The Indian cricket team fought back strongly on Day 3 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at The Oval in London on Sunday.
After being put in to bat, Australia scored 469 runs in their first innings, with Travis Head and Steve Smith scoring centuries. India were struggling at 71 for 4 at one stage, but Ajinkya Rahane (89) and Shardul Thakur (51) put on a 100-run partnership to help India reach 296 for 9 at stumps.
Rahane and Thakur batted with great resilience and determination, and their partnership was crucial in helping India avoid the follow-on. India will need to bat well on Day 4 if they want to win the match and become the first team to win the WTC.
Australia’s Strong Start
Australia got off to a good start in their first innings, with David Warner scoring 39 before being dismissed by Mohammed Shami. Marnus Labuschagne (19) and Usman Khawaja (17) also fell cheaply, but Head and Smith steadied the innings with a 156-run partnership.
Head scored 112 off 162 balls, while Smith scored 109 off 201 balls. Both batsmen hit 12 fours each. Australia lost their last four wickets for just 43 runs, but they had already done enough to put India under pressure.
India’s Fightback Against Australia
India’s top order struggled against the Australian bowlers, with Mayank Agarwal (0), Cheteshwar Pujara (1), and Virat Kohli (10) all dismissed cheaply. However, Rahane and Thakur showed great character and determination to put on a 100-run partnership.
Rahane scored 89 off 151 balls, while Thakur scored 51 off 86 balls. Both batsmen hit six fours each. India lost their last four wickets for just 25 runs, but they had done enough to avoid the follow-on.
The Match Continues
India will need to bat well on Day 4 if they want to win the match and become the first team to win the WTC. Australia will be looking to build on their first-innings lead and win the match.
The match is evenly poised, and it should be an exciting finish.