Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23, India vs Australia, 3rd Test, Day 3: Australia win to confirm WTC 2021-23 Final berth; India will have to wait.
Brief Scores: India 109 (Kohli 22, Gill 21, Kuhnemann 5-16, Lyon 3-35) & 163 (Pujara 59, Iyer 26, Lyon 8-64) lost to Australia 197 (Khawaja 60, Labuchagne 31, Jadeja 4-78, Umesh 3-12) & 78-1 (Head 49*, Labuchagne 28*, Ashiwn 1/44) by 9 wickets
Player of the Match: Nathan Lyon (match figures of 11-99)
The third day of the enthralling third Test in Indore drew to a close with Australia making a mockery of the Indian bowlers. They successfully chased down a modest target of 76 runs in just under 20 overs.
Australia’s spin attack featuring the likes of Nathan Lyon, Matthew Kuhnemann and Todd Murphy wreaked havoc as they went through the defences of the high-class Indian batters on a surface that was alarmingly turning square from Day 1. They utilised the conditions to their advantage very well and Team India were eventually bundled out for a shambolic first innings score of 109. In response, Australia batted sensibly in the earlier overs and built some useful partnerships at the top and in the middle; a feature which was missing in their earlier games. On Day two, they managed to get a sizeable lead without losing too many wickets and looked well on course to post a colossal lead. However, just after reaching the 180-run mark, the Aussies lost wickets in clusters and were bundled out for 197.
In the seconds innings, the India openers perished cheaply yet again putting an enormous amount of pressure on the middle order. Cheteshwar Pujara rose to the occasion and notched up a brilliant half-century which came in very tricky conditions. He received a good amount of support from Shreyas Iyer from the other end who looked all set to score big. But barring these two batters, the entire team looked vulnerable as they were not able to apply themselves well on a turning track. Nathan Lyon bowled with heart as he ruined India’s hopes of posting a massive lead after achieving figures of 8-64, pushing Team India right on the backfoot. After being skittled for just 163, Team India presented Australia with a modest target of 76 runs.
Knowing that they did not have a stiff target against them, Australia started their innings on a cautious note as they were well aware of the tricky conditions that awaited them. They were shaken quite badly after they lost Usman Khawaja without a single run on the board. Both Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were getting the ball to turn and bounce causing a lot of doubts in the batters’ minds. But Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head were equal to the task as they stitched a match winning 78-run partnership for the second wicket to power Australia to a thumping victory in the third Test.
India’s WTC qualification scenario evaluation
After India’s defeat in the third Test, Australia have officially confirmed the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Final berth while India’s fate is still undecided. India and Sri Lanka are now the only two teams that are in contention to make their way into the WTC final. After registering an emphatic victory, Australia take the top spot in the WTC points table with a PCT of 68.52. India have dropped to a PCT of 60.29; however, they still take the second spot in the WTC points table. Sri Lanka are placed third with a PCT of 53.33. Even if Australia lose the fourth Test and face a 3-1 defeat in the series, they will have a PCT of 64.91 and reserve their peak spot in the points table.
If India defeat Australia 3-1
If India manage to defeat Australia 3-1 in the Border-Gavaskar series, they will get a PCT of 62.5 and finish second in the points table. In such a case, Australia’s PCT will drop to 64.91 but they will still qualify for the WTC final with India by taking the top spot in the WTC points table. A 2-0 victory for Sri Lanka against New Zealand will not matter in such a scenario as they will end with a PCT of 61.11 and will be well below Australia and India in the WTC table.
If India defeat Australia 2-1
If the fourth Test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23 ends in a draw and the Indian team wins the series 2-1, then Sri Lanka will have a chance to push India out from a WTC final spot. India will then have to hope that Sri Lanka does not win the Test series against New Zealand by a margin of 2-0. If that happens, Sri Lanka will surpass India in the WTC points table and take the second spot with a PCT of 61.11. India’s PCT will drop to 59.72 if they manage a 2-1 victory in BGT 2022-23.
If the series is level at 2-2
If Australia again outplay India in the final Test, the series will end in a 2-2 tie. In such a scenario, Sri Lanka can qualify for WTC final if they defeat New Zealand by 2-0. However, Sri Lanka need to whitewash Kiwis in the series; even a 1-0 victory or 1-1 tie will not allow Sri Lanka to take the second spot in World Test Championship points table.
Hence, India’s qualification to WTC final, if they lose or draw the final Test, highly depends on the outcome of the series between Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
That's also the shortest home Test match for India that ends in a defeat..1135 ballshis was India’s third-biggest margin of defeat, batting first against Australia in a home Test.
This was Australia’s 14th Test win on Indian soil.
Team Australia played some gutsy cricket in the third Test after being down and out early on in the series. They displayed great determination and fighting spirit with their spin bowlers inflicting ultimate damage on Team India. This defeat must have surely ruffled feathers in the Indian camp as they were comprehensively challenged and beaten for the first time in the series. While the hosts still lead the series by 2-1, Australia will try their best and fight till the very end to level the series making the decider at Ahmedabad an enthralling contest.