India wins 2nd test by 6 wickets after Australia crumble
NEW DELHI (AP) — Australia started the third day of the second test with high hopes, but in less than four hours it had instead suffered another embarrassing batting collapse before India chased down a meagre total to win by six wickets before tea on Sunday.
Australia was 61-1 at the start of the day and looked to continue its batting counterattack from the previous evening. But instead it was India’s spinners who ran amok as the visitors crumbled to 113 all out with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin taking all ten wickets.
Left-arm spinner Jadeja took career-best figures of 7-42 in a devastating spell but was aided by some poor shot selection by a panicked Australia batting lineup.
It was Jadeja’s 12th five-wicket haul in tests, as he picked up a match-haul of 10 wickets for 110 runs. His previous innings best was 7-49 against England at Chennai in 2016.
Making Australia’s morning collapse count, India chased down the 115 runs it needed to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series with 100-test veteran Cheteshwar Pujara smashing a four off Todd Murphy to end the match.
Australia put up a semblance of resistance with Nathan Lyon (2-49) and Todd Murphy (1-22) sharing three wickets to accompany a bizarre run out of captain Rohit Sharma but to no avail as India won by six wickets.
Australia made a poor start losing Travis Head (43) to the sixth ball of the morning as Ashwin had Head caught behind with Srikar Bharat holding on for a smart catch.
Marnus Labuschagne (35) and Steve Smith (9) added 20 runs for the third wicket in the calmest passage of play for the tourists.
That changed soon after when Ashwin trapped Smith lbw at the end of the 19th over, and the decision stayed in India’s favor despite the batsman opting for DRS.
Labuschagne was the next to go, bowled off Jadeja two overs later, as the ball kept low. His dismissal opened the floodgates as Australia collapsed from 95-3 to 95-7 in the space of 11 balls.
After Labuschagne, Ashwin (3-59) trapped Matt Renshaw (2) lbw as the batters tried in vain to sweep.
Peter Handscomb was caught at slip for a three-ball duck, and Jadeja bowled Pat Cummins off the next ball after the Australia captain went for an unsightly slog, which defined his team’s poor batting approach.
It got worse as Jadeja bowled Alex Carey (7) with the score just past 100.
He also bowled Nathan Lyon (8) and Matthew Kuhnemann (3) in successive overs to end the innings and set India a straightforward chase of 115 runs to win.
In the chase, India lost Lokesh Rahul for one run before lunch but Sharma teed off, hitting 31 off 20 balls, hitting three fours and two sixes. He was then run-out after a mix-up with Pujara.
The latter added 30 runs with Virat Kohli (20) for the third wicket before Kohli was stumped off Murphy.
Shreyas Iyer scored 12 off 10 balls before holing out in the deep off Lyon.
Pujara (31 not out) added 30 runs with Srikar Bharat (23 not out) to finish off the proceedings shortly before tea.
Australia scored 263 runs in its first innings. India replied with 262 on day two, thanks to Axar Patel’s fighting half-century. Lyon picked up 5-67.
The hosts had won the first test in Nagpur by an innings and 132 runs, also within three days.
“I thought 260 was a decent score in the first innings. India batted well, even with just one or two partnerships. We were ahead of the game and slipped. So that’s disappointing for us. We need a review on what could have been done differently,” said Cummins, after the loss.
The third test will be played in Indore from March 1. Dharamsala was initially scheduled to host the game, before the venue was changed after a delay in the relaying of the outfield.
More AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports