4th Test: India vs Australia 2017 scorecard

Match report

Hurray! Team India have completed their long home season 2016-17 on an emphatic note, beating Australia by eight wickets in the final Test of what has been an utterly captivating Test series, in Dharamsala. September 22nd, 2016, was the day on which the Virat Kohli-led India began what turned out to be an enthralling season of Test cricket, with the hosts winning 10 Tests, losing one and drawing two of the 13 played.

India reached the unintimidating target of 106 in 23.5 overs before lunch on day four, to seal a 2-1 Test series win against Australia, who had pushed the No. 1-ranked Test side all the way. Lokesh Rahul guided India home with his sixth half-century (51*) of the four-Test series. And Ajinkya Rahane (38*) was giving Rahul company when the Karnataka batsman hit the winning runs.

The Dharamsala Test match pivoted on the first session of day three, when India, through matured batting displays from Ravindra Jadeja and Wriddhiman Saha, wiped away the 52-run deficit and also managed to take a slender yet what ultimately proved to be a crucial 32-run first innings lead.

Australia would have gone back to the hotel after the second day’s play, thinking that they could take the last four Indian wickets without conceding many runs.

But the Aussies were taken aback by a calculated Jadeja, who mixed caution with aggression and paced his innings of 63 brilliantly, to relieve India of the pressure they were under. Jadeja was ultimately undone by a poor choice of shot, as he dragged a straight Pat Cummins delivery from round the wicket back onto his stumps. But by the time he was dismissed, India had overhauled Australia’s 300 and gained a psychological edge. The Indian tail didn’t offer any resistance after the fall of Jadeja and Australia bowled India out for 332.

You might argue that the second session on day three in Dharamsala was the more decisive one, with Australia losing 5/92 and taking a lead of just 60 runs. And you won’t be wrong! However, the 96-run seventh-wicket partnership between Jadeja and Saha changed the dynamic of the Test match.

Despite taking a first innings lead, the Indian bowling attack had a job on their hands, to help gain a stranglehold of the Test match. And, just as on day one (5/77), Australia lost five wickets in the middle session of day three and this time, the consequences were dire.

The Indian new-ball bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav, bowled with a lot of fire and intimidated the Australian batsmen by bowling short and at pace. The diminutive David Warner, the tall Matthew Renshaw and the averagely tall Steve Smith, Australia’s Nos. 1, 2 and 3, were all made to jump and duck by a ferocious spell of fast bowling from the two Indian pacers.

Warner, Renshaw and Smith did not quite fall to short-pitched deliveries, but to deliveries which followed the bouncers and back-of-a-length deliveries. Warner, for instance, was caught on the crease by a reasonably full Umesh Yadav delivery, and his dismissal was a classic case of the bowler winning the psychological duel that was unfolding on the third afternoon.

Glenn Maxwell top-scored for Australia in their second innings with a relatively aggressive 45 (60), but the visitors never really recovered from being reduced to 31/3. The fact that Australia’s top three were dismissed before India’s measly first innings lead of 32 was wiped out, tells you the importance of India going past Australia’s 300 in their first innings.

India’s win in Dharamsala, which helped regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, was a reward for the cultural change we have been witnessing in Indian cricket since Virat Kohli became India’s permanent Test captain in June 2015. This series-clinching victory was a result of a massive selection call made before the Test match, with a largely unknown commodity in the name of Kuldeep Yadav replacing the injured Kohli, who had on the eve of the 4th Test, said that he will only play if he was 100% fit after suffering a right-shoulder injury during the third Test. Kuldeep’s inclusion meant that India were playing with four specialist bowlers and Ravichandran Ashwin as the spinning all-rounder.

Indian teams of yesteryears would not have made the audacious decision that Kohli and the current Indian think-tank took for the Dharamsala Test. Especially, when you take into account that the Indian batting line-up had not fared well in the first three Tests: Kohli was woefully out of form; Ajinkya Rahane, who led India here, had struck just one half-century in five innings; Karun Nair had been edgy, and Ashwin, who is a reliable batsman lower down the order, had experienced a barren series too with the bat.

