India, Australia to clash in WTC final

Wednesday 15th March 2023 07:25 EDT

The 4th test between India and Australia at Ahmedabad ended in a draw and India win the Border-Gavaskar Series 2-1 and the two team will clash again in the WTC final. This is the fourth consecutive series win for India against the Aussies. As a result, the Rohit Sharma-led side have also won their 16th consecutive Test series at home.

The two teams will clash again in the World Test Championship (WTC) Final. The WTC title contest will take place at The Oval in London from June 7. With New Zealand having defeated Sri Lanka on the last ball of the first Test in Christchurch, India have qualified for the WTC Final this June alongside Australia. Sri Lanka needed to win both of their matches against the Black Caps to have a chance but a century from Kane Williamson denied them one on Monday.

The bat continued to hold sway with Australia declaring their second innings at 175 for 2. The declaration came 10 minutes and two overs before the final hour. Both captains then decided to call off the match.

Opener Travis Head (90) and his overnight partner Matthew Kuhnemann (6) were the two batsmen dismissed. The former was cleaned up by Axar Patel and the latter was leg-before to R Ashwin, who took his series’ tally of wickets to 25.
Marnus Labuschagne belatedly, helped himself to his first 50 of the series (63). He and stand-in skipper Steve Smith (10) were the not out batsmen. There was hardly any interest left in the match once news broke about India qualifying for the World Test Championship Final. The rest of the final day’s play resembled more than anything the fourth day of a domestic match with nothing at stake. There were more security personnel patrolling the Narendra Modi Stadium than fans.

That said, there were many takeaways from the 2-1 series win for India. The biggest plus was Virat Kohli scoring his long overdue 28th Test ton. The premier India batsman showed great powers of concentration to bat for 516 minutes for his 186 in testing conditions to help his team take the first-innings lead. It augurs well for India as they eye the WTC crown and the ODI World Cup at home later this year. Another performance that would have gladdened the team is the quality shown by Shubman Gill. The 23-year-old has answered the doubting Thomases by scoring a classic 128 after almost spending two days in the sun chasing leather. “It’s been a really exciting 4-5 months for Shubman, just breaking into the T20I side and scoring a hundred. Doing the same in One-day cricket and then capping that off with good performances in the last two Tests. It is really exciting for a young player to come through,” said coach Rahul Dravid.

India, riding on the back of six 50-plus partnerships, finished their first innings at 571 for 9 after Shreyas Iyer did not bat due to a recurrence of a lower back injury.

The visitors, having conceded a 91-run lead, were 3 for no loss at close of play on Day 4 – with Travis Head (3) and night watchman Matthew Kuhnemann (0), who opened the batting in place of an injured Usman Khawaja, at the crease. They trail by 88 runs on a wicket which still looks worth a thousand runs. Kuhnemann had a lucky escape when wicket keeper KS Bharat failed to grab a snick in the penultimate over of the day bowled by R Ashwin.

The other notable feature of the day was 79 runs scored by all rounder Axar Patel. The left-hander added 162 runs for the sixth wicket with Kohli. He hit four massive sixes and five boundaries in his innings that has further enhanced his reputation as a quality batsman.

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