what is exactly happening in the case of KL Rahul and Shubman Gill. The ICC Player of the Month in January is made to sit out in all matches in February. This is because of the Coach Rahul Dravid has a soft spot for his protégée KL Rahul.

KL Rahul looks confused and uncomfortable, consuming so many balls without scoring. He is clearly proving that he has no place in the present Playing XI. KL Rahul adds immense pressure to the top order. Hence, it is mostly the Number 7, 8 and 9 who are batting India out of trouble in most matches. Unfortunately, there is no one to ask direct questions or who is willing to give an answer. India winning their matches due to luck, home advantage and brilliant individual performances is sweeping this major issue under the rug. Perhaps with the regime changing at the helm of BCCI, the Indian fans and cricket lovers can see a positive change in the coming games.

King Kohli Gets 25000 International Runs

The second innings proved to be a big milestone for Virat Kohli as he became the youngest player to reach 25000 international runs. Virat overtook Sachin Tendulkar’s record to reach this feat with a boundary at an average of 53.64. He was ultimately stumped after making 20 runs, the first time in his career of 180 innings.

India Win with 6 Wickets in Hand

The Indians took 26.4 overs to get to the required target of 115 runs. KS Bharat played a small cameo with Pujara, who also got some runs under his belt. Pujara hit the winning runs in front of a full house at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. His family and teammates cheered him on as he finished the match with a lovely boundary against his favourite opposition. Rohit Sharma had scarified his wicket in a run-out mix up for Pujara as he was playing his 100th Test and Pujara returned the favour by taking the team home in style.

Toss and Team News

Toss – Australia bat; Kuhnemann debuts, Head returns, Iyer Back in Team India.

Pat Cummins calls right, and Australia will bat. Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc are not fit to play. Australia is going in with just 1 fast bowler and only four frontline bowlers.

India’s team is as expected – Shreyas Iyer comes in for Suryakumar Yadav.

Australia (Playing XI): David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Alex Carey(w), Pat Cummins(c), Todd Murphy, Nathan Lyon, Matthew Kuhnemann.

India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Srikar Bharat(w), Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj.

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