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The New Daily
Scott Bailey

India cuts its first innings deficit to 173 as Australia gets careless

Cameron Green wears a look of disgust after dropping what should have been an easy catch. Photo: AAP

Australia overcame a morning of sloppiness to bowl India out for 296 and take a 173-run first-innings lead in the World Test Championship final.

After they spilled three chances in the first session and Pat Cummins was denied a second wicket through a no-ball before lunch on day three, Australia were more methodical following it.

Guilty of spilling the easiest catch of the day in the morning, Cameron Green started the rot when he held onto a screamer to remove Ajinkya Rahane after the break for 89.

Rahane had been the luckiest of India’s batsmen, surviving an lbw on 17 on Thursday evening when Cummins overstepped.

He was also put down by David Warner following a miscommunication with wicketkeeper Alex Carey on Friday morning, during a period where the Indian star took it to Australia.

He regularly flayed the ball away through the offside, taking particular delight against both Green and Nathan Lyon in a 119-run stand with Shardul Thakur.

But Rahane’s luck ran out after lunch, when Green flung out his hand and took a Cummins ball that had flown off Rahane’s bat and appeared to go well past him at gully.

Cummins then cleaned up Umesh Yadav when he bowled him on five to finish with 3-83, before Green (2-44) removed Shardul Thakur on 51.

Mitchell Starc finished with 2-71 after he had Mohammed Shami caught behind to finish the innings.

Boland shines

Scott Boland (2-47) was again close to Australia’s best with the ball, taking the wicket of KS Bharat (five) in the first over on Friday to further strengthen his Ashes claims.

The Victorian seamed the ball back off a good length to take Bharat’s off stump, the kind of ball Steve Smith described on Thursday as being most dangerous in England with Boland’s shorter stature.

Australia expect to have Josh Hazlewood back for the first Test at Edgbaston next Friday.

All eight of Boland’s Tests have come with one of the frontline quicks unavailable but with every over in England he has pushed closer to selection.

Data from analysts CricViz show Boland has delivered 56 per cent of balls on a good line and length in the past three years, a higher ratio than any other Test bowler.

Boland was unlucky not to have a second wicket in the opening over of the day when he had Thakur dropped by a leaping Usman Khawaja at third slip.

Thakur then survived a second chance on eight, when Green dropped the regulation catch at gully off Cummins.

And the Indian No.8 was fortunate again when trapped lbw by Cummins in the final over before lunch, only for replays to show the Australian captain had overstepped.

It was one of six no-balls for Cummins, an issue he must fix before the Ashes.


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