New Delhi: India find themselves on the mat in the World Test Championship final as an unbeaten century by Travis Head and 95 not out by Steve Smith on Day 1 has given Australia a massive lead in the match. Opting to bowl, India reduced Australia to 76-3 before Travis Head and Steve Smith tormented the Indian bowlers and stitched an unbeaten partnership of 251 runs as Australia ended the day at 327/3. Australia are set for a massive score on the board and given their potent bowling lineup, things don’t look good for India.
Cricketer-turned-commentator Dinesh Karthik feels that India need to pick early wickets on Day 2 and restrict Australia to under 420, adding that any score above that will put India out of the winner race and they will have to play the catching game, with a draw the only positive result for them.
“If India need to come back in the game, make no mistake, there’s only chance is if they pick 3 early wickets in first session. If they don’t do that, we will be way behind. Immediately, we will start looking at draw as a win. Australia have a long batting lineup, if you don’t get them before 400-420, it’s going to be a real hard work,” Karthik told Cricbuzz.
Meanwhile, Oval looks like a great wicket to bat but there has been some turn on offer for Ravindra Jadeja. India had a call to make about playing three pacers and both Ashwin and Jadeja or going with an extra pacer and they opted for Umesh Yadav. The move looked good initially given the overcast conditions but once the sun was out, the pitch turned into a batting paradise. Umesh Yadav too didn’t have a great outing and bowled wayward lines.