Man of the Match: Steve Smith
Brisbane: It was déjà-vu for the umpteenth time in the last 2-3 years for the Indian team abroad as the visitors had another batting collapse.
The Curious case of Shikhar Dhawan
Resuming after 71/1 at stumps the players and fans alike were in for a bit of a shock when Virat Kohli accompanied Cheteshwar Pujara in the middle instead of Shikhar Dhawan. It was later learnt that Dhawan was nursing a wrist injury and would continue later.
Johnson rediscovers touch
Kohli looked all out of sorts and was soon sent packing by a Mitchell Johnson delivery which he chopped on to his stumps. This was the beginning of the end as far as the Indian Batting order is concerned as Johnson unleashed a fiery spell to reduce India to 87/5. He accounted for the wickets of Kohli (1), Rahane (10) and Rohit Sharma (0) in that spell and eventually ended up with 4 for 61.
A resilient 81 from Dhawan and a quick fire 30 from Umesh Yadav ensured that the visitor’s lead reached the three figure mark. India was bowled out for 224 giving the Aussies a target of 128 runs.
Injury concerns for Warner
David Warner who is in great form in the series got hit in the thumb by a rising Umesh Yadav delivery. The hard hitting batsmen grimaced in pain and immediately called for the physio. He continued batting although he looked in discomfort throughout. Warner’s stay at the crease was short lived as he was caught behind by a superb delivery from Ishant Sharma.
Rogers and Smith steady the ship
Chris Rogers scored back to back half centuries to further solidify his place as an opener. The southpaw provided stability to the team which lost Warner and Watson in quick succession. He was joined by Australian captain Steve Smith who made a breezy 28 to take Australia to the cusp of victory.
With the team requiring 6 runs the skipper ran himself out in an attempt to get a second run. Brad Haddin soon followed suit as he couldn’t control a short ball and lobed a catch to Virat Kohli. The Australian team had lost 6 wickets but the two Mitchell’s –Marsh and Johnson ensured that their team crossed the finishing line without anymore hiccups.
With this victory the Australian team took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 4 match series and now just need a win or a draw in the next two tests to regain the Border- Gavaskar trophy.
The third test begins on 26th December.