Boxing Day Test: India beat Australia by eight wickets to level series

India's captain Ajinkya Rahane (second left) fist bumps Australia's captain Tim Paine at the end of the second Test at the MCG. (AFP)
India's captain Ajinkya Rahane (second left) fist bumps Australia's captain Tim Paine at the end of the second Test at the MCG. (AFP)

Melbourne - Australia resumed day four in Melbourne on 133 for six in their second innings and battled to 200, setting India 70 to win.



By AFP

Published: Tue 29 Dec 2020, 8:08 AM

Last updated: Tue 29 Dec 2020, 8:20 AM

India swept past Australia for a dominant eight-wicket win in the second Test Tuesday to level the series 1-1, in an extraordinary turnaround after their record collapse in the first Test.

Australia resumed day four in Melbourne on 133 for six in their second innings and battled to 200, setting India 70 to win.

Composed opener Shubman Gill (35) and captain Ajinkya Rahane (27) saw them home, but not before some nervous moments, with two wickets falling for 70.

Mitchell Starc forced a nick from Mayank Agarwal (5), which Tim Paine caught, then Pat Cummins snared the dangerous Cheteshwar Pujara for three, edged to Cameron Green at gully.

Australia won the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets, with India widely panned after being dismissed for their lowest-ever score of 36.

Earlier, the hosts resumed at 133 for six on day four with Cameron Green on 17 and Pat Cummins 15, ahead by just two runs as they battled to stay in the match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

They frustrated India’s depleted attack for more than an hour before losing Pat Cummins (22), batting all-rounder Cameron Green (45) and Nathan Lyon (3).

With nine wickets down, lunch was delayed by half-an-hour, with Josh Hazlewood the last man to fall, bowled by Ravi Ashwin for 10 leaving Mitchell Starc unbeaten on 14.

Debutant Mohammed Siraj took 3-37 with Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin grabbing two each.

Cummins survived on 15, when an edge from Bumrah fell just short of Cheteshwar Pujara standing deep at slip, and again on 19 when he came out on top of an lbw review decision.

But when Bumrah took the new ball and found more swing and bounce he finally fell, gloving a rising delivery to Mayank Agarwal to end a battling 57-run partnership with Green.

At the other end the technically sound Green picked his moments, cutting Ashwin and driving Bumrah beautifully for fours, before reverting to blocking.

But the tall all-rounder, in only his second Test, was undone by Siraj, caught by Jadeja as looked to find the boundary with a pull shot, ending a 146-ball stay.

Starc had a let-off on nine when he was on his way back to the pavilion after being given out lbw, only for a review to give him the all clear.

Lyon lasted 15 balls before being caught behind off Siraj, with Starc and Hazlewood adding a final 15 runs.

Australia’s hopes rested with the tailenders after their brittle top order failed to fire.

Opener Joe Burns again flopped, out for four, to put his place in the team for the third Test next week at serious risk, while Travis Head (17) also disappointed and Steve Smith’s poor run continued, gone for eight.

Their troubles came despite India being a bowler down following Umesh Yadav’s calf strain on Monday, a further setback for a team already missing injured regulars Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma.

Australia won the first Test in Adelaide by eight wickets.


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