It took Australia a mere 15 overs to wrap up the Indian innings on Day 5 and level the four-match series 1-1 at Perth. 

Tim Paine’s first win as Test captain and Australia’s first victory since the Newlands ball-tampering saga was the perfect way of ushering the new Optus Stadium into the Test fold. India, who needed 175 runs to go 2-0 up in the series were jolted early by Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, who took two wickets apiece on Day 5.

With the pitch looking easy to bat on in the first session on the previous days, the Indian fans would have hoped for a miracle as Vihari and Rishabh Pant took the field. However, India kept losing wickets at regular intervals, with Vihari being the first to go after he edged a Starc delivery onto his thighs and to the fielder at leg-side.

Pant did manage to evade a few nasty deliveries but a stunning catch from Peter Handscomb ended his innings, and India’s long tail was now exposed.

Umesh Yadav did manage to stay for 24 deliveries but looked tentative the whole while and even coughed a few blows. He was eventually dismissed by playing a straight delivery back to Starc and it was an easy way ahead for Australia henceforth.

Pat Cummins needed just six balls to send back Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah – the former edging to the keeper, while the latter skied one to the bowler as Australia completed a dominating win.

India’s selection for the match – the long tail, the persistence to play with KL Rahul and not playing Ravindra Jadeja after they misread the pitch came back to haunt Virat Kohli and Co. Once more this year.

The teams will now take an eight-day break before they play the Boxing Day Test at the famed Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Brief scores: Australia 326 & 243 beat India 283 & 140 (Ajinkya Rahane 30, Nathan Lyon 3-39, Mitchell Starc 3-46) by 146 runs.


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