Shreyas Iyer, the Mumbai batsman who slammed an unbeaten double hundred (202*) in a practice match against Australia at the CCI before the Test series, had been drafted into the Indian squad ahead of the fourth Test as cover for Kohli. And, the general consensus was that Iyer will bat at No. 4 should Kohli not regain fitness and lead India.

India, though, had a trick up their sleeve and boy did they take everyone by surprise, by naming the 22-year-old Kuldeep in their playing XI for the final Test.

This selection decision proved to be a masterstroke, with Kuldeep turning the match around for India on day one of the 4th Test by taking 4/68 in 23 overs to help the hosts bowl Australia out for 300 in the first innings. The turnaround for India began with their debutant dismissing David Warner for 56 after the lunch interval and sparking a mini-collapse which saw Australia slide from 131/1 to 208/6 in the middle session of day one.

Albeit Matthew Wade (57) and the Australian tail offered a fair bit of resistance and made 92 runs for the last four wickets, Steve Smith’s men will have been excruciated with themselves for throwing away a great opportunity to significantly reduce India’s chances of regaining the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The pitch was great for batting and the Indian bowlers barely got any assistance on a day one pitch, until Kuldeep, with his stock delivery (wrist spinners) and variations comprising googly, top-spinner and flipper, confounded the Australian batsmen and forced errors in judgement.

Smith, though, had made the Indian bowling look ordinary during the course of his 173-ball 111, which was the Australian captain’s seventh century in the last eight Tests against India. This was, in many ways, a counter-attacking knock from Smith, who batted freely and with a lot of aggressive intent despite the early loss of Matthew Renshaw for 1. Warner gave him good company and struck his first half-century of the four-Test series, albeit the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain lived dangerously right throughout his innings.

The Indian bowlers, led by the debutant Kuldeep, came back strongly after the Smith onslaught in the first session, to restrict Australia to just 300. And, in doing so, had put their team in a good position at stumps on day one.

Even though 300 wasn’t a daunting first innings total, the Indian batsmen were likely to be put to the test by a potent Australian bowling attack comprising Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.

India and Australia had, on various occasions during the first three Tests, made strong comebacks from being on the back-foot and these teams’ bounce back ability was the foremost reason why we witnessed an epic contest throughout. On day two in Dharamsala, Australia had to come back strongly after a dissatisfying first day.

Unsurprisingly, the visitors responded well through their bowlers, who kept the Indian batsmen on a tight leash and ensured that Australia remained firmly in the contest. The approach adopted by the Indian batsmen wasn’t proactive and the Australian bowlers were allowed to bowl to a plan. The runs never came freely until tea, at which point India were still behind by 147 runs (153/2), even though they had eight wickets in hand and their best batsman of this Test series (Cheteshwar Pujara) was looking solid as ever.

With nearly half the deficit remaining, the Indian batting line-up started crumbling to Nathan Lyon’s guile, drift and flight in the post-tea session. Lyon took all four wickets to fall in the final session of play on day two and at stumps, Australia’s disciplined bowling display had brought the Test match back in the balance. India managed to score only 248 runs in 90 overs and lost six wickets.

Have you enjoyed the Indian home season? Which of the 10 Indian victories have you enjoyed the most?

Match preview

In the aftermath of the draw in Ranchi, Australia boasted that they had the momentum, going into the fourth and final Test in Dharamsala. Australia’s underrated batsmen, Shaun Marsh and Peter Handscomb, bailed their team out of a tight corner on the final day of the third Test, and the draw meant that the visitors were in control of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

India will have been disappointed by their failure to bowl Australia out, after having them at 63-4 before lunch, and go 2-1 up in the four-Test series. But the hosts had other reasons to feel upbeat ahead of the fourth Test: the lack of runs from Virat Kohli hadn’t affected them and even Ravichandran Ashwin’s relative inefficacy with the ball didn’t impede them from carrying a threat, thanks to Ravindra Jadeja’s knack of hitting the hotspots on Indian pitches and ability to vary the pace of his deliveries to get the most out of most Indian pitches.

The HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala was to host its first-ever Test match. And, unsurprisingly, the pitch drew much of the spotlight in the build-up. Some of the questions that did the rounds ahead of 4th Test were: Will the pitch have grass? Should India play three seamers to take advantage of the seamer-friendly conditions? and How effective will the spinners be?

