Published on: Jun 11, 2023
India will need to chase down a record total of 444 on Day 5 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final to be crowned world Test champions. They ended Day 4 at The Oval on 164/3, with Virat Kohli unbeaten on 44 and Ajinkya Rahane on 20. The highest ever chase at The Oval is 263, which was recorded way back to 1902.
On Day 4 on Saturday, June 10 Australia resumed their second innings on 123/4. They lost set batter Marnus Labuschagne (41 off 126), who fell to Umesh Yadav without adding to his overnight score. Cameron Green chipped in 25 off 95. His defiance ended when he was bowled by Ravindra Jadeja, failing in his attempt to keep a spinning delivery out with his legs.
Green’s dismissal saw Australia’s score read a somewhat shaky 162/6. Alex Carey (66 not out) and Mitchell Starc (41 off 57), however, added 93 runs for the seventh wicket to put India in complete command. Carey struck eight fours, while Starc hit seven boundaries.
After Australia declared their second innings on 270/8, India got off to a brisk start, adding 41 for the opening wicket. It needed another brilliant catch by Cameron Green at gully to send back Shubman Gill for 18 off Scott Boland’s bowling.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma (43) and Cheteshwar Pujara (27) added 51 for the second wicket. However, both batters gave their wickets away to the Australian bowlers. Rohit was trapped lbw, attempting a lap sweep against Nathan Lyon. Pujara then nicked an ambitious upper cut off Pat Cummins’ bowling. Rahane and Kohli ensured India went to stumps on Day 4 without any further loss of wickets.
Speaking after the day’s play, Australian keeper-batter Carey said, “I think we have the runs on the board, always look for more wickets, but they played well (on Rahane and Kohli). We’ll have another chance tomorrow.”
One Green’s catch to dismiss Gill, which led to plenty of debate, Carey replied, “Looked good to me. We were happy and the right decision was made.”
Looking ahead to Day 5 and the challenge that Kohli and Rahane could offer, the stumper commented, “It’s not great to see them scoring at 6 rpo, but we pegged them back, quick wickets does help and we’ll look for more tomorrow. Class players, this is a good partnership, we need to remain patient, hit the right areas and hopefully the wickets will come.”
–By A Cricket Correspondent