Australian batters Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne continued their onslaught on Indian bowlers in the second session of the final test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
Australia resumed their innings with a score of 73/1, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne on the pitch with scores of 45(6)* and 22(85)* respectively.
The second session was almost an exact copy of the first session with a minor change in detail. Ravichandran Ashwin struck the first blow in the first hour of the game, but after that, the effortless Australian batting didn’t allow Indian bowlers to gain any sort of momentum in their favour. In the second session, the boy from Gujarat Axar Patel struck the second blow sending Travis Head back to the pavilion. The nervous nineties seemed to get into Travis’s mind as he went to play a drive leaving a wide gap open between his pad and bat. The ball turned sharply and went crashing into the stumps. Axar Patel became the fastest Indian player to pick up 50 wickets in terms of balls bowled (2205).
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne went on to carry Australia for the remaining session. Overall a session dominated by Australia with a single breakthrough. The first session in comparison was a bit more eventful.
As a night watchman, Kuhnemann failed to survive for as long as Australia would have hoped for. But Labuschagne came in to ensure that Australia doesn’t fade away. With a defence that is as solid as a rock, Indian spinners have found it hard to create openings in their nearly perfect defensive stance. There was an appeal or two on a few occasions but for the majority of the first session, Indian bowlers’ voices were quite hard to hear.
There was one incident in the 35th over when Head was stuck in a bit of trouble. It was once again the Indian veteran spinner Ashwin who created an opportunity with a bit of help from the pitch. The sharp turn deceived the Aussie opener and even the umpire. The impact was at such an angle that with the naked eye one can easily feel that it was bound to miss the stumps. But DRS revealed another story, the ball went on to clip the stumps. But the decision was not overturned because of the umpires’ call.
This moment did raise some spirit in the Indians as Ravindra Jadeja followed up beautifully in the next over. Labuschagne ended up nicking a quick delivery from Jadeja. However, within a blink of an eye, the ball struck and went past KS Bharat’s pad even before he could react. Other than that the Australian batters didn’t face any major challenges.
The second session highlights India’s lack of intent. The hosts have already made their way into the final of the World Test Championship and it has started to reflect in their performances.
Brief Scores: (Travis Head 90 (163), Marnus Labuschagne 56(174)* and Axar Patel 1/31) vs India. (ANI)