Day two of the one-off test Cricket match of the ICC World Test Championship 2023 has concluded. Australia ended their innings with 469 in 121.3 overs. India is down by five wickets and only 151 runs to their names. The Oval will see them in action for three more days. Conditions suggest that it will be difficult for the Indian side to land a tie. A trail of 318 runs at a time when only one batter is left in the squad is a pretty expensive deal.
Australia will grab it with open hands. All of their bowlers have been able to take advantage of the pitch conditions. They worked for Indian pacers as well. The Aussie pacers simply inched it up to the sky.
Indian Batters Collapse
The top batting line-up of the Rohit Sharma-led Indian side collapsed like a pack of cards. The skipper gifted his wicket through an LBW to Pat Cummins. From one captain to another, the action was pleasing only for the fans of the Australian side. Shubham Gill had the decision to make – whether to touch the ball or let it go assuming that it would not hit wickets behind him. They did after he missed the shot, and Scott Boland grabbed a wicket.
Hazlewood’s replacement also turned out to be the most economical bowler for the side. More on this after a while.
Virat Kohli was seen replicating his fall by directing the ball to the second slip. He was taken aback by the extra bounce that received support from the outside off-throw. That was the lowest point for India, coming in the 19th over with 71 runs in total. Cheteshwar Pujara went off the field before him almost in the same manner as Shubham Gill.
Ajinkya Rahane and Srikar Bharat are on the pitch at the moment. Losing Jadeja has come at a huge cost for them. He was the lone warrior with the highest run on the Day 2 of ICC WTC 2023. The strike rate of 94.12 justified his 48 runs off 51 balls. He powered 7-4s and 1-6s.
Rahane is now leading the charge with 29 runs off 71 balls, along with Srikar Bharat, who is at 5 runs off 14 balls. Shardul Thakur is the last batter they can rely on. Also known as Lord Shardul Thakur, he is likely to feel the pressure if either of them drops out early in the first session of the third day.
Aussies Triumph With Their Bowling Unit
What helped Indian bowlers helped their opponent’s bowling unit too. As a matter of fact, it went on to be multiplied by 5 times. Australia’s skipper himself set an example by dismissing Rohit Sharma in the 6th over. India was going strong at a run rate of approximately 5. Landing the ball in the middle and hitting LBW gave them the first success.
Playing Scott Boland instead of Hazlewood could have gone anywhere. Unfortunately for India, it went in favor of Australia as he registered an economy of 2.64 in 11 overs, out of which four overs were maiden. He played throughout 11 overs to make it the maximum any Aussie bowler got the chance on Day 2 of the World Test Championship 2023.
Nathan Lyon was not to receive a lot of support since the pitch was seen being dominated by seamers. He took over in the concluding moments, charged 2 overs for 4 runs, and was able to deliver Jadeja’s catch to Steve Smith in the first slip. Ravindra had put his foot forward to play the ball in a slight direction, but it changed lanes to merely touch the outside edge of the bat.
Mitchell Starc bowled for 9 overs to become the most expensive bowler on the Australian side. Nonetheless, he was able to get Kohli out of the way at the earliest.
Cameron Green struck the right chord when India’s total was 50 runs. He went directly for the wickets. Pujara misjudged the delivery and left the ground to also take away the level of patience that India needed at that time.
The third day of the ICC World Test Championship 2023 begins on June 09, 2023, at 3:00 pm IST, at The Oval. Rahane and Bharat must play the entire first session. Thakur will establish his shots only if the pitch has been used for a few hours and the ball is all old with the shots. Otherwise, the Aussie bowling line-up will not spare them any chance of moving above 200 runs.
A difference of 318 runs is a huge milestone. It has to be brought down as much as possible. The chances of India winning from the current moment are close to 8%, according to the top cricket betting sites. They can turn the tides only by being on the field for the entire day. An alternate option is to get the bowling line boosted for 10 wickets in 100 runs.
Matches have been won from the lowest points one can imagine. India has the skills to make it to the top and retain their number-one rank in the format. It remains to be seen if they can set their mentality on the right track and bag at least a tie, if not win, in the final of the ICC World Test Championship 2023.