The Indian cricket team defeated Australia by 75 runs in the 2nd Test held at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore earlier today. Chasing 188 for victory, the Kangaroos got off a to a decent start by scoring some quick runs in the first four overs, but the Indians bounced back in spectacular fashion.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Umesh Yadav were amongst the wickets as Australia were bowled out for 112 runs, thus allowing India to level the 4 match series 1-1.
Earlier in the day, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood produced a couple of spectacular bowling performances to restrict India to 274 after they began the day at 213-4.
Here are the 5 talking points of the match
#5 Ravichandran Ashwin gets back his groove
After an average performance in the first Test and the first innings of the second Test, critics began to question Ravichandran Ashwin’s strategy and his bowling performances were under scrutiny. However, a match-winning performance in the 2nd innings of the match removed any doubt from the minds of the critics as he took a 5 wicket haul for the 25th time in his career.
Right from the very beginning of his bowling spell in the 2nd innings, Ashwin attacked the Australian batsmen with his spin and variations and was able to generate the right results. He took the important wickets of David Warner at the beginning of the innings and followed it up with wickets of Peter Handscomb, Mitchell Marsh, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc, and Nathan Lyon to give India the victory.
#4 Pujara and Rahane’s vital partnership
India got off to a decent start in the 2nd innings of the match thanks to KL Rahul and Abhinav Mukund but were once again at the receiving of the brutality of the Australian bowling line up as they lost 4 quick wickets with 120 runs on the board.
It was up to Cheteshwar Pujara and an out of sorts Ajinkya Rahane to revive the innings, and while not many people expected them to do so, they were well up to the task as they put on a partnership of 118 runs, which was the biggest partnership by either side in the entire series.
#3 Lyon’s masterclass in the first innings
Nathan Lyon produced the innings of his life during the first innings of the match as he ripped the Indian batting line-up apart with an exceptional bowling performance.
His career best figures of 8-50 led to the downfall of the Indian side as they were bowled out for 189 in the first innings. He bamboozled the batsmen with his spin, and line and length and none of the Indians had an answer to his deliveries.
“I love challenging myself against the best,” Lyon said. “This is very special … I don’t think it’s really hit me yet. I am very lucky to take eight wickets. Very satisfying to get some reward for the hard work put in. We have got the belief in the team, in that change-room, it is an unbelievable feeling at the moment. I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. I’ve proven to myself that I can compete at this level and I want to keep doing that,” said Lyon after his spell.
#2 Hazlewood and Starc’s fearsome spell
As Pujara and Rahane got India back on track, they looked to build a huge lead and at one point it looked like they would go on to build a 300 plus lead, but the Australian pace duo of Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc had other ideas in mind.
A fearsome spell amongst the two bowlers led to the Indian batting line-up crumbling. They lost 6 wickets for 36 runs and were bowled out for 274.
While Hazlewood picked up six wickets, Starc chipped in with two vital wickets of Rahane and Karun Nair in two deliveries.
#1 India back to winning ways
After being the outright favourites to dominate Australia from the first Test itself, the Indian cricket team were given a taste of their own medicine as they were thrashed by the Kangaroos in the first Test held in Pune.
The way the first two days of the 2nd Test panned out, it looked like Australia would run away with the 2nd Test as well, but Virat Kohli’s men produced a spirited performance on the final two days to get back to winning ways.
After the loss in the first Test, Kohli had said that India needed the loss to get a reality check and promised that they would bounce back, and they did so in style as they levelled the series in Bangalore.
With this win, they also sealed the spot for the no. 1 Test side and will receive the Test Mace in April.
The two sides will have all to play for in the third Test which will be held in Ranchi from March 16th.