Thank you all so much for following our coverage on the 2nd Test between India and Australia in Bengaluru. We have a break in between, with another nine days to go before the third Test in Ranchi. Till then, goodbye!
Thank you all so much for following our coverage on the 2nd Test between India and Australia in Bengaluru. We have a break in between, with another nine days to go before the third Test in Ranchi. Till then, goodbye!
Nostradamus wept. Or he would have if he had to call this Test.
You can study the tea leaves, read the runes, examine the entrails, but what do you do when every single indicator is pointing you in the wrong direction?
There was nothing to indicate, before this Test began, that India would be bundled out inside 72 overs for just 189 after winning the toss. Or that an off-spinner, even a quality one like Nathan Lyon, would end up with 8 for 50.
When Australia in its first innings settled down to play with dogged determination, intent on not giving away wickets, content to score at a pace that would have been scoffed at even 20, 30 years, the tea leaves suggested that a bad Indian batting collapse had put the Test beyond reach. Nothing, there in the way the visitors batted, to indicate that on the third morning they would lose four wickets in a heap and end up with a lead far smaller than they had a right to expect.
There was nothing to indicate that an India coming off the back of three batting collapses would find a second wind and, in conditions where the pitch was beginning to take a hand with variable bounce and widening cracks, bat with fluid ease (Rahul), tremendous application (Pujara) and nervelessness (Rahane) and dogged determination (Saha/Ishant). Nothing to suggest, after that third day display, that India would this morning collapse from four for 237 to 274 all out, ending up just 187 ahead.
And there was certainly nothing to indicate that Australia, who in the series thus far had shown an ability to play patiently, would come out in manic mode, looking to finish things off in a hurry and along the way, losing their defensive processes. And there was absolutely nothing to suggest, even early in his spell, that Ashwin would pop into the telephone booth and pop out again in his more familiar Superman costume, ripping out five Australian wickets (of a total match haul of six) in the space of 5.2 overs.
It was compelling, it was manic, it was constantly unpredictable, it produced a result that did not seem possible at the end of the first innings of both sides. And it drew the crowds, giving them more than they had any right to expect.
Post mortems and analysis, in games where 16 wickets fall in a little more than two sessions, needs to wait for the adrenalin to die down, for the numbers to begin making sense. For now though, from an Indian point of view, the series is level, India can shrug off the low of Pune, and it is all nicely set up for the two Tests to follow.
Virat Kohli: Specially after losing the first Test the way we did, we wanted to bounce back, more to show ourselves. The way the guys bounced back in this one they showed a lot of belief. It was about taking responsibility and getting the team over thae line. Couple of sessions in Test cricket are game-changing, and the first session on Day 2 was crucial. The moment they did not score big in the first innings, we knew we had a chance. Since the wicket has been relaid, we knew anything above 150 was crucial. After conceding the lead, Rahane-Pujara stand was crucial, the only 100-stand in the series so far. The two best Test players in our side showed immense character. We would've liked anything over 200, but as soon as we got 188, we decided the game had to finish today. Ranchi is going to be very competitive. we've made a great comeback in this Test match, and we are looking to carry over the momentum.
Steve Smith: It was a great Test match. I think the partnership between Rahane and Pujara hurt us. But I'm proud the way we came out this morning. I'm proud of the way the boys competed over the last four days. The pitch was a bit up and down over the last four fdays. It was quite difficult, but Test match cricket isn't supposed to be easy. (On marsh's dismissal) the umpires have to make a lot of calls, and everyone makes mistakes,. and u have to be smart with ur referrals. The series is well and truly alive. Hopefully we can keep competing.
KL Rahul: There is no better place for me to come and perform like we did. Really proud moment for us. In the last couple of years we have achieved a lot, but this victory will be a memorable one. I played my cricket in Bangalore, and I knew what the wicket would play like. We had clear intent and clear plans. Rahane-Pujara's approach in the second innings was crucial.(On missing out on a century so far in the series) There was a time when i got a 100 after crossing 20, and now I cross 50 and dont get a 100. All the disappointment's gone after this win, we're going to celebrate the win tonight. (On his shoulder injury) I can't dive on the field, and there are a couple of shots i cannot play. Not playing a couple of shots doesn't mean I cannot get runs, I've got a plenty of shots in my book.
Bengaluru boy KL Rahul is the 'Man of the Match' for his efforts of 90 and 51.
Ravichandran Ashwin is the 'Jana Bankable Player of the Match'.
