Marnus Labuschagne teases Ravichandran Ashwin with mind games. India Spin Great does that. Watch
Australia chased down a modest target of 76 to win the third Test match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Indore on Friday. Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne were patient on a dangerous turning pitch in Indore to give Australia a nine-wicket win on Friday and their second Test win in India since 2004. After Australia lost the first two Tests within three days, the series is now 2–1 to the hosts with one match remaining.
Labuschagne was dismissed for 28 not out and Head 49, dismissing opener Usman Khawaja with his second ball of the day. During Australia’s chase, Ravichandran Ashwin and Marnus Labuschagne had a brief banter. In the ninth over of the day, Ashwin decided to cut short his run-up while bowling against Labuschagne. Australia’s batsman then deliberately delayed before taking it as he stood on the side line. However, once Labuschagne took the strike, this time Ashwin decided to go back to his original run-up, leaving the commentators in splits.
Watch: Labuschagne teases R Ashwin with mind-games. spinner does it
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The victory secured Australia a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship at The Oval in June. India will seal their place in the final if they win the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
“I tried to take it one step at a time,” said Head.
“We have seen throughout the series that with the wickets, the quality of the bowling, anything can happen.
“So we were just trying to take it one ball at a time. It’s good to contribute.”
In a low-scoring and frenetic encounter, Australia bundled out India for 109 on the first day, with spinner Matthew Kuhnmann giving the hosts a taste of their own medicine with a five-wicket haul.
In reply Australia got off to a solid start on day two before being all out for 197 before lunch, their last six wickets falling for just 11 runs.
Eight wickets from spinner Nathan Lyon helped India bundle out 163 in their second innings, setting a target of 76 for victory.
Australia got off to the worst start with first innings hero Khawaja being dismissed on the second ball of the day.
The opener dismissed Ravichandran Ashwin for a duck at the hands of wicket-keeper Shrikar Bharat.
A dazed Khawaja, who had looked completely unperturbed in the first innings, reviewed the decision but the dismissal was upheld – much to the delight of the raucous Indore crowd.
Virat Kohli was confident that he had the gum-chewing Labuschagne, the world’s number one Test batsman, caught in the slips off Ashwin in the seventh over but India’s review was unsuccessful.
Labushen and Head changed gears after 45 minutes.
Head hit Ashwin for a six over mid-on and in the next over, Ravindra Jadeja was driven down the ground for four as the shackles came off.
Labuschagne also got into the act, hitting Jadeja for a four and dismissing a short ball from Ashwin on a half-volley for four more, which saw a rare Australia win in India.
A flurry of more boundaries reduced the deficit, calmed nerves in the Australian dressing room and silenced the home crowd.
It is only the third time that India – who have won their last 15 home series – have lost a game at home in the last decade.
with AFP inputs
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