Australia hammer India to win World Test Championship final

Australia 469 (Travis Head 163, Steve Smith 121, Mohammed Siraj 4-108) and 270 for 8 dec (Alex Carey 66, Ravindra Jadeja 3-58) beat India 296 (Ajinkya Rahane 89, Shardul Thakur 51, Pat Cummins 3-83) and 234 ( Virat Kohli 49, Nathan Lyon 3-41, Scott Boland 3-46) by 209 runs


India fought hard for six sessions starting with the third day, to give themselves some hope on the final day, but Australia finally broke the resistance to win the World Test Championship for the first time.

Twice runners-up now, India have beaten Australia in the last four Test series between them – two in India, two in Australia – but Australia were the superior side in the conditions in England, where they will now play The Ashes against the hosts.

On days three and four, India showed why they have been the best Test side since the World Test Championship began as they kept asking Australia to come back with their best, but they had fallen so far behind on the first two days that even on the fifth they had only a glimmer of hope.

Hope it still was, especially given how dead the pitch had looked on the fourth evening.

On the fifth morning, though, Scott Boland put in the kind of performance you expect from a champion.

India began the day needing 280 with seven wickets in hand, but the fourth-wicket stand between Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane was worth 71 already.

Steven Smith took a diving catch at second slip to end Virat Kohli’s resistance•Jun 11, 2023• Getty Images

Boland was relentless with his length and line until he bowled the sucker ball fuller and wider in the seventh over of the day.

Kohli had a drive at it, and the edge was swallowed by a diving Steven Smith at second slip.

In the same over, Boland dismissed Ravindra Jadeja with the perfect ball to a left-hand batter: angling in from around the stumps, pitching on a length, seaming against the angle, and taking the edge through to the keeper.

Rahane, India’s best batter in the first innings, still kept up the fight, adding 33 for the sixth wicket with KS Bharat, but he finally played a loose drive away from the body to a length ball from Mitchell Starc.

It was the first wicket for the profligate Starc, whose place in the first Ashes Test might be up for debate if Josh Hazlewood is fit.

It was only a matter of time once Rahane was out. Shardul Thakur was trapped lbw by Nathan Lyon from around the wicket, Umesh Yadav gloved a short ball from Starc, and Lyon took out the last two, finishing the match before lunch.

Australia’s ninth ICC title made them the only team 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. (ESPNcricinfo) 

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