Thakur equals Bradman’s record; Rahane reaches 5,000 runs as India falter and lose at The Oval


Shardul Thakur in action during Day three of the test match between India and Australia at The Oval in London on Friday (ANI)

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Shardul Thakur matched Sir Don Bradman’s record on Friday in the World Test Championship final against Australia as he became the third visiting batter with the most consecutive 50-plus scores at The Oval in Test format.

Shardul’s counterattacking 51(109) was his third consecutive 50-plus score at the Oval. In his last three matches during 2021-2023, the Indian allrounder has struck 57(36), 60(72) and 51(109). He broke Australia’s dominance in this feat and became the first batter to feature in this record. Only two batters have managed to achieve this unique record before him. Sir Don Bradman scored three consecutive 50-plus scores during 1930-1934. While former Australian cricketer Allan Border achieved the same feat during 1985-1989.

Even as Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur managed to reignite India’s hope of making a comeback in the WTC final, Australian bowlers once again showcased their prowess, with skipper Pat Cummins dismissing Rahane at the beginning of the second session.

Rahane, who was in sight of what would have been a fine century on his return to the Indian red-ball team, fell for 89 (129). The right-hander, who had survived some close calls and anxious moments, eventually ran out of luck as Cameron Green took a stunning catch to send him back to the pavillion.

Rahane crossed the 5000-run mark in the Test format and became the 13th Indian batter to achieve the milestone on Friday against Australia in the World Test Championship final at the Oval.

Rahane played an underpressure knock of 89(129) to keep India’s hope of clinching the WTC trophy alive. His innings consisted of 11 fours and a six. At the beginning of the day India were at a score of 151/5, from that point Rahane carried the Indian team along with Shardul Thakur to build a 110-run partnership. However, as Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur managed to reignite India’s hope of making a comeback in the WTC final, Australian bowlers once again showcased their prowess, with skipper Pat Cummins dismissing Rahane at the beginning of the second session.

Umesh tried to play a cameo but Cummins made short work of him. Yadav fell for a score of 5(11). Thakur soon followed Rahane back to the shed as in trying to clear the boundary, he edged to wicketkeeper Alex Carey behind the stumps. Thakur’s counter-attacking knock came to an end for 51(109).

With Thakur gone, Shami went after the Australian pacers, striking two consecutive boundaries in the 67th over off Boland. His attacking knock was, however, short-lived as he was dismissed by the pacer for 13 (11).

The fall of this wicket saw the Indians being rolled over for 296 in 69.4 overs, trailing Australia by 173 runs.

Top Australian diplomat reveals his favourite Indian player

The Second Secretary of Trade and Economics, Australia, Tom Overton Clarke, named Virat Kohli as his favourite Indian player.

He named his favourite cricketer at the live screening of the World Test Championship final between Australia and India at the Australian High Commission on Friday. Speaking to ANI, Tom revealed his favourite player from both teams, saying, “I like David Warner, and from the Indian team I love Virat Kohli there can be nobody else. As you can see everybody is watching and enjoying cricket. India is 200 runs behind so I hope there is another twist because everybody wants a close encounter,” Tom said.

While has fallen behind the Australians in the WTC final, Tim Hall, the First Secretary, Political, Australian High Commission, is still not ruling them out of the contest yet.

He told ANI, “Well, one lesson I have learned from watching India against Australia is to never assume too much it can go either way they are such fierce competitors such strong rivals India might appear behind at the moment you never know this side there is so much resilience so much spirit we saw Rahane’s innings it can still turn from here I am not prepared to call it a win for Australia just yet.”

Meanwhile, on Day 3, Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur managed to reignite India’s hope of making a comeback in the WTC final.

Steve Smith praises on Boland’s bowling

Australia’s star batter Steve Smith has praised pacer Scott Boland for his bowling on the second day of the World Test Championship (WTC) final at the Oval on Thursday.

Scott Boland was given a nearly-new Dukes ball soon before tea on day two of the World Test Championship Final against India. He took a wicket by conceding only 29 runs with an economy of 2.64 This was Boland’s seventh Test match.

“I think the angles he provides and his ability to hit the stumps from slightly shorter (length) than some of our other bowlers is a big plus. It’s something that I think (fellow squad member Michael) Neser can do as well,” Smith said at a press conference.

“I know from having faced Scotty in the nets recently he’s bowling very nicely,” he added.

Australia’s new-ball duo of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins conceded 23 runs in four overs as India’s openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill made quick work of the ball. Boland was later introduced in the attack.

“Shorter guys are a bit skiddier so if there’s any seam movement it gives the ball more of a chance to move and still hit the stumps, if that makes sense. The skills he (Boland) possesses are magnificent. He’s certainly a quality prospect as we’ve seen over the last couple of years now, every time he’s had his opportunity,” Smith said.

Boland claimed his first wicket with a delivery that defied Gill.

“I can score big runs”: Jadeja

After playing a fighting knock of 48 at the World Test Championship (WTC) final, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja said that he has the temperament to score “big runs”.

After the Indian top-order collapsed, there was a comeback partnership between Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane on Day 2 at the Oval in London on Thursday. At the close of play, India had posted 151/5 at The Oval.

KS Bharat (5*) and Rahane (29*) were unbeaten at the crease as the stumps were drawn at the end of the final session.

In a video posted by ICC, Jadeja said, “I know that have that temperament and ability to score big runs.”

He also said that he is in a good rhythm after recovering from his injury and making a comeback.

“I am in good rhythm I would say. When I got injured, I made a comeback to the team after five months. I played four games against Australia in India; I did well, I took wickets, and I scored some runs,” the Indian all-rounder said.

“U-19 days, I use to bat on number four but when I made my debut, our middle order was so strong, that I could not get the spot of no. five-six. So I use to bat on no. seven or sometimes eight,” he further added.

Australian coach Andrew Mcdonald also praised Jadeja, he said “Ravi (Ravindra Jadeja) is a wonderful 3-dimensional player. He bowls tight in the condition which is in his favor. With the bat he has got a lot of first-class centuries and triple centuries, so he is a batter in his own right.”

Australian batter Marnus Labuschagne said that Jadeja can perform in any condition and has a great impact on the team.

“Someone like Jadeja has the ability to bat in the top 6 and be a world-class bowler. In Indian conditions he is amazing but what he has proven in the last few years is that it does not matter where ever you take him, he creates an impact on his side, and on top of that, he is brilliant on the field,” Labuschagne said.

Jadeja also said that he feels lucky to play for India.

“When it comes to India, a lot of players want to play for India and I feel lucky that I am part of the final XI.

These small things motivate me to go out there and give my 100%… When I play for India, I feel like I am lucky to be in this place right now,” he added.

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