Match facts

India vs Australia Test Series 2017, 4th Test
Date and time: 25, 26, 27, and 28 March, 9:30 AM
Venue: HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala

India vs Australia 4th Test scorecard

Toss: won by Steve Smith, who chose to bat first

Pitch report: The Dharamsala pitch had a reasonable amount of grass covering, which was only expected to keep the pitch together and offer good pace and bounce. A few cracks did appear even before the Test match began, but they were unlikely to have an effect on proceedings at least during the first three days. And, over the course of the three-and-a-half days, the pitch behaved well, offering something for everyone: good carry and movement for the quick bowlers; considerable bounce to work with for the spinners and true pace and bounce for the batsmen to collect runs at a good rate, by playing strokes all round the dial.

Playing XIs

India: Ajinkya Rahane*, Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Karun Nair, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (for Ishant Sharma), Kuldeep Yadav (debutant, for injured Virat Kohli), and Umesh Yadav

Australia: Steve Smith*, David Warner, Matthew Renshaw, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, and Josh Hazlewood

India vs Australia 4th Test scores: Australia 300 all out and 137 all out; India 332 all out and 106/2

Match result: India won the Dharamsala Test by eight wickets, to win the four-Test series against Australia 2-1. Ravindra Jadeja was awarded the man-of-the-match for his four wickets and 63 runs in the first innings, and he also walked away with the man-of-the-series award for picking 25 wickets and scoring 127 runs in the series.

Australia’s Batting 1st Innings
Batsmen and dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
David Warner

caught Rahane, bowled Kuldeep

56 (87) 8 1 64.36
Matthew Renshaw

bowled Umesh

1 (6) 0 0 16.66
Steve Smith

caught Rahane, bowled Ashwin

111 (173) 14 0 64.16
Shaun Marsh

caught Saha, bowled Umesh

4 (14) 0 0 28.57
Peter Handscomb

bowled Kuldeep

8 (23) 1 0 34.78
Glenn Maxwell

bowled Kuldeep

8 (17) 1 0 47.05
Matthew Wade

bowled Jadeja

57 (125) 4 1 45.60
Pat Cummins

caught and bowled Kuldeep

21 (40) 3 1 52.50
Steve O’Keefe

run out Shreyas Iyer (substitute)

8 (16) 2 0 50.00
Nathan Lyon

caught Pujara, bowled Bhuvneshwar

13 (28) 2 0 46.42
Josh Hazlewood

not out

2 (2) 0 0 100.00
Extras 11 (10 leg byes and 1 bye)
Australia’s total 300 all out in 88.3 overs, at 3.39 runs per over
Australia’s fall of wickets 10/1 (Renshaw, 1.4), 144/2 (Warner, 34.1), 153/3 (S Marsh, 37.4), 168/4 (Handscomb, 44.5), 178/5 (Maxwell, 48.6), 208/6 (Smith, 59.5), 245/7 (Cummins, 72.4), 269/8 (O’Keefe, 79.3), 298/9 (Wade, 87.4), 300/10 (Lyon, 88.3)
India’s Bowling 1st Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 12.3 2 41 1 3.33
Umesh Yadav 15 1 69 2 4.60
Ravichandran Ashwin 23 5 54 1 2.34
Ravindra Jadeja 15 1 57 1 3.80
Kuldeep Yadav 23 3 68 4 2.95
      India’s Batting 1st Innings (trail by 300 runs)
Batsmen and dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Lokesh Rahul

