*Image credit Cricreads

New Delhi, 20 February:  Spinner Ravinder Jadeja (7/42) spun through the heart of batting lineup with a personal best bowling figures in Test innings as India dismantled Australia by six wickets with two and half days to spare to go 2-0 of the four-match Border-Gavaskar trophy series at Arun Jaitely Stadium here on Sunday. 

Australia who had made 263 in their first Innings were bundled out for a paltry 113 in their second essay and the hosts (first innings 262) wrapped up the match by scoring 118 for 4 in 26.4 overs. The visitors added only 52 runs to their overnight score losing 9 wickets in 19.1 overs. 

With this win, India not only retained the trophy but also regained the number-one ranking in test cricket and in the process became the top team in all three formats of the game. 

When the stumps were drawn yesterday, the talk was about the aggressive batting of Travis Head, who had scored 39 0ff 40 balls and Marnus Labuschagne (16 off 19 balls) to be 61 for one in 12 overs. So, it was expected that visitors will go all out for a big score and even a total of about 250 will a tough target for India on this turning track. 

However, all these expectations and predictions went up in smoke as the duo of Jadeja and R.Ashwin (3/59) ran riot as in a 110-ball may they bundled out Australia 17 minutes before lunch. The Aussies tried to sweep the Indian bowlers but got swept away by high calibre spin bowling.

Though one cannot take away the credit from Jadeja and Ashwin, but the fact remains that the Aussies also committed a blunder with their poor and ill-judged shot selection.

This morning Travis and Marnus resumed their innings but could add only four runs to their overnight score before Ashwin struck off the last ball of the first over of the day. The opener tried to sweep the spinner only to edge the ball and wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat took a smart catch. The batsman scored 43 off 46 balls hitting six boundaries and a six. 

Marnus and Steven Smith added 20 runs for the third wicket in 7 overs, but the stand was broken by Ashwin who trapped Smith (9) leg before.  

Marnus (35) was the fourth batsman to go as he was clean-bowled by Jadeja to reduce Australia to 95 for 4. And at this stage, Jadeja and Ashwin had two wickets each in their kitty. 

But after that Australians lost the plot and lost three more wickets on the same score and after 23.2 overs the visitors' score read dismal 95 for 7. – Matt Renshaw (2) Peter Handscomb (0) Pat Cummins (0) were the batters who let their side down with poor shot selections. 

Jadeja then cleaned up the tail-Alex Carey (7), Nathan Lyon (8) and Mathew Kuhnemann (o) as the Australian innings folded in 31.1 overs. 

“I have never seen such pathetic batting by the Australians before,” said commentator and former opener Gautam Gambhir. “They threw in the towel without a semblance of a fight. 

India needing 115 to win started poorly losing the out-of-form K.L.Rahul (i)in the second over when the score was 6. The opener was caught by wicketkeeper Carey off Nathan Lyon and the hosts went into lunch at 14 for one...

After lunch, the Indians went after the bowlers. With Cheteshwar Pujara and Rohit Sharma kept the scoreboard moving. The skipper lofted over wide mid-wicket for six off Nathan Lyon, followed by paddling off him for four more.

Rohit then blasted  Kuhnemann, for a six but as he looked set to guide his team to victory, he was run out in a mix-up and virtually sacrificed himself to keep Pujara at the crease.  The skipper made 31 off 20 balls which included two sixes and three boundaries. 

Pujara and Virat Kohli kept the pressure on the bowlers and came down heavily, especially on Lyon. But Kohli (20,3x4) was dismissed by Todd Murphy when he was stumped by Alex Carey.  

Pujara and Shreyas Iyer did not slow down the run rate -- while the former belted Murphy, the latter cut off Lyon to get four and six respectively.

Iyer tried to be more daring for an expansive strike off Nathan Lyon but was caught at deep mid-wicket by  Todd Murphy and India were 88 for 4. However, S. Bharat and Pujara added 30 runs for the fifth wicket in five overs without getting separated..  

KS Bharat (23,22b ,1x6,3x4) twice drove through the extra cover against Lyon and Kuhnemann and then smashed over deep mid-wicket for six off Travis Head.  

Pujara,(31,4x4) playing in his 100th Test, completed the chase by flicking Murphy over mid-wicket to give India a second successive win in the series.

Brief scores: Australia (first Innings) 263 , India (first innings) 262

                     Australia (second Innings) 113 in 31.3 overs (Travis Head 43, Marnus Labuschagne 35; Ravindra Jadeja 7/42, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/59) 

                    India (second innings)  118/4 in 28.4 overs (Rohit Sharma 31, Cheteshwar Pujara 31 not out; Nathan Lyon 2/49, Todd Murphy 1/22) 


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