Australia registered a decisive nine-wicket victory over India, winding up the third Test in about two days to secure their place in the World Test Championship (WTC) final. Travis Head (49) and Marnus Labuschagne (28) took the visitors past the finish line after they lost Usman Khawaja (0) in the very first over. The hosts were bowled out for 163 in their second innings, leaving Australia with a target of just 76 runs to record an immensely satisfying win after being hammered inside three days in the first two matches of the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

One of the most significant architects of the Australian win is seasoned off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who grabbed eight wickets in the Indian second innings on day two of the match at Holkar Stadium. This is only India’s third loss in Tests at home in the last 10 years. Bowled out for 109 in their first innings, India did well to limit Australia to 197, conceding an 88-run lead. However, the Indian batters also failed to put up a fight in their second essay, as Lyon pivoted a web around them to return excellent figures of 8/64. India is leading the four-match series 2-1 after winning in Nagpur and New Delhi.

Batters Point of Contact Against Spinners

Side Pitch View

The above chart is called Side View Pitch. Here, all the batters played their average shots around the 2-meter line except Pujara, who stepped forward and made contact with the ball ahead of the 3-meter line against the spinners. As a result, Pujara was the only batter from the Indian side to score a fifty in the game. The pitches in the series have also come under offensive criticism, and it remains to be seen if India’s preference for spin-friendly tracks changes going forward, with the home team batters struggling badly to negotiate challenging circumstances. Pujara’s most productive shot in the game was the flick shot, in which he scored 28 runs, including two fours. With 86% control in his overall innings, he scored 59 runs off 142 balls.

Finest Partnerships of the Match

On Day 3, Australian openers Usman Khawaja and Travis Head walked out to bat needing 76 runs to win. Ravichandran Ashwin gave India a superb start by dismissing Khawaja on the second ball of the day. Afterwards, Marnus Labuschagne and T Head batted intelligently. Their defensive play meant that India did not get any further wickets, and once they were set, they shifted gears. Travis Head started hitting boundaries and sixes, which helped the visitors notch up the 50-run mark in 14.2 overs.

T Head greeted Ravindra Jadeja by thrashing a four over his head, and Labuschagne ended the over by sweeping the left-arm spinner through mid-wicket for another boundary in the over. When Ashwin overpitched, Labuschagne quickly brought out the cover drive for a delightful four. In response to Jadeja’s arm ball, Head played a late cut through backward point for another boundary. Head and Labuschagne, however, were unstoppable; he slapped Vidarbha’s pacer Umesh Yadav through cover and Labuschagne layered across square leg for two boundaries.


Australia is sitting at the top of the WTC table with 68.52 percentage points (PCT). Even if Australia loses the fourth and final Test against India, they would still remain on top with 64.91 PCT. India’s PCT is 60.29 after earning 123 points in 17 tests (10 wins and 2 draws) so far. India has lost a few points during the course of this cycle due to a slow overrate. If India wins the last test, their PCT will go up to 62.5, with 135 points from the maximum of 216. They will then retain their second position and qualify for the final.