India vs Australia, WTC Final 2023: Three ways for India to get Test Mace after colossal batting collapse

In an attempt to cross Australia’s mammoth 469 runs in the first innings, the Indian batting failed to live up to the expectations as the top-order batters departed cheaply.

Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli all were gone without troubling much as India were 71/4 at one stage. With Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja trying to steer the ship, it will be a herculean task for them and the lower-order batters in the upcoming sessions.

The big names of Indian batting made a mess of their wicket, especially Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara – who were castled after terrible misjudgement. Both didn’t offer a shot and the ball hit the stumps both the times.

As India look to negotiate the final hour or so without any damage, here are three ways how they can still grind out an ICC trophy at the end of this Test match-

Rahane and Jadeja need to do a Smith and Head

This is obviously a straightforward asking. Australia were 76/3 in their first innings, but then Steve Smith and Travis Head added 285 runs for 4th wicket and took Australia out of danger. Rahane and Jadeja will have to do the same for India.

If they can replicate what the Australian duo did, India will get significantly closer to the Australian total and give themselves a chance.

Herculean bowling in the 2nd innings by Siraj and co.

This is a must for India if they concede too much of lead. India will have to bowl out of their skin and will have to capitalize on crunch situations, unlike the first inning.

If Shami and Siraj can provide quick breakthrough, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur will have to provide enough support to sustain the pressure, which they lacked on the first day. If the Indian team manages to bowl Australia out cheaply in the 2nd inning, they will still have an outside chance to get an outright victory in the match and claim the Test Mace.

Mohammed Siraj

(Image Courtesy: ICC)

Play for a draw, share the ICC WTC 2023

This is a compromised situation for India, but they may have to bank on this as last resort. The WTC Final won’t have a winner without a result. Hence a draw means the Test Mace will be shared between the two teams and both teams will be termed as joint-winners of this WTC cycle.

With no first-innings lead system in WTC Finals, India won’t have to worry about conceding a lead, but what they will have to ensure is to share the spoils. This means they will have to bat a lot better than their display so far.

This will be a massive hit for the Indian team’s pride, but it will add to their ICC trophy tally, something which the entire nation is waiting for a decade now.

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