Umesh Yadav: We were just trying to hit the deck hard, and we had to get three or four early wickets. ALways a pleasure playing with Ishant. We just try to score low and hit the deck hard.
Ravichandran Ashwin: I thought it wasn't releasing too properly from my hand (initially). I knew it would pay rich dividends some day. What was important today was the short spell gave me the window to throw a lot of top-spinners up.
Ajinkya Rahane: We just wanted to play session by session, and we were not thinking far ahead. We knew chasing 200 on this track was difficult.We wanted to unsettle the spinners, especially Lyon because he bowled really well in the first innings. Sweep was a very good shot on this wicket.
Cheteshwar Pujara: It's a great feeling to beat Australia, and the way we made a comeback, it was memorable. The way Nathan Lyon was bowling in the first innings, we had to come up with a different plan. Anything above 200 was almost impossible to chase, but once we crossed 150, we had belief in our mind. This gives us a psychological advantage ahead of the third Test.
Interesting, that. Ashwin was leading the team off, as he deserves with that six wicket haul -- and the Indian team make it a point to also pat Jadeja on the back and push him forward in line ahead of them.
8-5-3-1 -- Jadeja's bowling figures. Credit him with applying a timely tourniquet just when India was bleeding terminally. Meanwhile, Ashwin resumes. Handscomb seems not quite his usual confident self, tentative defense back to the bowler off the first ball -- and out off the next to give Ashwin five-for (the 25th of his career).
Handscomb jumps down the track and has an almighty slog; the ball is dragged short, kicks off the pitch, finds the top edge and lobs high and behind the keeper's back, Saha runs back and holds, Australia 9 down and it is now officially India's game.
OUT! And it's all over. The batsmen had changed ends while that catch was in the air. Lyon gets a thick outside edge for two. Next ball, tossed up outside off, good flight and dip, Lyon drives at it, without getting to the pitch, back down the track and Ashwin holds the return catch, sealing a 75-run win and drawing level with Australia in the series.
OUT! Peter Handscomb departs for 24, and India are now just one wicket away from a series-levelling win now! Australia 110/9
Peter Handscomb c Saha b Ashwin 24 (67)
After 35 overs,Australia 110/8 ( Peter Handscomb 24 , Nathan Lyon 0)
Jadeja replaces Umesh. And what do you know, he strikes off the second ball of the over. The second ball, Jadeja goes a bit wide on the crease, angling in to OKeefe, drawing him forward in defense, straightening the ball past the outside edge, the ball doesn't really get up off the deck either. Even if it had, OK was pushing down the wrong line, foxed by the change of angle from the bowler, and Australia now 8 down and reeling. 78 still to get.
OUT! Jadeja beats O'Keefe's defence with a shooter that hits his middle stump, and Australia lose their eighth wicket with 110 on board! India just two wickets away from a famous win now! Australia 110/8.
Steve O'Keefe b Ravindra Jadeja 2(10)
After 34 overs,Australia 110/7 ( Peter Handscomb 24 , Steve O'Keefe 2)
Ashwin to Handscomb. Twice on the trot, sharp turn and bounce as Ashwin rips it. Handscomb playing very late, carefully reading off the pitch now and not committing to anything till he is sure. Very tight over, Handscomb forced on the defensive throughout, tries a get out of jail sweep off the last ball as Ashwin pushes it flat, hit on the pad as he misses, but he does well to stick his front foot well outside line of off.
Maiden for Ashwin — his fourth in the current innings. Australia 110/7 after 34 overs; need 78 to win.
After 33 overs,Australia 110/7 ( Peter Handscomb 24 , Steve O'Keefe 2)
Umesh continues. Single as Handscomb clips square off his toes as Yadav gets too full on a leg stump line. The bowler gets one to kick at OKeefe, gets a leg bye for it, single to Handscomb again... Yadav decides to give Handscomb something to think about and bounces him, the batsman ducks well under it and smiles. Interesting over, but not really threatening to break through at any point.
Three runs in the 33rd over, including a leg-bye. Australia 110/7; need 78 to win.
After 32 overs,Australia 107/7 ( Peter Handscomb 22 , Steve O'Keefe 2)
Ashwin to O'Keefe, who gets the outer part of the bat on the defensive push and runs the single quickly. In his turn, Handscomb stays back and lets one come on and turn across him, then works it behind square. Almost a run out next up as OK pushes and then hesitates before running on Handscomb's call. Four singles in the over quickly bowled, Australia 81 shy, if the throw had been closer to the stumps on that OK run he was gone for all the money. Also Ashwin making the mistake, to Yadav's throw, of being on the wrong side of the stumps, and unable to reach the throw
Decent over for Ashwin, conceding four singles off it while getting the ball to streak past the Handscomb's outside edge and his off-stump. Australia 107/8. Need 81 to win.
