Indore Test: Nathan Lyon stars in visitors' famous win to keep series alive; Australia enter WTC final
Indore Test: Nathan Lyon starred in Steve Smith & Co.'s famous win versus India to keep the series alive. With this win, Australia have entered the WTC final.
Australia thumped India by nine wickets on Day 3 of the third and penultimate Test, at the Holkar Stadium, Indore, on Friday (March 03), to keep the 2022/23 Border-Gavaskar series alive at 2-1, with the final Test on March 09. Resuming the day's play, Australia needed only 76 runs for a famous win and chased down the target with Travis Head leading the charge (49*). With this win, Australia have also qualified for the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final.
The day's play started with R Ashwin getting rid of in-form opener Usman Khawaja. The left-hander failed to open his account and was caught behind by KS Bharat as Ashwin drew the first blood in the opening over. However, from thereon, there was not much to cheer for India as Head-Labuschagne looked confident, bought some time in the middle, and guided the side to a memorable nine-wicket triumph.
Talking about the Test match, Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bat first. Nothing clicked for India on a pitch that turned fair and square. The likes of Rohit, Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Shreyas Iyer, etc. all fell flat as Matthew Kuhnemann, playing his second Test, ended with a five-fer (5 for 16). India started with the ball by not being consistent in their line and length and Australia ended the opening day with a 47-run lead, with six wickets in hand.
Day 2 saw a fightback from India with Jadeja, Umesh Yadav and Ashwin dismissing Australia for 197. However, the Steve Smith-led side managed to take a vital 88-run lead. In their second essay, India once again fell flat and got dismissed for 163 with Nathan Lyon taking 8 for 64 (ending with an 11-wicket haul). By virtue of his match-winning spell, Lyon became the second in the list of most wickets against India (going past Muttiah Muralitharan) and also equalled Richie Benaud's tally of most 5-fers (five) against India on their home soil.
On Friday morning, Australia ended the formalities by chasing a 76-run target and have qualified for the WTC final, to be held in early June at The Oval, London.
Shortest home Tests that ended in a defeat for India
1135 balls Aus vs Ind Indore 2022/23 *
1459 balls Eng vs Ind Kanpur 1951/52
1474 balls WI vs Ind Kolkata 1983/84
1476 balls Aus vs Ind Mumbai WS 2000/01
The Border-Gavaskar Trophy remains alive as both teams will now to go Ahmedabad for the series finale. India will aim for a revamp and end the series with a 3-1 scoreline and also enter the WTC final.