After being embarrassed in the first two tests in India, Australia fought back with a resounding 9 wicket win at Indore, in the absence of captain Pat Cummins. This secures Australia’s spot in the World Test Championship Final which will take place at The Oval in June.
Usman Khawaja – 8
60 & 0
Khawaja was Australia’s leading run scorer on the last tour of India and looks set to do the same again. His stylish 60 runs ensured Australia would have a first innings lead. His spectacular catch in the second innings to dismiss Shreyas Iyer turned the game back into Australia’s favour. Was Australia’s only wicket when he fell for a second ball duck in the second innings.
Travis Head – 8
9 & 49*
Is Andrew McDonald still saying he got it right dropping Travis Head for the first test?
After being dismissed for 9 in the first innings, Head batted beautifully in the second innings. He played with his typical trademark aggression, jumping on anything over-pitched. Head looks extremely comfortable at the top of the innings, is this a worrying sign for the future of David Warner?
Marnus Labuschagne – 7
31 & 29*
They say good players make their own luck, but Marnus is something else. Should have been dismissed for a golden duck in the first innings after chopping on, only for the siren to go off after Ravindra Jadeja bowled another no-ball. He combined for an important 96 run partnership with Khawaja to ensure a first innings lead for Australia.
His second innings was another strong performance, steering Australia home comfortably with Travis Head.
Steven Smith – 7
Smith looked set for a big score in the first innings before Jadeja bowled yet another impeccable delivery to catch the edge of the Australian skipper this test.
His captaincy was excellent throughout, constantly setting fantastic fields and changing the bowlers effectively. His spectacular one-handed catch in the second innings to dismiss Cheteshwar Pujara changed the game and made sure the Australian side wouldn’t be chasing a large total.
Peter Handscomb – 4
Handscomb scored a patient 19 off 98 balls in the first innings. Unfortunately, his dismissal started yet another Australian collapse where they lost 6-11. Not his best game in the series so far, but his 19 runs probably correlate to 40 on any pitch that isn’t a bowler’s paradise.
Cameron Green – 5
Green was unlucky to be dismissed LBW by a ball that probably should have been given not-out. Would love to see him use his big levers, get to the pitch of the ball and attack where possible.
Similar to that of Peter Handscomb, his 21 runs probably correlates to a 40 on most other pitches. Only bowled the 2 overs in the first innings with new ball until the spinners were introduced.
Alex Carey – 5
Carey once again would have been disappointed by his batting effort in Indore, being trapped on the crease by Ravi Ashwin.
His keeping on an absolute minefield of a pitch was simply superb. Carey’s stumping to dismiss Rohit Sharma off a rising ball from Matt Kuhnemann was outstanding, also not giving away any extras behind the stumps in the first innings.
Mitchell Starc – 4.5
Unlucky not to have two wickets in the first over of the match, Starc was solid when given the chance to bowl at Indore. The pitch did not suit the left arm quick, with many left stunned when the ball didn’t carry to Alex Carey behind the stumps, in only the 5th over with a 145km/h rocket.
Probably tried a little too hard in the second innings and often strayed down the leg side chasing the reverse-swinging yorker.
Todd Murphy – 7
Once again, Murphy proved he belongs at the top level. Didn’t take a bag of wickets, but played his role to perfection, bowling extremely tight lines and not allowing the Indian batters to get on top at all.
His sole-wicket for the game was arguably the most important, trapping Virat Kohli dead in front LBW just as he started to counterattack in the first innings.
Nathan Lyon – 10
What a game it was from the GOAT.
His first wicket of the game would have dismissed any batter in world cricket. He picked up 3 of India’s top 6 in the first innings, bowling well to the fields set by stand-in captain Steve Smith.
The second innings was Nathan Lyon at his absolute best. The horrible pitch dished up by the Indian curators came back to haunt them as Lyon had the ball on an absolute string. With 6 of his 8 wickets coming bowled or LBW, Lyon showed that attacking the stumps and letting the pitch do the work was the key to getting wickets at Indore. Looks like he could play until 45 at this rate.
Matt Kuhnemann – 8.5
It was a breakout game for the left-armer from Queensland. His performance in the first innings set the game up for the Australian side, dismissing both openers before cleaning up the Indian tail.
Although he wasn’t at his best in the second innings with several balls dropping short, the wicket of Kohli was crucial to ensuring Australia was only chasing a low total.