Incredible Superman Catch As Aussies Destroy India
The series is 1-1.
Australia has beaten India by 146 runs in the second Test in Perth, after Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon made short work of the Indian tail on Tuesday morning.
The Aussies required just 15 overs to finish things off. India started the day at 5/112, still requiring 175 runs for Victory. With their main man Virat Kohli back in the rooms, that seemed unlikely. And so it proved.
The highlight of a brief morning's play? Definitely this diving effort from Peter Handscomb, who also took the brilliant but controversial catch which dismissed Virat Kohli in the first innings.
Here's your scorecard, which tells you the numerical story of this game.
But the real story? It's about gutsy batting by Australia and a bowling outfit which hunts as a pack.
It's also about the leadership of Tim Paine with gloves, bat and mouth. Yes, mouth. It's easy to be psychologically dominated by someone as talented, famous, and bad-tempered as Virat Kohli. Paine got on the front foot this Test, giving Kohli a bit of the banter he deserved.
It wasn't rude. It wasn't crude. It was just in-his-face, and it set a tone that Australia was here to take India on in all facets of the game.
It really is impossible to overstate how fine a line Tim Paine has had to tread. The Aussie way is to be chirpy and chattery out there in the hot sun. But Paine knew he couldn't get back to the ugly behaviour which has characterised too many Aussie teams in the past. So he went for cheeky humour. And it worked.
Paine is playing both a public relations battle and a cricket battle out there and this week, he won both.
The other story of this game is India's failure to pick a specialist spinner for just the third time in its Test cricket history.
"When we looked at the pitch... we thought four quicks was going to be enough," Virat Kohli said after the game.
It was a clear-cut wrong call. While India had great spells with the ball, overall its attack lacked variation in this match.
"They were more relentless and put the ball in the right areas," the Indian captain said of the Aussie bowlers.
"It's more of a relief than anything," Aussie captain Tim Paine said of the win, which is his first as Test skipper.
"It's really good to get a bit of reward [for all our hard work]."
"It was a difficult Test. I think both Adelaide and this were really tough Tests, hard work for all of the batters.
Paine heaped praise upon Usman Khawaja for his patient, calm batting, as well as man-of-the-match Nathan Lyon, who has now taken eight wickets in each Test of this series so far.
He also saved a few words of praise for the 112-run opening partnership between Marcus Harris and Aaron Finch, which did much to set Australia on the path to victory.
Meanwhile Aussie coach Justin Langer was full of praise for the chirpy manner in which his skipper Tim Paine took on Virat Kohli.
"Some good humour, some good banter, no abuse," he said.
"The batters and the bowlers were ruthless, so that's great cricket for us."
The Boxing Day Test is going to be a BEAUTY, and we'll be right here on 10 daily doing it live through our good areas coverage. See you then!
Meanwhile, to see how today's (brief) action panned out, scroll through our live coverage below.
- Got him! Pant's down!
- Starc Gets Vihari!
- Play gets underway
- The day Tim Paine came of age