Score draw sets up World Test Championship rematch
INDIA has taken out the 2023 Border-Gavaskar Trophy series 2-1 against Australia, after the fourth Test played out to an underwhelming draw yesterday. On what can only be described as an absolute highway at Narendra Modi Stadium, 22 wickets were taken in three innings over the five days, in the face of 1226 runs.
This was the only match of the four which extended past three days, with whizzing spinner-friendly wickets replaced by a fizzing stinker to see out the series. The game ended as players shook hands in the final session on day five, resembling a stale cherry atop the otherwise intriguing series.
The result sets up an immediate rematch in June, this time for the World Test Championship at The Oval. While the top two Test nations failed to force a result in Ahmedabad, their showdown in London was locked in as New Zealand knocked off Sri Lanka in a final ball thriller at Hagley Oval.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat, peeling off a largely patient 480 across multiple days. Opener Usman Khawaja (180 off 422) continued his glorious series, while allrounder Cameron Green (114) notched up his maiden Test century before offies Todd Murphy (41) and Nathan Lyon (34) wagged the tail.
Co-player of the series Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 6-91 to lead a tight Indian bowling effort, bowling 47 overs. In reply, two of the hosts’ batters peeled off tons in a comprehensive innings of 571, making for a 91-run first innings buffer.
It was the Virat Kohli show, whose 186 represented reward for much of the class he had shown without result earlier in the series. Young opener Shubman Gill also starred with 128, while the never-failing Axar Patel made 79 amid his promotion to number seven.
A result always looked unlikely from there, and Australia did more than enough to take the lead and ensure the match petered out into the inevitable draw. Travis Head‘s 90 capped a magnificent three-match series having been overlooked for the first Test, and he batted for much of day five alongside Marnus Labuschagne (63*), after nightwatchman Matthew Kuhnemann opened the batting.
Alongside Ashwin, Jadeja earned player of the series honours having been named player of the match in the opening two Tests – both of which India won. The allrounder marked a marvellous return from injury, continuing his hold over the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. This was the fourth consecutive 2-1 series in favour of India against Australia.
TOSS: Australia won the toss and elected to bat
RESULT: India (571) drew w/ Australia (480 & 2d-175)
POTM: Virat Kohli (India)
POTS: Ravichandran Ashwin & Ravindra Jadeja
1st Innings: Australia 480 (167.2)
Usman Khawaja 180 (422), Cameron Green 114 (170), Todd Murphy 41 (61)
Ravichandran Ashwin 6-91 (47.2), Mohammed Shami 2-134 (31), Axar Patel 1-47 (28)
2nd Innings: India 571 (178.5)
Virat Kohli 186 (364), Shubman Gill 128 (235), Axar Patel 79 (113)
Todd Murphy 3-113 (45.5), Nathan Lyon 3-151 (65), Matthew Kuhnemann 1-94 (25)
3rd Innings: Australia 2d-175 (78.1)
Travis Head 90 (163), Marcus Labuschagne 63* (213), Steven Smith 10* (59)
Agar Patel 1-36 (19) Ravichandran Ashwin 1-58 (24), Ravindra Jadeja 0-34 (20)
1st Test: Nagpur, February 9-13 (India won by an innings and 132 runs)
2nd Test: Delhi, February 17-21 (India won by 6 wickets)
3rd Test: Indore, March 1-5 (Australia won by 9 wickets)
4th Test: Ahmedabad, March 9-13 (Draw)