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Delhi Test: Jadeja’s seven wicket haul scripts India’s win

The Australian batsmen lost the plot in their minds as they swept their way to defeat, costing them the match and potentially the series.

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New Delhi: Ravindra Jadeja’s career-best seven-wicket haul helped India defeat Australia by six wickets and retain Border-Gavaskar Trophy on Day 3 of the second Test at Arun Jaitley Stadium here on Sunday.

For majority part of the match, Australia were ahead, but India turned it around in the second session of Day 2 when Axar Patel (74) and Ravichandran Ashwin (37), put on a commendable 114 run partnership and then Jadeja forged Australia’s downfall with 7/42, in today’s morning session.

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The Australian batsmen lost the plot in their minds as they swept their way to defeat, costing them the match and potentially the series.

The Test began with Pat Cummins winning the toss and opting to bat first, and Usman Khawaja made a resilient 81 after a failure in the first innings. The southpaw was supported by Peter Handscomb who scored 72 in brisk pace, while Steven Smith (0) and Marnus Labuschagne (18) failed unexpectedly.

Mohammad Shami picked four wickets in the first innings, while Ashwin and Jadeja bagged three wickets apiece.

India’s reply was patchy as most of their top batsmen including KL Rahul (17) and 100th Test star Cheteshwa Pujara struggled to get runs under their belt. The hosts were under the pump at 139/7, but Axar and Ashwin’s century-stand brought parity by India conceding just 1-run lead after India had replied to Australia’s first innings total of 263.

Jadeja’s incredible spell of bowling in the morning session put India in the sight of victory as Australian batsmen fell like a pack of cards with a good assistance coming from Ashwin. Together they claimed 9 wickets for 52 runs.

Overnight batsmen Travis Head and Labuschagne had done well to take Australia to 61/1 last night at a good pace. But Ashwin had other plans and immediately broke Australia’s spine by sending back Steven Smith and Head, before Jadeja led the mutiny.

Once India smelt blood, it was carnage. One after another Australian batsmen inflicted self-slaughter on themselves, none more so than captain Pat Cummins as the visiting team folded their second innings on 113, losing 4 wickets for duck, in a spectacular passage of play in mid-first hour.
India lost opener KL Rahul (1) in the short passage of chase just before lunch, but they needed another 101 runs to complete a facile victory.
Australia needed wickets, but in clumps. However, they got four of the Indian batsmen – Rahul (1), Rohit Sharma (31), Shreyas Iyer (12) and Virat Kohli (20), but it wasn’t enough.

From 88/4, Pujara and Srikar Bharat saw the game through. Between the two, Bharat looked in a hurry as he made 23 not out off 22 balls, with three boundaries and a six.

Icing in cake came from the cabinet of Cheteshwar Pujara who executed an uncharacteristic chip over mid-wicket to get the winning runs in his historic 100th Test.

Brief Scores: Australia 263 (Usman Khawaja 81, Peter Handscomb 72; Mohammed Shami 4-60, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-57, Ravindra Jadeja 3-68) & 113 (Travis Head 43; Ravindra Jadeja 7-42, Ravichandran Ashwin 3-59) lost to India 262 (Axar Patel 74, Virat Kohli 44; Nathan Lyon 5-67) & 118/4 (Cheteshwar Pujara 31*; Nathan Lyon 2-49) by 6 wickets.

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