Australia crumble on Day 4 as India tie series 1-1

Day 4 at Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru, saw the world's no.1 Test bowler assert his authority as the Australians, chasing a 'not so threatening' total of 188, succumbed to a 75 run defeat as they got skittled for a paltry score of 112. It was a Test match to be savoured. It provided an enthralling contest between two top teams of the world. India, down and dusted after conceding an 87-run lead, came back strongly to tame the Kangaroos and level the series. There was drama- as Smith looked towards the dressing room to decide whether to go for the review or not- there was passion, there were emotions and that too in plenty.  

 

 

But in the end, Man of the Match – KL Rahul along with the help of Pujara, Rahane, Ashwin and Jadeja, ensured that India come on top in this great Test of character. Jadeja and Ashwin, both picked up 6-fers in the first and second innings respectively, were ably supported by the fast bowlers, Ishant and Umesh, who bowled their hearts out to keep India in the game. 

The overnight pair of Pujara and Rahane started comfortably, though the former survived an LBW review from Australia. Rahane brought up his 11th Test fifty and that too under testing conditions. Australia took the new ball as soon as it was available and their seamers, taking full advantage, ran through the Indian batting line-up as India lost four wickets in space of nine deliveries while adding only eight runs. Rahane (52) was first to go off a yet another brilliant review by Smith as he was trapped LBW by Starc. 

 

 

Karun Nair was bowled the very first ball, after he went for an expansive drive of the bowling of Starc. Pujara (92) was caught off-guard as a Hazlewood delivery climbed awkwardly over him and he failed to keep it down as it settled into the hands of Mitchell Marsh. Ashwin started off with a boundary through cover only to be undone by the lack of bounce as he, too, was bowled off the very next delivery from Hazlewood.  

Umesh Yadav gifted his wicket away as he went for the glory shot, only to be caught at mid-off. Saha (20*) and Ishant (6) resisted for a while until Ishant drove one straight into the hands of Shaun Marsh, just at the stroke of Lunch. From 238-4 India were bundled out for 274 setting Australia a target of 188 runs to win. Hazlewood was the pick of the bowlers with his figures of 6-67. 

Australia started their chase after Lunch, with both their openers taking every opportunity of scoring runs. Just when the opening partnership was looking to threaten, Ishant produced a peach of a delivery to have Renshaw (5) caught behind. David Warner and Smith scored quickly as Australia went to 42-1 in nine overs. Ashwin got Warner (17) out LBW as he tried to sweep a good length delivery which struck him just in line of the off-stump. Shaun Marsh (9) was given out LBW as he didn't offer any shot to the bowling of Umesh Yadav. He, after consulting his Captain, decided against the review while replays clearly suggested that the ball was going to miss the stumps. 

 

 

The real game-changer was the dismissal of Steve Smith (28) off a Umesh Yadav scooter which struck him plumb in front as Australia went four down at 74. Mitchell Marsh and Peter Handscomb collected some brisk runs in their 27-run partnership which ended with Marsh(13) being caught at short-leg off the bowling of Ashwin. Wade soon followed suit as he was the victim of 'superman' Saha as Australia went to Tea at 101-6. 

The rest of the Aussie batsmen crumbled like a house of cards as India wrapped Australia up for a score of 112, winning by a margin of 75 runs. With this win, India level the series 1-1 and will have some momentum going into the Ranchi Test which starts on 16th of March. 

Brief Scores: India- 189 ( Rahul 90, Lyon 8-50) & 274 ( Pujara 92, Hazlewood 6-67) beat Australia 276 ( Shaun Marsh 66, Jadeja 6-63) & 112 ( Smith 28, Ashwin 6-41) by 75 runs. 

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