India captain Rohit Sharma at the WTC Final© AFP
After two days’ of dominance by Australia in the World Test Championship, India had a decent day with Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur putting up a great fight. Though Australia were already ahead by 296 at the end of the third day, former India captain and ex-BCCI president Sourab Ganguly feels that if India can restrict the Pat Cummins-led team’s lead to under 375, India will have a great chance in the ‘Ultimate Test’. “If India has to chase 360 or 370, then India will be in the game. They have Virat Kohli, best Chaser in the world and many class players as well. So anything can happen in the last two days,” Ganguly said on Star Sports.
India’s Ajinkya Rahane revived his international career with a courageous effort in seaming conditions but it could not prevent Australia from extending their supremacy in the World Test Championship final at The Oval in London on Friday. Playing his first Test in 18 months and with his side’s back against the wall, Rahane weathered a hostile spell from Australian pacers on way to a memorable 89 off 129 balls on the third day and took India to 296 all out from 152 for six.
His 109-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Shardul Thakur (51 off 109) kept India in the game but Australia still managed to take a massive 173-run lead.
At stumps, Australia extended their lead to 296 runs by reaching 123 for four in 44 overs in their second innings. Marnus Labuschagne (41 batting) and Cameron Green (7 batting) were in the middle.
The pitch continues to offer seam movement but the spinners also came into play on Friday with Ravindra Jadeja taking two wickets and reigniting the debate on R Ashwin’s non-selection for the title clash.
With PTI inputs
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