Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23, India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Day 2: Australia need 76 to win after 16 wickets fall on Day 2. Cheteshwar Pujara scored 59 while Nathan Lyon took 8-64 as India bowl out for 163.
Brief Scores: Australia 197 (Khawaja 60, Labuschagne 31, Jadeja 4/78, Umesh 3/12) need 76 runs to beat India 163 (Pujara 59, Iyer 26, Lyon 8/64) & 109 (Kohli 22, Kuhnemann 5/16)
Australia who gained a valuable lead of 47 runs after diminishing hosts India for just 109 runs in their first innings, looked to stretch their lead to nearly 100 runs to put the home side under tremendous pressure on the second day of the third Test match of the Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2023 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.
India’s top-order failed to contribute except Pujara; Lyon roared with brilliant show
India’s top-order was under the scanner in the Test match to score some runs but just like the last two games, they failed to contribute again. Shubman Gill coming as a replacement of KL Rahul was dismissed in trying to slog the ball, while Virat Kohli too attempted a horrible shot. Only Cheteshwar Pujara showed solidity and patience in the middle.
On the flip of the coin, Nathan Lyon continued to shine with ball in hand as he picked up 8-64. He has bowled consistently in the same line and length and has attacked the stumps regularly to make life difficult for the batters.
The pitch was expected to deteriorate more on the second day with more rough being created. It was going to be hard work for the batters to stay on the crease for a long time.
Let's take a look at how the three sessions panned out on the second day of the third Test between India and Australia in Indore.
Umesh's reverse swing blew away Australia for 197; visitors gain lead of 75 runs at Lunch
Australia didn't end Day 1 on a high note losing three quick wickets of the top-order in the last hour of the day. But both overnight batters, Cameron Green and Peter Handscomb began the new day in a positive way. The former cracked the first boundary of the day, driving Mohammed Siraj in the mid-off region before Handscomb sliced Ravindra Jadeja over backward point to earn a boundary.
In between those shots, both were giving full respect to the bowlers, understanding the situation of the game. But finally, after the drinks break, Ravichandran Ashwin in his second over of the day broke the 40-run stand by sending back Peter Handscomb on 19, who inside edged a shot that flew in the hands of the short leg fielder. Umesh Yadav too on his first over of the day trapped Green LBW on 21 with a ball that came back fast to hit the pads.
In his very next over, Umesh broke the stumps of Mitchell Starc on 1 before trapping Alex Carey before the stumps on 3. With the dismissal of Nathan Lyon on 5, Australia were bundled out for 197, losing their last six wickets for just 11 runs, but in the process, they gained a 88-run lead.
India batted four nervous overs before the lunch break to reduce their deficit to 75 runs.
Lyon removes India’s top order; hosts reduced deficit to 9 runs at Tea
India didn’t begin the second session in a good way as on the last ball of the very first after tea, Shubman Gill went back for a personal score of 5. Cheteshwar Pujara showed a lot of confidence on his defence besides driving Lyon powerfully through the covers for a boundary.
However, the ace spinner roared loudly by trapping India captain, Rohit Sharma on 12 before the stumps that went straight after pitching. It was the eighth time Rohit was done by Lyon in Tests with an average of just 24.63 and strike rate of 53.82 in the faceoff. Virat Kohli looked in great shape as he nailed a beautiful drive through covers against Matthew Kuhnemann, but on the very next ball, in trying to pull a delivery that stayed low, he was adjudged LBW on 13.
Ravindra Jadeja too was trapped before the stumps thanks to a sliding delivery from Nathan Lyon. Meanwhile, Pujara looked to be solid in the middle with couple of boundaries against Kuhnemann - the first one was cut between mid-on and mid-wicket while the second one was driven straight down the ground as India went for tea with 79/4, reducing the deficit to nine runs.
Nathan Lyon’s 8/64 demolished India for 163; visitors need 75 runs to win
India began the third session in an aggressive manner as Shreyas Iyer punched Kuhnemann over deep mid-wicket for a six, while Pujara displayed his footwork to crack a boundary through mid-wicket. Lyon was put away for two consecutive boundaries - one was edged and rolled towards the third man region while the other one raced away though leg slip. Kuhnemann was again smashed out of the park by Shreyas Iyer as India started to build on their lead.
But Mitchell Starc after being introduced into the attack sent back Iyer on 26 who chipped the ball to Usman Khawaja who dived to his left to grab a blinder. After Srikar Bharat saw his stumps getting disturbed, Pujara celebrated his 35th Test fifty. The India number 3 batter now has an average of 52.06 during the 19 second innings outings since 2021 compared to an average of 19.04 in 22 first innings. But just before the drinks, Ashwin was trapped LBW on 16 as Nathan Lyon picked up his 23rd Test five-wicket haul.
Pujara using his feet smacked Lyon over mid-wicket for a six but he perished soon on 59; in trying to flick the ball, he was caught superbly by Steven Smith in the leg slip two balls later, Umesh Yadav followed him after being caught at the edge of the rope in the deep mid-wicket region as Nathan Lyon earned his fourth Test ten-wicket haul. India were soon bundled out for 163 as Australia need 76 runs to win this Test on the third day.
Umesh Yadav becomes the fifth India pacer after Kapil Dev, Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan and Ishant Sharma and 13th overall to take 100+ Test wickets on home soil. Among these 13 players, Yadav is the quickest to reach the feat in only 4652 balls.
Nathan Lyon with 113 Test wickets has topped Muttiah Muralitharan (105) as the leading wicket-taker against India amongst spinners. Overall, amongst the leading wicket-takers against India, Lyon is just behind James Anderson (139) now.
Ravichandran Ashwin with 689 international wickets surpassed Kapil Dev (687) to become India’s third-highest wicket taker in international cricket. He is now just behind Harbhajan Singh (707) and Anil Kumble (953) for India.
Nathan Lyon with 53 Test wickets in 10 games is the second highest wicket-taker as a visiting bowler in India. He is now just behind Derek Underwood (54).
What to Expect on Day 3
Australia will look to score freely and quickly chase those 76 runs at the start of the third day’s play, while India will look to put some pressure on them especially on a track that will keep on favouring the spinners.