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WTC Final 2023, Day 2, Aus vs Ind: India's top-order falters after Aus put mammoth 1st innings total

WTC Final 2023, Day 2, Australia (AUS) vs India (IND): India's top-order falters after Australia put mammoth (469 runs) first innings total. India trail by 318 runs at the stumps.

WTC Final 2023, Day 2, Aus vs Ind_ Virat Kohli got out on 14 off Starc in first innings  _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©ICC_Twitter)
Kohli got out on 14 off Starc in first innings (Images: ©ICC/Twitter)

Day two of the second WTC Final got underway in a smooth fashion for Australia. After a record-breaking partnership between Travis Head and Steve Smith, the momentum was firmly behind Australia. The Aussies continued their domination even on Day 2 whilst Indian bowlers had to toil hard. But this time around, they managed to get some breakthroughs and eventually bowl Australia out for a gigantic score. Read on to better understand how day 2 unfolded.

Talking Points: India's poor batting and shot selection

India's top order struggled to dominate the proceedings on a track that looked like an absolute belter to bat. Poor shot selection and a lack of partnerships in the middle allowed Australia to gain the upper hand on day 2. Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara made some horrendous judgment errors, leading to their shocking dismissals at a time when India required badly needed expertise. Besides, there was some good bowling display from Australia, who kept it tight and troubled the Indian batters with their steep pace and bounce.

WTC Final 2023, Day 2, Aus vs Ind_ Mohammed Siraj took 4-108 against Australia in 1st innings _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Siraj took 4-108 against Australia in 1st innings (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
India vs Australia, Day 2, First Session

Australia added on 95 runs in 24 overs for the loss of 4 wickets this session. It was yet another good day for batting. The surface had flattened even further, and a ting of moisture that was around on day one had also disappeared. Head and Smith took full advantage of it and played some delightful strokes early in the morning. Boundaries were coming at ease, and the duo looked unharmed at the crease. During this session, Steve Smith got to his 31st test century in emphatic style. After toiling hard on day one, India finally got some after dismissing a well-set Travis Head and Steven Smith for 163 and 121, respectively. Soon after, team India was rewarded with two more wickets in the form of Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc. Australia ended the session at 422/7

India vs Australia, Day 2, Second Session

Australia added on 47 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in the second session before being dismissed. Alex Carey scored briskly whilst Cummins was being watchful at the other end. The duo put on a brilliant 51-run stand for the 8th wicket partnership. Carey was eventually dismissed two short of his well-deserved half-century by Jadeja on 48. Every run from here really started hurting India as Australia was inching towards a gigantic first-innings score. Australia was soon bundled out for 469. Siraj turned out to be the most effective Indian bowler picking up four wickets at an astounding economy rate of 3.78 RPO. India started their first innings on a positive note but lost Gill and Rohit in a shocking manner reducing the Men In Blue to 37/2 at tea.

WTC Final 2023, Day 2, Aus vs Ind_ Ravindra Jadeja scored 51-ball 48 on day 2 against Australia _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Jadeja scored 51-ball 48 on day 2 against Australia (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
India vs Australia, Day 2, Third Session

With both openers back in the hut, India added 114 runs for the loss of 3 wickets in 28 overs in their last session. Pujara looked in free-flowing touch and hit some lovely boundaries to start the last session. But just when he was beginning to find his feat on this beautiful batting track, he made a horrible brain-fade move by leaving a sharp in-dipper that jagged back a long way to shatter his off stump. The pressure was slowly building up on India, and Virat Kohli was the next batsman to fall. Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane survived some tight close calls and fought their way back at the end to put on a valiant 71-run stand for the 5th wicket before Jadeja succumbed to Lyon in the closing hours of the day’s play. India ended Day 2 at 151/5.

Statistical highlights
  • The formidable partnership between Steve Smith and TM Head yields a remarkable 285 runs off 408 balls, bolstering Australia's position.

What’s to come

India has a mountain to climb ahead of them. They will really need to bat out of their skin to get anywhere close to Australia’s first innings total. Their top priority should be to bring down the deficit to a manageable figure, which would not be easy on day 3 of the test match. On the other hand, Australia hopes to bundle out India as early as possible to get to a position from where they cannot lose the final.

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