BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 4th Test, Day 5: Match drawn; India win BGT & qualify for WTC 2021-23 Final
Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23, India vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 5: Match drawn; India win Border Gavaskar Trophy & qualify for WTC 2021-23 Final.
Brief Scores: Australia 175/2 (Head 90, Labuschagne 63*, Axar 1/36) & 480 (Khawaja 180, Green 114, Ashwin 6/91) drew with India 571 (Kohli 186, Gill 128, Murphy 3/113, Lyon 3/151)
Player of the Match: Virat Kohli (186 runs)
Joint Player of the Series: Ravindra Jadeja (22 wickets and 135 runs) & Ravichandran Ashwin (25 wickets)
After four days, hosts India looked for some inspiration to earn an incredible victory, while Australia were eager to finish the series on a high on the fifth day of the fourth and final Test match in the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Brave Australia show immense resilience; India to face Australia in WTC final
After the end of the second Test in Delhi where Australia folded up just like a pack of cards in the morning session, the series looked to be heading for a 4-0 margin in India’s favour but the visitors made a strong comeback led by Steven Smith in the third Test at Indore to earn one of their rare Test victories in India. The fight they displayed with the bat and ball in the second half of the series has been excellent.
India, on the other hand, with the backdrop of New Zealand’s win over Sri Lanka, have been promoted to the World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-23 Final to face Australia. In this cycle of WTC, India have won 10 out of 18 games, losing five and three drawn results; they have a percentage points of 58.80.
Read More: BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 4th Test, Day 4: India maximise probability of win/draw with 91-run lead
Let's take a look at how the fifth day of the fourth Test of Border Gavaskar Trophy 2022-23 in Ahmedabad panned out.
Session 1: Australia displayed sheer patience after India removed nightwatchman Kuhnemann
Both overnight openers - Travis Head and nightwatchman Matthew Kuhnemann - did a decent job to stay there at the end of the fourth day. The latter got a sticky boundary against Ravichandran Ashwin early in the day when the ball taking the edge of his blade rolled past the slip fielder while Head clipped Mohammed Shami through square leg region for a boundary. Ashwin drew first blood for India as with a beautiful flighted delivery, he trapped Kuhnemann LBW on 6.
New batter Marnus Labuschagne looked totally calm and composed on the crease and didn't take any unnecessary risk to play rash shots. All three India spinners too showed patience to keep on bowling in the same channel for a long time before Labuschagne, using his feet, smashed Ashwin over mid-wicket region for a boundary while Head cut Ravindra Jadeja in the square region for the same result. Just after the drinks break, both the batters looked to take on bowlers regularly as Head, dancing down the track, cracked Ashwin for a six over his head.
At the backend of the session, India brought back Umesh Yadav in the attack but that weapon too didn't help them as suddenly runs began to come thick and fast as Australia went to Lunch at 73/1, still trailing by 18 runs while India kept on searching for nine more wickets.
Read More: BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 4th Test, Day 3: Gill's 128 exemplifies India's gritty batting; hosts 289-3
Session 2: Axar removes Head to break 139-run stand as fourth Test rolled towards drab draw
Australia, after seeing out few overs post the lunch interval, again took on the India spinners in an aggressive manner as Labuschagne drilled Ashwin for a boundary through cover region, while Travis Head with a boundary, guided through the slip corridor brought up his 13th Test fifty. Head celebrated it with flicking Ashwin through mid-wicket for a boundary before smashing Ashwin over the bowler’s head for a beautiful six.
There were few deliveries which asked a few questions to the batters but that wasn’t enough to draw them to make mistakes. Labuschagne drove Umesh Yadav wide of mid-wicket for a boundary before reaching his 15th Test fifty with couple of runs.
Just when everything looked to be running in a steady fashion, Axar Patel disturbed the furniture of Travis Head on 90 to deny him a well-deserved century. Steven Smith got a life when wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat dropped a tough chance as Australia went to the Tea break with 158/2, leading by 67 runs. With 32 overs left in the game and eight wickets still to grab for India, the result was going towards a boring draw.
Read More: BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 4th Test, Day 2: Khawaja, Green hundreds help Aus make 480; India 36-0
Session 3: Fourth Test ends in draw as India retain BGT by 2-1
It took just less than one hour for both the batters and the India captain to shake hands. The session started with Smith charging down the ground to smack Ashwin over the long on region for a boundary before cutting Jadeja through backward point region for a boundary.
Both Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja kept on bowling but nothing happened as after few overs from the India batters, both Labuschagne and Smith shook hands with the India side to end the game in a drawn result. Australia finished on 175/2 as India claimed their fourth consecutive Border Gavaskar Trophy by a 2-1 margin.
Read More: BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 4th Test, Day 1: Australia cobble up 255-4 on grinding day for India's bowlers
Statistical Highlights from India vs Australia, 4th Test, Day 5, Ahmedabad
Axar Patel becomes the quickest India bowler in terms of balls to take 50 Test wickets. He reached the landmark in 2205 deliveries going past Jasprit Bumrah who took 2465 balls for the feat.
Axar Patel is also the fastest left-arm spinner for India to take 50 Test wickets in 12 games, going past Ravindra Jadeja and Pragyan Ojha, both of whom achieved the landmark in 13 Tests.
Axar Patel also joins an elite list of Aubrey Faulkner, Jack Gregory, Ian Botham and Ravichandran Ashwin to have 500+ runs and 50+ wickets after 12 Test matches.
Marnus Labuschagne’s knock of 63* off 213 deliveries is his slowest fifty-plus score in his career.
This is now the seventh time Australia have to be contented for a draw after scoring 400+ batting first against India.
This is now India’s fourth consecutive series win over Australia, only behind five by West Indies and seven by England.
Virat Kohli, Player of the Match: To be honest, the expectations I have from myself as a player is more important to me. I felt I was batting well in Nagpur. I was a little disappointed for not doing what I am capable of. But (took) relief from the point of view that I am able to play the way I want to play. I am happy with my defence. When I was 60 not out, we thought of playing positive but with Shreyas’s injury, we decided to play time. We got a bit of lead and gave ourself some sort of a chance.
Ravindra Jadeja & Ravichandran Ashwin, Joint Player of the Series
Jadeja: It feels good bowling with Ashwin and he is passing information all the time. I am not that happy with my batting as I have missed out on a few occasions. I will work harder and focus on my batting. Ashwin has a good cricketing brain and he knows every team in the world.
Read More: BGT 2023, IND v AUS, 3rd Test, Day 3: Aus win to confirm WTC Final berth; India will have to wait
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