IND VS AUS: Australia reach 73 for 1 at lunch but India all set for WTC final berth

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IND VS AUS: Australia reach 73 for 1 at lunch but India all set for WTC final berth

Monday, 13 March 2023 | PTI | Ahmedabad

IND VS AUS: Australia reach 73 for 1 at lunch but India all set for WTC final berth

Australian batters adopted a risk-free approach to reach 73 for 1 at lunch on the final day of the fourth Test against India as the match meandered towards a dull draw, here Monday.

Australia still need 18 runs to erase the first innings deficit of 91 runs after India scored 571 in their first essay. Australia had score 480 in their first effort.

With Sri Lanka not likely to win the opening Test against New Zealand in Christchurch, the Indian team will be a happy unit, going into lunch as they are all set to enter the World Test Championship final.

With the Motera track showing no signs of wear and tear, a result looked improbable even after end of day four but the academic interest was whether India can effect a collapse on day five.

However there was no such drama during the fifth morning as Travis Head (45 batting, 96 balls) continued his good form while Marnus Labuschagne (22 batting, 85 balls) was happy to play an ultra-defensive game with no result in sight.

Australia had no chance of forcing a win and their batting unit was justified as they played for a draw on a good batting track.

There were hardly any deliveries that turned and despite their best batter Usman Khawaja's absence due to a leg injury, Australians didn't break any sweat.

Matthew Kuhnemann (6 off 35 balls) did the job given to him as he played the tricky overs in the fourth evening and would consider himself distinctly unlucky to be adjudged leg-before off Ravichandran Ashwin.

Since he wasn't a top-order batter, Head advised him against taking a DRS but replays showed that it wouldn't have been a bad call as the angular delivery was missing the left-hander's leg-stump.

Head on his part didn't play too many attacking shots save one lofted six over long off Ashwin's bowling. He also had five fours in his kitty.

Ashwin did try to attack but both the left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel looked ineffective as they are not known to get appreciable turn off the surface if there isn't much help on offer.

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