What Happened on Day 2 of WTC Final? Seamers Excel as Australia Takes Control in World Test Championship Final
In a thrilling display of bowling prowess, Australia’s seamers dominated the second day of the World Test Championship final against India. After Steven Smith’s magnificent century on the previous day, the Australian bowlers capitalized on their team’s strong position by putting India under immense pressure. Despite a brief resistance from Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja, Nathan Lyon’s late strike further tilted the balance in favor of Australia.
Australia’s Bowlers Exploit the Pitch’s Assistance| India vs Australia | World Test Championship Final | WTC Final 2023:
With India starting the day at 151 for 5 in response to Australia’s first-innings total of 469, the Australian bowlers wasted no time in showcasing their skills. Led by their quicks, they hit the perfect length on a pitch that still offered assistance. Scott Boland and Nathan Lyon combined their efforts, causing trouble for the Indian batsmen.
Nathan Lyon’s Impactful Wicket| India vs Australia | World Test Championship Final | WTC Final 2023:
As the Indian team sought stability, Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane stitched together a crucial partnership. However, Lyon intervened with a dipping, turning off break that caught Jadeja’s edge, resulting in a catch at first slip. This wicket further fueled the ongoing debate surrounding India’s team selection, particularly the exclusion of R Ashwin against Australia’s left-hand heavy lineup.
India’s Bowling Woes| India vs Australia | World Test Championship Final | WTC Final 2023:
While India’s selection strategy was questioned, their major issues stemmed from their bowling approach. On a bouncier surface than what they were accustomed to in India, the Indian bowlers needed to adjust their lengths accordingly. They failed to consistently pitch the ball fuller and challenge the stumps, thus missing opportunities for dismissals. Although they fought back in the first half of day two, it came a little too late as Australia had already amassed a significant total of 327 for 3 on day one.
Australia’s Fast Bowlers Display Expertise| India vs Australia | World Test Championship Final | WTC Final 2023:
Australia’s fast bowlers showcased their mastery of the conditions on the Oval pitch, which had begun to exhibit cracks. After an initial period of overpitching, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins found their rhythm and identified the ideal length—full but not driveable. The result was a flurry of wickets, as Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Virat Kohli all fell victim to the Australian pace attack.
Rahane Survives Close Call| India vs Australia | World Test Championship Final | WTC Final 2023:
Ajinkya Rahane had a fortunate escape when Pat Cummins bowled a brilliant delivery that straightened from a perfect fullish length. Rahane was given out, but a review revealed Cummins had overstepped, sparing Rahane from dismissal. The close call highlighted the fine margins of the game and added to the intensity of the contest.
Jadeja and Rahane Offer Resistance| India vs Australia | World Test Championship Final | WTC Final 2023:
Following a nervy start, Ravindra Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane showed resilience and skill as they weathered the storm. Jadeja took advantage of the Australian bowlers’ tendency to overpitch, scoring at a brisk rate. Rahane, making a comeback to Test cricket after a year and a half, displayed his trademark composure. Together, they formed a partnership that gave India hope of reaching stumps unscathed. However, Nathan Lyon’s breakthrough shattered their aspirations.
Steven Smith and Travis Head’s Dominance| India vs Australia | World Test Championship Final | WTC Final 2023:
The day began with Steven Smith on the brink of a well-deserved century and Travis Head closing in on 150 runs. Both batsmen swiftly reached their milestones, with Smith capitalizing on some loose deliveries from Mohammed Siraj early in the day. However, India fought back with key wickets, including Smith’s dismissal for 121, courtesy of Shardul Thakur. Alex Carey’s aggressive innings of 48 provided valuable support, propelling Australia’s score beyond 450.
India’s Bowlers Show Resilience| India vs Australia | World Test Championship Final | WTC Final 2023:
Despite the dominance of Australia’s batsmen, India’s bowlers displayed resilience. Mohammed Siraj emerged as the pick of the bowlers, claiming four wickets for 108 runs. Mohammad Shami and Shardul Thakur also made significant contributions with two wickets each. India’s bowlers aimed to wrap up the Australian innings quickly, but Alex Carey’s counterattacking approach delayed their progress.
Looking Ahead| India vs Australia | World Test Championship Final | WTC Final 2023:
As the World Test Championship final unfolds, both teams will be eager to seize control and gain an advantage. Australia’s seamers have demonstrated their ability to exploit the pitch, while India’s batsmen, especially Rahane and Jadeja, have shown resilience in challenging conditions. With the match finely poised, cricket fans can anticipate more thrilling action as the contest continues.