The well-set Harris then got undone by Vihari’s turning delivery as Ajinkya Rahane took a fine catch in first slip.Kohli and Vijay then added 35 runs for the third wicket when Lyon got the big fish and dismissed the Indian skipper.
Australia 326 (1st innings) Marcus Harris 70 | Travis Head 58 Ishant Sharma 4/41 | Jasprit Bumrah 2/53
India 283 (1st innings) Virat Kohli 123 | Ajinkya Rahane 51 Nathan Lyon 5/67 | Josh Hazlewood 2/66
Australia 243 (2nd innings) Usman Khawaja 72 | Tim Paine 37 Mohammed Shami 6/56 | Jasprit Bumrah 3/39
India 140 (2nd innings) Ajinkya Rahane 30 | Rishabh Pant 30 Nathan Lyon 3/39 | Mitchell Starc 3/46
Virat Kohli’s 25th Test ton and Mohammed Shami’s career-best bowling display went in vain as Australia defeated India by 146 runs and levelled the 4-match series 1-1. This is Australia’s first victory under Tim Paine’s leadership.
On a greenish top of Perth Stadium, Australia’s newest Test venue, Tim Paine made a brave call of opting to bat first after winning the toss. India went in without the services of R Ashwin and Rohit Sharma as Umesh Yadav and Hanuma Vihari were included in the playing XI. Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris gutsed it out against a disciplined Indian bowling attack and the home team were wicketless in the first session of the opening day.
The proceedings changed drastically in the second session. After bowling consistently and accurately in the opening spell, Jasprit Bumrah’s efforts finally paid dividends when he provided the first breakthrough by trapping Finch plumb in-front for 50. Yadav then got into the act and dismissed Usman Khawaja for 5. The well-set Harris then got undone by Vihari’s turning delivery as Ajinkya Rahane took a fine catch in first slip. Peter Handscomb was next to depart as he edged one off Ishant Sharma and the Indian skipper completed a fantastic catch in second slip. From 0/112, the home team slipped to 4/148 as India turned it around in the second session.
The Head-Marsh partnership threatened to take the game away from the visitors and once again, Kohli turned to Bumrah for providing a breakthrough and once again he delivered by dismissing Paine LBW for 38. Head was the last man to depart on the Day 1 as the Aussies ended the day at 277/6.
The Australian innings ended at 326 in the morning session of the second day. Sharma took 4 wickets while Bumrah, Yadav and Shami claimed 2 wickets apiece.
The Indian openers, who have been under a lot of pressure lately, had an uphill task of providing India a good start on a surface which was a little bit two-paced and had plenty of help for the pacers. But they failed to make a mark as Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood rattled the stumps of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul. India were left reeling at 8/2.
The onus was on Adelaide’s hero, Cheteshwar Pujara, and Kohli to bail the visitors out of this trouble. And they showed yet again why they are two of the top Test batsmen in the world. While Pujara displayed his defensive prowess, Kohli counter-attacked Hazlewood like only he can. He smashed him for three boundaries and disturbed his length. Once both got their eye in, they batted with confidence and looked in total control against the Australian pace attack as the teams took Tea on Day 2 at 70/2. Post Tea, Starc ended Pujara’s resistance but Rahane and Kohli ensured that India didn’t lose another wicket till stumps on Day 2 and completed their respective half-centuries en-route. Day 3 began on a horrendous note for Team India as Rahane was dismissed for his overnight score of 51 by Lyon in the first over. Vihari joined forces with Kohli who went on to score his 25th Test century. The pair added 50 runs for the 7th wicket before Vihari got a peach of a delivery from Hazlewood. Kohli and Pant helped India cross the 250-run mark. The Indian skipper looked to up the ante and flashed one off Cummins, the only bowler who seemed to have troubled him in his innings, and Handscomb claimed a low catch. Eventually Kohli was given out and that opened the floodgates.
From 6/251, India were bundled out for 283, 43 runs behind Australia. The Australian opening pair looked good in the second innings too, before Finch got retired hurt after injuring his right index finger while trying to defend a bumper from Shami.
For the second time in the match, it was Bumrah who provided the initial breakthrough and got through Harris’ defence. While Khawaja looked good, he was running out of partners as the Australian middle-order disappointed yet again and Australia were 132/4 at the end of Day 3.
Paine and Khawaja batted brilliantly in the morning session of Day 4 as Australia didn’t lose any wicket and were running away with the game. Post Lunch, the Indian pacers found their mojo. They hit the right areas and got the rewards. Shami dismissed Paine and Finch on successive deliveries and made the most of the second new ball. Khawaja was the next to depart. He got ample support in Bumrah from the other end who dismissed Cummins. Shami got his sixth wicket in the form of Lyon who tried to whack him over covers but manage to find Vihari in the deep.
Australia were down to 9/207. But then, Hazlewood joined forces with Starc and together they added 36 runs for the last wicket. Bumrah finished things off and India had to chase down 287 to make it 2-0.
The Indian innings started poorly yet again as Rahul was dismissed in the first over. Hazlewood got the better of Pujara in his second over. Kohli and Vijay then added 35 runs for the third wicket when Lyon got the big fish and dismissed the Indian skipper. Post his dismissal, India continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and eventually India were bundled out for 140 and lost the game by 146 runs.
For 8 wickets in the game, Nathan Lyon was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Australia and India will play the Third Test, the Boxing Day Test, at the MCG, Melbourne December 26 onwards.