Fans respond as Boland overcomes India’s resistance for victory in the WTC Final
Finally, the Ashes. Australia won the World Test Championship final against India with a commanding 209 run margin after a performance that, despite the penultimate-day catch-related micro-controversy, proved unquestionably superior.
This victory gave Australia the first and largest (physically) of the two trophies they hope to bring back with them from England.
India put up an outstanding performance over a series of six sessions, beginning on the third day, to give themselves some hope on the final day, but Australia finally broke through the opposition to win the World Test Championship for the first time.
India, who are currently two-time runners-up, have defeated Australia in their last four Test series; two of those matches took place in India and the other two in Australia. However, Australia was the better team in the English conditions; they will now face the hosts in The Ashes.
India continued to urge Australia to play their best on days three and four, proving why they have been the best Test team since the World Test Championship started. However, Australia had fallen so far behind on the first two days that they had little hope even on day five. Given how lifeless the pitch appeared on the fourth evening, I hoped it was still there.
However, Scott Boland delivered the kind of performance you would expect from a champion on the fifth morning. With seven wickets remaining, India started the day needing 280 runs, but the fourth-wicket partnership between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane was already worth 71 runs.
Boland continued to deliver with length and line until he bowled the first ball fuller and wider in the seventh over of the day. Steven Smith, who was diving at second slip, swallowed the edge of a drive by Kohli.
Boland removed Ravindra Jadeja from the game in the same over by bowling the ideal delivery to a left-handed batter: an edged ball that angled in from behind the stumps, pitched on a length, seaming against the angle, and took the edge through to the keeper.
While KS Bharat and Rahane, India’s top batsmen in the first innings, added 33 runs for the sixth wicket, Rahane, who had been India’s finest batsman, continued to fight, but he eventually played a careless drive away from the body into a Mitchell Starc length ball. It was Starc’s first failure, and if Josh Hazlewood is healthy, his spot in the opening Ashes Test may come under review.
With Rahane gone, it was only a matter of time. When Umesh Yadav caught a short ball from Starc and Nathan Lyon knocked out the final two wickets, the game was over before lunch. Nathan Lyon had trapped Shardul Thakur lbw from close to the wicket.
As the only side to have won at least one of each trophy (five ODI World Cups, two ODI Champions Trophies, one T20 World Cup, and now the World Test Championship), Australia claimed its ninth ICC championship with this victory.
India needed to score 280 across three sessions on the last day in order to win without losing any more wickets. They ultimately lost each of their wickets in a single session while only scoring 70.
Rohit Sharma stated,
“I thought we started well, winning the toss and putting them into bat.”
The issue for India after five days of play was that the only time they appeared to be in charge of the game was just before it began.
As a result of their brutal destruction of India’s resistance, Australia will enter the Ashes as the dominant world Test champions.
Australia 469 (Head 163, Smith 121, Siraj 4-108) and 270 for 8 dec (Carey 66, Jadeja 3-58) beat India 296 (Rahane 89, Thakur 51, Cummins 3-83) and 234 (Kohli 49, Lyon 3-41, Boland 3-46) by 209 runs