After 31 overs,Australia 103/7 ( Peter Handscomb 20 , Steve O'Keefe 0)
O'Keefe in to face two balls from an Ashwin who looks like someone woke him up and reminded him of what he could do. Defends dourly, bat in front of pad. Australia 85 behind and suddenly, that deficit looks a mountain too high to climb.
Umesh resumes with Handscomb on strike and at risk of running out of partners. Good over, Umesh keeping it very tight around that off stump at peak pace -- the threat is that the odd ball will squat and shoot through, and Handscomb has no room to do anything, defends dourly. The last ball kicks off length and thuds into his glove just to remind him of what this wicket can do. Maiden, keeps the lid tight on the Aussies.
Another maiden, this time for Umesh Yadav. Australia 103/7; need 85 to win.
After 30 overs,Australia 103/7 ( Peter Handscomb 20 , Steve O'Keefe 0)
OUT! Ashwin strikes. Goes through Mitchell Starc's defence to knock his off stump.Australia 103/7
After 29 overs,Australia 103/6 ( Peter Handscomb 20 , Mitchell Starc 1)
Back after the break. Starc has joined Handscomb out in the middle. Ashwin will complete the over.
But Jadeja has played his part by keeping it tight. On the other hand, Lyon took advantage in the 1st and struggled in the 2nd.— Bharath Ramaraj (@Fancricket12) March 7, 2017
After 27.5 overs, Australia 101/6 ( Peter Handscomb 19)
Time for one more over before tea thanks to that very quick one from Jadeja. Ashwin continues. Around the wicket with slip, silly point and leg slip for the left handed Matt Wade, who off the second ball drives at one without really seeing it; ball stays low, turns past the bat and Wade lucky there not to touch off.
And off the fifth ball, more drama. On off, flat, Wade looks for turn after having been beaten by sharp turn earlier in the over, gets the thick inner edge as he plays the wrong line, ball pops up in the air and Saha takes a couple of steps from behind the stumps, then dives headlong to hold superbly on the leg side. Australia six down now, 87 away from the target.
Everyone goes off for a deep breath and a cup of tea after a totally manic session that's seen the game swing from one side to the other. To India's credit, each time it slipped out of reach, they've hauled it right back, and these two wickets on the stroke of tea have now put India in a position you didn't think was possible at the start of the session.
Tea time, people, see you in ten
OUT! Ravi Ashwin strikes at the stroke of tea, with Wriddhiman Saha pulling off a stunner while running towards short-leg. Matthew Wade departs for a five-ball duck, as Australia lose their sixth wicket with 101 on board at the stroke of tea!
Matthew Wade c Wriddhiman Saha b Ravichandran Ashwin 0(5)
After 27 overs,Australia 101/5 ( Peter Handscomb 19 , Matthew Wade (W) 0)
After that one expensive over from Ishant, Jadeja takes over. Good thing too. Well though Ishant has bowled in this Test, there really is no space for him to go looking for optimal lines and lengths, with the target just 87. Bowls this over at breathless, hustling pace with the crowd now back in full throated support after being silenced for a bit by the flurry of fours off Ishant. Maiden again. Which is what India want -- control, so every run has to be really worked for.
Maiden for Jadeja. Australia 101/5 after 27 overs. Need another 87 to win.
After 26 overs,Australia 101/5 ( Peter Handscomb 19 , )
Ashwin takes over from Jadeja, has a long chat with Saha before he starts to bowl. Handscomb comes down the track, takes the ball on the half volley, plays it past the short midwicket and gets two to the fielder in the deep to bring up Australia's 100. Handscomb is foxed by one that grips and turns but does well to wait on it, watch the turn off the pitch and then guide wide of leg slip for one more. Ashwin changes the field, taking out leg slip and putting in a forward short leg.
There was a point to that fielding change. With a catcher in front, Ashwin shortens his length, hits the short of length outside off, makes it bounce, makes it turn sharply in a reprise of Lyon in the first innings and Marsh falls into the trap, following the turn and gloving it for Karun Nair to hold with ease under the helmet on the on.