caught Warner, bowled Cummins

60 (124) 9 1 48.38
Murali Vijay

caught Wade, bowled Hazlewood

11 (36) 2 0 30.55
Cheteshwar Pujara

caught Handscomb, bowled Lyon

57 (151) 6 0 37.74
Ajinkya Rahane

caught Smith, bowled Lyon

46 (104) 7 1 44.23
Karun Nair

caught Wade, bowled Lyon

5 (16) 1 0 31.25
Ravichandran Ashwin

leg before wicket Lyon

30 (49) 4 0 61.22
Wriddhiman Saha

caught Smith, bowled Cummins

31 (102) 2 0 30.39
Ravindra Jadeja

bowled Cummins

63 (95) 4 4 66.31
Bhuvneshwar Kumar

caught Smith, bowled O’Keefe

0 (7) 0 0 0.00
Kuldeep Yadav

caught Hazlewood, bowled Lyon

7 (17) 1 0 41.17
Umesh Yadav

not out

2 (8) 0 0 25.00
Extras 20 (5 wides, 11 leg byes and 4 byes)
India’s total 332 all out in 118.1 overs, at 2.81 runs per over
India’s fall of wickets 21/1 (Vijay, 10.2), 108/2 (Rahul, 40.2), 157/3 (Pujara, 60.6), 167/4 (Nair, 64.4), 216/5 (Rahane, 78.6), 221/6 (Ashwin, 82.1), 317/7 (Jadeja, 112.1), 318/8 (Bhuvneshwar, 113.5), 318/9 (Saha, 114.1), and 332/10 (Kuldeep, 118.1)
Australia’s Bowling 1st Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Josh Hazlewood 25 8 51 1 2.04
Pat Cummins 30 8 94 3 3.13
Nathan Lyon 34.1 5 92 5 2.69
Steve O’Keefe 27 4 75 1 2.77
Glenn Maxwell 2 0 5 0 2.50
Australia’s Batting 2nd Innings (trail by 32 runs)
Batsmen and dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Matthew Renshaw

caught Saha, bowled Umesh

8 (33) 2 0 24.24
David Warner

caught Saha, bowled Umesh

6 (5) 1 0 120.00
Steve Smith

bowled Bhuvneshwar

17 (15) 3 0 113.33
Peter Handscomb

caught Rahane, bowled Ashwin

18 (46) 3 0 39.13
Glenn Maxwell

leg before wicket Ashwin

45 (60) 6 1 75.00
Shaun Marsh

caught Pujara, bowled Jadeja

1 (6) 0 0 16.66
Matthew Wade

not out

25 (90) 2 1 27.77
Pat Cummins

caught Rahane, bowled Jadeja

12 (49) 1 0 24.48
Steve O’Keefe

caught Pujara, bowled Jadeja

0 (4) 0 0 0.00
Nathan Lyon

caught Vijay, bowled Umesh

0 (6) 0 0 0.00
Josh Hazlewood

leg before wicket Ashwin

0 (9) 0 0 0.00
Extras 5 (4 byes and 1 leg bye)
Australia’s total 137 all out in 53.5 overs, at 2.56 runs per over
Australia’s fall of wickets 10/1 (Warner, 3.1), 31/2 (Smith, 8.3), 31/3 (Renshaw, 9.2), 87/4 (Handscomb, 24.3), 92/5 (S Marsh, 25.3), 106/6 (Maxwell, 32.3), 121/7 (Cummins, 47.4), 121/8 (O’Keefe, 49.2), 122/9 (Lyon, 50.3), and 137/10 (Hazlewood, 53.5)
India’s Bowling 2nd Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 7 1 27 1 3.85
Umesh Yadav 10 3 29 3 2.90
Kuldeep Yadav 5 0 23 0 4.60
Ravindra Jadeja 18 7 24 3 1.33
Ravichandran Ashwin 13.5 4 29 3 2.09
      India’s Batting 2nd Innings (target: 106)
Batsmen and dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Lokesh Rahul

Not out

 51 (76)  9  0  67.10
Murali Vijay

Caught Wade, bowled Cummins

 8 (35)  0  0  22.85
Cheteshwar Pujara

run out Maxwell

 0 (5)  0  0  0.00
Ajinkya Rahane

Not out

 38 (27)  4  2  140.74
Batsmen who didn’t bat Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, and Kuldeep Yadav
Extras  9 (5 leg byes and 4 byes)
India’s total 106 for the loss of two wickets in 23.5 overs, at 4.44 runs per over
India’s fall of wickets  46/1 (Vijay, 13.1) and 46/2 (Pujara, 13.6)
Australia’s Bowling 2nd Innings
Bowlers Overs Maidens Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Pat Cummins  8  2  42  1  5.25
Josh Hazlewood  6  2  14  0  2.33
Steve O’Keefe  4.5  1  22  0  4.55
Nathan Lyon  5  0  19  0  3.80

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