Australia crowned World Test Champions after comprehensive win in The Ultimate Test -
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Australia crowned World Test Champions after comprehensive win in The Ultimate Test

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Khel Today Bureau
London: The final day of the ICC World Test Championship Final 2023 saw Australia take possession of the coveted Test Mace after they bundled India out for 234, winning The Ultimate Test by 209 runs.

Travis Head was declared the Player of the Match in the WTC Final for his incredible 163 in the first innings of the game.

The morning session began on a sedate note with neither side gaining ascendancy in the first half hour of play. While Australia bowled with accuracy, the overnight pair of Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane batted with poise in conditions that did little to challenge them.

 

Things changed in the seventh over of the day, when the pinpoint accuracy of Scott Boland bore fruits for Australia. Boland, who had been exceptional through the morning, beat the edge of Kohli with the first ball of the over and Australia went up to the third umpire with a hopeful review. The batter survived after it turned out that the ball had missed the bat by some margin.

However, two balls later, Boland went slightly full and was successful in inducing a thick edge from the Delhi batter’s willow. The ball flew towards second slip where Steve Smith took a brilliant diving catch.

Off the fifth ball of the same over, he got all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja to edge one behind the wicket, where it was safely held by Alex Carey. And he narrowly missed out on a third wicket in the same over, when his extra bounce made the ball hit the shoulder of KS Bharat’s bat and just flew over the slips.

These two big successes in the very first hour ensured that Australia dictated the terms of play from here on. While Rahane and Bharat stitched a 33-run stand, the bowling side didn’t let up steam.

This brought success in the 57th over when Rahane (46) played an expansive drive against Mitchell Starc and gave a nick behind the wicket. The very next over, India’s first-innings saviour Shardul Thakur fell lbw to the off-spin of Nathan Lyon for a duck.

Having snuck into India’s tail, a win for the dominant Australia bowling lineup seemed only a function of time, and they achieved the same in the 64th over of the fourth innings. Nathan Lyon (4/41) and Scott Boland (3/46) were the pick of the bowlers in the second innings.

With this win, Australia have become the only side in cricketing history to have won the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, the ICC Men’s Champions Trophy, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and now the ICC World Test Championship. For India, it was a story of so close yet so far, as the Asian side lost their second consecutive WTC Final.

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