OUT! The move to get Ashwin back into the attack reaps rich dividends for the Indians, with the younger Marsh sibling getting caught at short-leg by Karun Nair after an inside-edge! Australia are now five wickets down with 101 on board!
Mitchell Marsh c Karun Nair b Ravichandran Ashwin 13(16)
After 25 overs,Australia 98/4 ( Peter Handscomb 16 , Mitchell Marsh 13)
Umesh gets a break after a 6-1-26-2 spell, Ishant comes back on, and off the second ball, wide and too full, Handscomb strokes the drive easily through the covers to bring the ask down to just under the 100. Single off the next ball. And then Mitch Marsh cashes in as again, Ishant is too full and straight -- eases into the drive, plays it straight past mid on, perfectly behind the line there. And the control that India was getting slips, runs again begin to come in a flurry, and the target gets cut to ribbons. The last ball is short, just outside off, doing nothing much in the air or off the pitch and Marsh keeps a close eye on it, waits, then guides through the gap between slip and gully to the third man boundary for four. 13 runs in the over, 90 more to get. Ishant looks perplexed at the end of the over.
13 runs leaked by Ishant at the start of his second spell, including three boundaries. Australia 98/4; need 90 to win.
After 24 overs,Australia 85/4 ( Peter Handscomb 11 , Mitchell Marsh 5)
Jadeja, now with just the one slip and no one else in close. Which means his options are LBW, or the ball that lands off and turns away looking for the outer edge. Tight, controlled over, just the one in it off the fifth ball as Handscomb drives to long off.
Just a single in the 24th over, bowled by Jadeja. Australia 85/4; need 103 to win.
After 23 overs,Australia 84/4 ( Peter Handscomb 10 , Mitchell Marsh 5)
The run rate is now 1.6. Jadeja 5-3-2-0 and is stifling the Aussies at one end; Umesh is swinging and seaming away at the other and the pitch is adding to the problems. And the game, which looked like a runaway win for the Aussies, is now poised evenly -- what Australia has going for it is that the target is just 113 away. Handscomb reduces it by four, throwing his bat at a drive off a length ball, bowled wider -- that was the attempt to find the edge off the flash with two slips waiting, but Handscomb drives and is nicely on top of it, gets the four. And then manages to jab down in time as Umesh goes full into the base of off looking for the LBW. Single next up, and Mitchell Marsh ends the over with a risk-laden, but well executed, cover drive for four to end the over. Runs coming here as Yadav throws the kitchen sink at the batsmen. 104 the ask now.
Handscomb and Marsh show some intent in the 23rd over, getting a boundary each off Umesh's bowling. Australia 84/4; need 104 to win.
After 22 overs,Australia 75/4 ( Peter Handscomb 5 , Mitchell Marsh 1)
The roar around this ground is something, even by the standards of Indian crowds when the home team is on top. Just when everything seemed to be going away from the Indians, they first produced some tight overs, and then the two wickets, one a tad fortuitous but it is not the Indians' fault Aus didn't review, then courtesy the pitch, but that again has been a feature of this track beginning some time yesterday.
Yadav ends the over with an unplayable delivery to Handscomb. Great length outside off, draws the batsman forward, jags away out, and just misses the edge.
Kohli is giving the crowd the conductor's baton, trying to get the yelling coordinated. Jadeja continues. And Jadeja now gets into the act -- full length outside off, the ball bouncing, turning, flashing past the edge... The game has, yet again, spun right around on its axis, and India for the first time this innings act like they think they can still win this. Lots of chatter, lots of advise being flung around in Hindi, and Jadeja, calm as you please, continues.
Straightens one, angling to middle and leg, gets the batsman onto the back foot with the shorter length, finds the pad. Not out, says the umpire. India reviews. Close up shows the ball missing bat and hitting the flap of the back pad. Goes on to hit top of leg, the crowd cheers -- but the projected strike is on top of leg and it is umpire's call, turned down. Mitchell Marsh survives.
Maiden for Jadeja in the 22nd over of the innings, with the Indians losing out on a review after their appeal for lbw was turned down. Australia 75/4; need 113 to win.
Kohli is everywhere: as fielder, captain, cheerleader, crowd instigator and every now and then, also takes over as umpire!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) March 7, 2017
After 21 overs,Australia 75/4 ( Peter Handscomb 5 , Mitchell Marsh 1)
Yadav starts with the attempted inswinging yorker but gets the line too much to middle and leg, Handscomb shuts the bat face and works it away for a brace through to midwicket. A slip, and a very silly mid off standing mid-pitch and just outside the playing surface now. Handscomb pushes to point for a single, from outside his off -- that is what Yadav is looking for, the nick off, but the batsman was well behind this one on the push and gets one.
