Top-order failure leaves India with mountain to climb after Day 2

London (TIP)- India reached 151 for five at stumps on the second day of the World Test Championship Final against Australia here on Thursday, June 8, trailing their opponents by 318 runs in the first innings. The Australians were bowled out for 469 in their first essay, having resumed from overnight 327 for three at The Oval. The Indian pacers did well to restrict Australia after struggling against centurions Steve Smith and Travis Head on the first day. While Head went on to make a counterattacking 163, Smith notched up his 31st Test hundred before getting dismissed for a solid 121.
Mohammed Siraj was the most successful Indian bowler, finishing with figures of 4/108 in 28.3 overs, while there were two wickets apiece for Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur.
Dissecting the cheap dismissal of India’s world-class top-order, legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar issued an eye-catching statement about Indian skipper Rohit Sharma, who perished for an embarrassing individual score against Australia. After hammering Australia in their backyard to punch their tickets for the summit clash, a lot was expected from Team India’s formidable batting lineup when Rohit and Co. squared off against Pat Cummins’ men in the final of the ICC World Test Championship at The Oval.
With Indian bowlers making a strong comeback after taking a heavy beating on the opening day, Indian openers had their task cut out when Rohit and Shubman Gill kickstarted India’s innings on Day 2 at The Oval. After showing signs of a resurgence, Rohit was eventually out LBW (Leg Before Wicket) by Aussie skipper Cummins in the sixth over. Three balls later, Scott Boland bamboozled Gill in the next over before premier batter Cheteshwar Pujara followed suit and capped off a forgetful outing.
Discussing the batting failures of the Indian batters, Gavaskar acknowledged that skipper Rohit has struggled for form since the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. “I think it’s a couple of misjudgements from probably like Shubman Gill, who has been in great form. Losing him was a big blow. Rohit Sharma has been not in the best of touches in the IPL. So, him playing across the line was not that much of a surprise. But again Pujara, not quite covering his stumps and getting out. So these were the dismissals that could have been avoided. But to Australia’s credit, they bowled a much fuller length, and got the batters into thinking that the line was such that most batters – however good you are, that off stump, there is always a little bit of uncertainty,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

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