BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 4th Test, Day 2: Khawaja, Green hundreds help Aus make 480; India 36-0
Updated: Mar 11
Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23, India vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 2: Usman Khawaja (180), Cameroon Green (114) hundreds help Australia make 480; India 36-0 at the stumps.
Brief Scores: India 36-0 (Sharma 17*, Gill 18*, Starc 0-7) trail Australia 480 (Khawaja 180, Green 114, Ashwin 6-91, Shami 2-134) by 444 runs at Stumps on Day 2
Australia’s batters looked rock solid on the first day of the fourth Test as they made the hosts toil hard for their wickets. On Day 2, Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green started off proceedings in a well-controlled manner. In just a few overs, Green got to his well-deserved half-century in 67 deliveries. On the other hand, India’s bowlers looked off-colour and failed to contain the flow of runs in the initial overs. Both the batters, by and large, looked at ease as the Indian bowlers were unable to get any assistance in the air and off the deck; something that they were so often used to in this Test series.
Ravichandran Ashwin: A ray of hope for Team India
On a surface that barely had anything for the spinners and the quick bowlers, Ravichandran Ashwin rose up to the occasion and bundled out more than half the Australian side single-handedly. The wickets column for most of the experienced Indian bowlers was in shambles. But that was not the case with Ashwin.
With very little support from his team mates, Ashwin waged a lone battle and picked up important wickets of Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Todd Murphy and Nathan Lyon to finish off the innings. He ended with figures of 6/91 in 47.2 overs which involved 15 maidens. In comparison with his counterparts, Ashwin also bowled the highest amount of maidens which helped him maintain the pressure on the Aussie batters when the chips were down. Overall, he was very economical going at less than 2 RPO becoming a standout performer for Team India with the ball.
Read More: BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 4th Test, Day 1: Australia cobble up 255-4 on grinding day for India's bowlers
India vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 2, Session 1
Batting became a lot easier on Day 2. A total of 92 runs were scored by Australia in the space of 29 overs, whilst they managed to keep the wickets column intact. It goes without saying that the session truly belonged to Australia. This was indeed a session to forget for the Indian bowlers as they were unable to make any significant impact with the ball.
Shami started off well and bowled a probing line in the initial half-hour but failed to provide a breakthrough. Axar was also brought into the attack from the other end, but he too failed to provide a timely breakthrough as he was not getting any assistance off the pitch. Ashwin was erratic with his length and was guilty of leaking a few runs in the first hour of the session. Umesh too was a bit rusty and was rudderless with his control.
Aussie batters took complete advantage of India’s deflated bowling attack and eventually ended the first session at a dominating score of 347/4. Green got to 95 in just 135 balls scoring at a brisk strike rate of 70.37. Khawaja pushed on and scored a magnificent 150 off 354 balls to put Australia in the driving seat. The duo notched up a brilliant unbeaten 177-run stand for the 5th wicket which turned out to be the highest partnership for Australia in this series.
Read More: BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Day 3: Aus win to confirm WTC Final berth; India will have to wait
India vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 2, Session 2
Just a few minutes into the second session, Green smashed his maiden Test ton in emphatic fashion after dispatching Jadeja down to the deep point region for a boundary. He had to work extremely hard and supported his partner Khawaja down at the other end to build a useful fifth-wicket partnership. During this session, one got to see some glorious drives played by Cameron Green. He was gradually beginning to shift gears right after reaching his century.
More like the first session, Indian bowlers yet again struggled to upset the rhythm of Khawaja and Green. They faltered badly and failed to contain the flow of runs which hurt India a lot. Khawaja, on the other end, played at a decent pace and focused primarily on strike rotation. Finally, in the 131st over, the breakthrough came when Ashwin dismissed Green for 114 with an ordinary ball down the leg side. The onslaught from Green finally came to an end as India earned a welcome wicket after grinding immensely hard on Day 2. In the same over, Ashwin struck again as he enticed Alex Carey to play a rash shot handing India yet another wicket. Australia now found themselves at 378/6 with their tail being completely exposed to the experienced Indian bowling line-up.
Mitchell Starc didn’t last either as he was removed by Ashwin for just 6. Nathan Lyon then arrived at the crease and he partnered with Khawaja to stitch an unbeaten 22-run stand. He played very defensively and ensured that Australia do not lose another wicket before going to tea. Australia eventually ended the second session with a mammoth score of 409/7. A total of 27 overs were bowled and 67 runs were scored by Australia. On the other hand, team India received some respite in the second session as they were finally able to breach the defences of the shaky Australian middle order. Ashwin was the pick of the bowlers for Team India as he picked up 3 crucial wickets and looked, by far, the only bowler to create some chances for his side.
Read More: Out of form David Warner’s Test career hangs in balance; Has he played his last Test?
India vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 2, Session 3
Axar Patel struck in the very first over after tea by removing the dangerous Usman Khawaja on 180, just 15 runs short of his career best 195*. With that dismissal, Australia’s end was surely in sight. But the tail wagged on and Todd Murphy scored the bulk of the runs down the order. The wicket was so good for batting that Lyon and Murphy put on an unbelievable 70 run stand for the 9th wicket, further frustrating Team India.
Their contribution with the bat helped Australia get over the 450-run mark. Desperate to finish of the Australian innings, team India opted for yet another new cherry once it was made available. Shami didn’t do justice with the new ball as he conceded 15 runs in his new spell. But then came on Ashwin and he removed Murphy with a straighter one which went on with the arm. Ashwin later struck in his next over and removed Lyon which brought Australia’s gigantic first innings to a close.
India’s openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill walked in to bat and batted very positively without conceding any wickets. Team India ended Day 2 with a score of 36/0.
Australia recorded the highest 5th wicket partnership of 208 of 358 deliveries against India in India, surpassing Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell’s 191 at Ranchi in 2017.
Usman Khawaja faced the highest number of deliveries (422) for Australia in Tests against India in India.
Usman Khawaja becomes the 3rd highest in terms of total number of balls faced (422) against India, trailing Michael Clark (468) and Ricky Ponting (458).
Nathan Lyon and Todd Murphy registered the fifth-highest ninth wicket partnership (70 runs) for Australia against India in Tests.
Ashwin (113) has overtaken Kumble (111) to become the highest wicket-taker for India against Australia in Tests.
Read More: Ravichandran Ashwin in home Tests: A puzzle akin Rubik’s Cube for overseas batters
What to Expect on Day 3
After scoring a competitive first innings total, Australia are now in the driver’s seat. With such a mammoth total of 480, Australia have enough cushion to bundle out India by the end of Day 3. But with the track still ideal for batting, Team India would be looking to score at a brisk pace and bring down the deficit to a manageable figure. On the other hand, Australia would be looking to capitalise on the early hours of Day 3 to pick up 2-3 quick wickets to instantly transfer the pressure back on India. With plenty of action still to come in subsequent days, the game can swing either away but as of now, Australia remain firmly in control of the match.
Read More: Best spells of Nathan Lyon in India: Bowler with most wickets in Border Gavaskar Trophy history