Thursday 24 August 2017 / 02:51 PM

INDIA RALLY TO LEVEL SERIES

India completed a stunning turnaround to win the second Test against Australia in Bangalore by 75 runs, skittling the tourists for just 112 in their tough fourth-innings chase on a disintegrating pitch.

Resuming on 4/213 on Day 4, India reached 274 all out as Cheteshwar Pujara (92) and Ajinkya Rahane (52) built on their overnight scores, and keeper Wriddinham Saha (20) produced a handy cameo.

The only paceman to genuinely prosper in this series to date, Josh Hazlewood finished with 6/67.

Ishant Sharma continued the seam theme to dismiss Matt Renshaw (5) in the fifth over as Australia stared down a target of 188, while David Warner (17) followed soon afterwards, trapped lbw by Ravi Ashwin.

Umesh Yadav got in on the act by dismissing Steve Smtih (28) and Shaun Marsh (9) in the space of six overs, and the end was nigh when Mitch Marsh (13) and Matthew Wade (0) fell in consecutive Ashwin overs to leave Australia at 6/101.

The last six wickets fell for a measly 11 runs as Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin mopped up the tail, the latter collecting figures of 6/41 as India levelled the series at one win apiece.

Lokesh Rahul’s 90 and 51 at the top of the order for India garnered man-of-the-match honours.

A tempestuous Test had a fittingly spicy aftermath as Indian skipper Virat Kohli declared counterpart Smith had effectively cheated by looking up to the Australian dressing room as he mulled over a possible DRS referral.

Smith admitted he was at fault, but a fired-up Kohli was having none of any sort of apology, while adding the win was the most satisfying of his career.

THE CAPTAINS’ VIEW

Steve Smith: “Great Test match. Certainly ebbed and flowed throughout. I am proud of the way the boys played it. The partnership between Rahane and Pujara hurt us. They played really well. And we weren’t up for it today. It was quite hard to play. Bit up and down with the quicks throughout the match, and that rough outside off. Quite difficult but Test match cricket is not supposed to be easy. A wicket like that, always umpires have to make a lot of calls. Everyone makes mistakes. Not that I am saying they made any. Series is well and truly alive. Great two Tests. Plenty to play for when we go to Ranchi.”

Virat Kohli: “After losing the first Test the way we did, we wanted to bounce back and not show anyone but ourselves what we are made of. They showed the intent and the belief that we can win from any position. It was about taking responsibility. The way they showed heart and character, along with the crowd, is unbelievable. The moment they did not score big in the second innings, we knew we had a chance. We knew if we got anything over 150, we had a chance. After conceding the lead, Pujara and Rahane had a champion partnership. Two best Test batsmen we have got, so much character and technique and heart. Wriddhi’s knock in the end, Ishant’s application, that was a bonus. We would have liked anything over 200, we thought from 225 there was only one winner. The moment we got 187, we knew we needed in-out fields, we needed to finish it today. Can’t wait for Ranchi. We need to push that momentum further. The team is not going to look back now.”

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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