With Australia needing just 76 on the third day of the third Test against India in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, the hosts needed and early breakthrough. Veteran spinner Ravichandran Ashwin provided just that on the second ball of the day as he got Usman Khawaja. Ashwin bowled a fuller delivery close to the off stump. Khawaja, who came forward to defend, got a faint outside edge. The Indians appealed in unison and the umpire gave out. Though Khawaja went for the review the decision was unchanged as there was a spike on UltraEdge.
Watch: Ashwin’s Terrific Ball Bamboozles Khawaja, With Assist From Bharat
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Australia on Day 2 started their innings at 156/4, with Peter Handscomb (7*) and Cameron Green (6*) unbeaten. But the duo of Ravichandran Ashwin (3/44) and pacer Umesh Yadav (3/12) brought to the game such a cocktail of spin and pace, that Australia lost the rest of their six wickets within 41 runs, bundling out for 197.
Trailing by 88, Team India had their task cut out, to survive against Australian spinners and build up a formidable total. But in the end, the hosts’ batting lineup was brought down on its knees by Nathan Lyon, who took eight wickets for 64 runs. Matthew Kuhnemann and Mitchell Starc also took a wicket.
India was bundled out for 163 runs and Cheteshwar Pujara (59) was the only one that offered resistance to Australia’s tactics. Hosts walked away from the field with a slender lead of 75 runs, setting a target of 76 runs for Australia.
But India will definitely find solace in the fact that the pitch is hard to bat on and its spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja is in good touch. Besides that, Umesh can also replicate his first-innings heroics. Together, Indian bowling will have to pull off a total defence that can rewrite record books.
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