The Ravichandran Ashwin- Steve Smith duel has been the highlight of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy. After Smith dominated him in the first innings during his 131-run knock, Ashwin bounced back right away in the second essay of the 3rd Test to get Smith out at the Sydney Cricket Ground with a perfect ripper.
Meanwhile, the script repeated as Marnus Labuschagne and Smith once again dominated the Indian bowlers. They scored runs easily on both sides aided by India’s sloppiness on the field. Hanuma Vihari dropped a sitter on the second ball of the day’s play to give Labuschagne a chance and the duo made India pay the price.
The duo added their second 100+ run partnership before a brilliant diving catch from Wriddhiman Saha ended Marnus Labuschagne’s vigil in the middle off Navdeep Saini. The duo of Saini and Saha made things work once again this time to dismiss Matthew Wade before going to lunch.
Ravichandran Ashwin gets Steve Smith again
With a 275+ run lead at the lunch, Australia came out with a purpose. Steve Smith showed intent hitting Mohammed Siraj for a hook before flicking one down the leg to stretch the lead to 300 before Ravichandran Ashwin pulled down curtains to Smith stay in the middle. This is the third time he has dismissed Australia’s best batsman in this series.
It was a nicely tossed up delivery from Ashwin bowled at 83.5kph which came in beautifully with the drift. Steve Smith looked to push it towards cover and got beaten on the inside edge. The ball spun past the inside edge to rap him on the front pad adjacent to the sticks. There was a loud appeal from India before the umpire turned down.
Ravichandran Ashwin was confident and straightaway persuaded his captain to challenge the call. No bat, confirmed by UltraEdge and HotSpot. The ball-tracking and its three reds. . HawkEye also showed it to be hitting the top of the leg stump as Steve Smith shook his head in denial on his way back to the dressing room. He probably expected the ball to miss the leg-stump.