Just when India was inching closer to what felt like a comfortable ride to the WTC final, Australia came back strongly to throw a spanner in India’s plans. On a surface where the ball was turning more than a vortex, the Indian batters skittled out way too early.
India started things on a sloppy note in the opening innings where things went terribly haywire as Matthew Kuhnemann dealt a crucial fifer to leave India skittled out for a paltry 109. Nathan Lyon chimed in with some significant help as he claimed 3 wickets for himself.
Virat Kohli outscored the other batters in what felt like an innings depleted of any proper batter with a hard-fought 22. Shubman Gill seemed to be a man possessed early in the innings and was taking on the bowlers as he whacked them around for a while before falling for 21.
The Australian batters managed to steer the game away from the Indians with that crucial second wicket partnership in their first innings between Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khwaja. However, things changed for India on the second day of the contest as Ravindra Jadeja bagged a crucial 4-fer while Umesh bagged 3 wickets.
Trailing by 88 runs, the Indian batters could barely get off to the stride that they were expecting and the woes continued as Nathan Lyon brought out his best, bagging 8 wickets in the second innings to leave India contorting in agony.
Cheteshwar Pujara hammered a phenomenal 59, battling almost single-handedly against the might of the visitors while Shreyas Iyer kept on digging as much as he could before Australia would leave India rattled for 163, posting a target of 76 on the cards. Despite an early infringement from Ravichandran Ashwin, Australia looked solid and Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne ushered the visitors to their opening victory in the series as India will have their task cut out for the final Test in the Narendra Modi Stadium if they are to eye the final berth in Oval.