Shardul Thakur played a superb knock for India in their first innings in WTC final.© AFP
The World Test Championship final between India and Australia is underway at the Oval, London. It started with India skipper Rohit Sharma winning the toss and opting to bowl first. Helped by centuries from Travis Head (163) and Steve Smith (121), Australia posted 469 runs on the board in their first innings. Mohammed Siraj claimed a four-wicket haul while Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur picked two wickets apiece. In reply, India had a poor start which eventually saw them losing six wickets with only 152 runs on the board.
Australia were in a dominating position but the partnership between Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur for the seventh wicket brought the Rohit Sharma-led side back in the game.
It was not an easy battle for the two batters as they had to put their best foot forward against the top-class Australian bowling line-up. The fielding errors from the Australian team too helped the cause of the Indian duo.
Shardul was dropped twice by Australian fielders. A good length ball from Scott Boland produced an edge from the bat of Shardul but Usman Khawaja failed to hold on to the tough chance. It happened on the final delivery of the 39th over of India’s innings.
Shardul got another reprieve on the second ball of the 44th over when a Pat Cummins delivery saw him edging the ball to Cameron Green at slip. However, Green failed to take the catch and Shardul survived.
The luck seemed to be on Shardul’s side as he later survived another scare. He was trapped in front of the stumps by Cummins in the 60th over, umpire too raised his finger but a review from Shardul revealed that Cummins had bowled a no-ball.
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