Head and Smith turn tide for Australia in WTC final against India

Head and smith turn tide for australia in wtc final against india0

On the first day of the last match for the World Test Championship, which took place on Wednesday at The Oval, Australia staged a comeback against India that was highlighted by a brilliant century scored by Travis Head.

After Australia lost the toss, they were in a dominant position with 327-3 at the end of their innings. Head was not out for 146 and Steve Smith was not out for 95.

Smith hit Mohammed Shami through the covers for a well-timed four to bring the score of both batsmen to 250 off the final delivery of the day.

After being sent into bat in conditions that favored bowlers, Australia was in a precarious position with their score at 76-3 when the fourth-wicket combination joined forces.

But as soon as the light broke through the clouds in south London, people started streaming out onto the streets.

“We’ve done exceptionally well despite losing the toss this morning,” Head said in an interview with Sky Sports.

“Today I was making it a point to put myself in advantageous positions wherever possible. I was put to the test throughout some aspects of that.

“I just tried to work through those periods by being flexible and keeping a calm demeanor,” she said.

Ravindra Jadeja, who bowls with his left arm, caused Head some problems, but he was able to put the pressure back on the bowlers by counterattacking right from the beginning of his innings. Twenty-four of his first 27 runs came in the form of boundaries.

Because Smith, who prior to this match had an average of over 98 in Tests at The Oval, batted in a more conventional manner, it allowed Head, who is 29 years old, the opportunity to continue playing his strokes.

“I always love batting with Steve (Smith),” remarked Head. “It’s so much fun.” Because he is one of a kind, you must make preparations in advance to bowl to him.

“You say that he played second fiddle, but I always feel that I’m playing second fiddle to him and that I can go a bit under the radar.”

By the time India attacked Head with the short ball, he was well set, and a pulled single off Shami brought him to a sixth Test century in just 106 balls, with 14 fours and a six. This was Head’s sixth test hundred overall.

A “momentum shift” has taken place.

“Travis just goes about his business, sees the ball, and hits it,” said Smith, whose fifty came off of 144 balls. “Travis just goes about his business.”

“He changed the course of events. It was a fantastic half of the game.”

After winning the toss, India elected to bowl with the new ball before the end of the day, but this decision did not make much of a difference on a day when skipper Rohit Sharma would have been eager for many more wickets.

And when Smith and Head repulsed India, he could have also questioned the logic of leaving out off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, the number one rated Test bowler in the world, who might have been a threat against an Australia top five that featured three left-handers.

India got off to a good start in what was their second World T20 Championship final after losing to New Zealand in the first World T20 Championship final in Southampton in 2021.

With a magnificent wobble-seam delivery, Mohammed Siraj dismissed Usman Khawaja for a duck, giving Australia a 2-1 lead, much to the loud joy of a crowd that was predominantly supportive of India. This audience was approximately 23,000.

But David Warner, who had previously only scored a hundred once in his previous 32 test innings, dug in until the increasingly secure opener smashed Umesh Yadav for three fours in a row.

The promising innings of the left-handed batsman, who was 36 years old and played left-handed, was terminated when the diving wicketkeeper Srikar Bharat collected a gloved pull off the medium-pacer Shardul Thakur. The catch was made down the legside.

Marnus Labuschagne, the best batsman in the world in terms of test rankings, went out early in the second session with a score of 26 after being bowled by an inswinging Shami delivery that hit him between the bat and the pad.

Only the World T20 Championship (WTC) remains unclaimed by Australia as a significant men’s cricket title.

The match also signals the beginning of a hectic calendar for Australia, which consists of six Tests in a span of eight weeks. This schedule includes a five-match Ashes series against England.

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