Another overseas Test and another occasion where the lower order saved the top-order’s face as India staged a little comeback with the bat on Day 3 of the World Test Championship (WTC) final after they were reduced to 152/6 by Australia. Another top-order failure meant the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja and Shardul Thakur had to dig in and help India avoid the follow-on. After losing KS Bharat in the first over of the third day on Friday, June 9, Rahane and Shardul rode their luck to a 109-run partnership for the 7th wicket.
While Rahane (89) was solid as ever and held one end, Shardul (51) after early blows on his body played his shots as Team India scored 109 runs in the first session. Dropped catches and wickets off no-balls didn’t help Australia as the duo took advantage of a pitch that wasn’t doing much for the bowlers and frustrated Pat Cummins and Co.
Even though India would have liked for them to stay for some more time in the middle, they did well from the situation they walked in to bat. Former India captain and ex-BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on commentary said that Rahane and Shardul showed the top order how to bat in these conditions.
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“They showed it to the dressing room that if you apply and have a little bit of luck then you will be able to score runs on this wicket. Credit to Rahane, he was magnificent. Shardul got battered and bruised early on but he hung in there. He has batted well in the past in England and Australia. It’s a good fightback from India. This is a message to the top order,” Ganguly said in the post-lunch show on Star Sports.
Ganguly’s comments came probably at the expense of a poor show by the top four as Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli all got starts but couldn’t continue for long as they got out for 15, 13, 14 and 14 respectively.