And then, out goes Smith. Unfortunate, for the Australian skipper -- that one pitched mid-pitch and just refused to get up. Scooted through at pace, went past the tentative defensive push, nailed Smith on the pad in front of off and middle and no matter how far forward he was, there was no way that ball was missing the stumps. Grubber, that, and India now have four Aussies back in the hut, and have done enough to create the first flutters in the guys remaining.
After 20 overs,Australia 71/3 ( Steven Smith (C) 28 , Peter Handscomb 2)
Very tight bowling by Jadeja, barring the first aberrant drift to leg that Smith drove, but straight to midwicket. Works away at the Australian captain, keeping it mostly around off, varying lengths and darting the odd one in at pace, probing for errors. Smith defends rigorously, no run in the over, the drying up of the scoring continues.
Back-to-back maidens, with Jadeja collecting his second of the innings. Australia 71/3; need 117 to win.
After 19 overs,Australia 71/3 ( Steven Smith (C) 28 , Peter Handscomb 2)
Five runs in the last four overs plus a fortuitous wicket, India finally getting some measure of control and stopping the runaway scoring rate. Umesh continues. Handscomb actually walks down the track to the second ball and Umesh cuts him in half, slamming the ball into the deck, finding the handle of the bat straight into the solar plexus. Weirdly, charges Umesh again a ball later -- can't figure out what he thinks he is doing. Maiden, a fairly eventful one with the ball flying around and the batsman moving down the track.
Day 3 Report: Half centuries from opener Lokesh Rahul and middle order star Cheteshwar Pujara helped India reach 213/4 and take a sizeable 126-run second innings lead at stumps on the third day of the second cricket Test against Australia at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Monday.
At stumps, Pujara (79 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (40 not out) were at the crease, with an undefeated fifth wicket stand of 93 runs.
Resuming the final session at 122/4, Pujara and Rahane ensured that the hosts did not lose any more wickets with the Saurashtra right-hander getting to his 14th Test half ton off 125 balls.
Both the right-handers batted with extreme caution, and kept meddling the ball well to bring up their 50-run stand for the fifth wicket off 110 deliveries as the hosts neared the 200-run mark.
While Pujara consumed 173 balls for his knock, laced with six boundaries, Rahane 105-ball innings included three hits to the fence.
Rahane, who was pushed down to sixth in the batting order for his poor run of below-30 scores in recent times, did not let that affect his batting as the Mumbaikar finally managed to break the jinx.
Earlier, India struggled to reach 122/4 in their second innings till the tea session on a pitch where the ball had good bounce and assistance for the slower bowlers.
Having ended the morning session at 38/0 after Australia were bowled out for 276 runs in their first innings with a first-innings lead of 87 runs, India struggled to put up a strong partnership and lost four quick wickets.
Seamer Josh Hazzlewood (3-37) was the tormentor for India as he accounted for Abhinav Mukund (16), Virat Kohli (15) and Ravindra Jadeja (2).
He began the downfall of India when a delivery hit Mukund's pads before going on to kiss the stumps, with the hosts at 39-1.
Left-arm spinner Steve O'Keefe too the big wicket of local boy Rahul (51). Aussie skipper Steven Smith, at first slip, pulled off a blinder with a superb diving catch to the right.
At 84/2, Kohli joined Pujara in the middle and the latter departed soon with a LBW decision in favour of Hazzlewood, whose delivery at the off stump kept low. Kohli thought his bat touched the ball before hitting the pad and took a Decision Review System (DRS) but the field umpire's decision remained.
Left-hander Jadeja was promoted ahead of Rahane and wickekeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha but the all-rounder could only survive for 12 deliveries, with Hazzlewood dismantling his stumps, with India reeling at 120/4.
Jadeja, however, emerged the hero in the morning session, returning with figures of 6/63 with his left arm spin to help India bundle the visitors for 276.
His spin partner Ravichandran Ashwin, contributed with two wickets while the pace duo of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav chipped in with an wicket apiece.
Jadeja's victims included promising opening batsman Matt Renshaw (60), Smith (8), Peter Handscomb (16), Matthew Wade (40) and tailenders Nathan Lyon (0) and Hazlewood (1).
With inputs from IANS