Australia set 287 runs target for India on a hard pitch

May JohnsonDec 19, 2018

Needing five wickets to seal victory heading into day five - and with India requiring a further 175 runs - the writing was perhaps already on the wall, a sentiment that was reinforced when Mitchell Starc made an early breakthrough in the fifth over of the day, cramping up Hanuma Vihari who edged onto his thigh pad and was caught easily by Marcus Harris.

Ishant Sharma was in no mood to hang around and backed right away, edging a Pat Cummins (2-25) delivery through to wicketkeeper Paine for a duck.

'I am relieved personally, ' said Paine. India had won the opening game by 31 runs in Adelaide.

'It was a tough and bruising test, ' Paine added.

'We have some inexperienced players in terms of Test matches played.

"The concern for Australia is that so far in this Test match the Indians have managed to get more uneven bounce out of the pitch than the home bowlers".

Llong eventually decided there wasn't conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field soft signal and reprieve Kohli, who clearly thought otherwise as he trudged off the field without acknowledging the crowd.

WICKET! Hanuma Vihari takes a fantastic catch at deep point to gift Mohammed Shami his sixth wicket.

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"Kohli has contradicted the things he said at the start of the series".

"We had the belief we could do it", he said.

But a constant thorn in the Australian's side was Indian skipper Kohli who put on a batting masterclass as he brought up seventh Test century against Australia - and his sixth Down Under - his 18th as captain and his 11th ton in all forms of worldwide cricket in 2018.

It was an outstanding bowling effort by man-of-the-match Lyon who claimed a match bag of 8-106 after he took 5-67 in the first innings to secure a crucial 43-run lead to tilt the balance in Australia's favour.

India, by contrast, looked reliant on their talismanic captain Virat Kohli, who contributed 123 of India's 283 runs in the first innings with the only century of the match. Shaw was then spotted doing light jogs during the ongoing second Test in Perth, briefly suggesting he was likely to be in contention for the third Test, starting December 26 in Melbourne.

This, though, was a much improved effort on a troublesome drop-in wicket and the 326 the hosts made in the first innings after Paine had won the toss and chose to bat first was instrumental in the victory.

Both captains played down the onfield sledging with Kohli saying, 'As long as there's no swearing and personal attack it is fine.

The fourth and final Test will be played in Sydney from January 3.

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