India trail by 318 runs on Day 2 as Australian bowlers tighten grip
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: Ravi Jadeja of India celebrates the wicket of Alex Carey of Australia following a review during day two of the ICC World Test Championship Final between Australia and India at The Oval on June 08, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Team India ended Day 2 of the WTC Final on 151/5, trailing Australia by 318 runs and still needing 118 runs to avoid a follow-on. India lost half of its side in the second half of the day. However, Ajinkya Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja produced a crucial partnership of 71 runs for the fifth wicket. Jadeja (48) missed out on a well-deserved half-century while Rahane remained unbeaten on 29 at Stumps. All five of Australia’s bowlers took a wicket each.

Earlier in the day, Australia resumed its play well as Steve Smith hit his 31st Test ton. Travis Head and Smith continued to bat brilliantly and score runs. But Mohammed Siraj broke the 285-run partnership by dismissing Head for 163. Very soon, Mohammed Shami removed Cameron Green for just 6. Shardul Thakur then bowled a ripper to clean up Smith (121), who played a masterclass inning.  

Alex Carey chipped in with 48 runs while other Aussie players lost their wickets cheaply. Australia scored a challenging total of 469 in their first innings. Siraj starred with a four-wicket haul for India while Shami and Thakur bagged two each.

Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill got India off to a positive start, scoring 30 runs in 5 overs. But Aussie skipper Pat Cummins initiated the collapse by trapping Sharma (15) LBW. Scott Boland then bowled an absolute dreamer to bowl out Gill (13). Moments later, Green and Mitchell Starc got the big fishes Cheteshwar Pujara (14) and Virat Kohli (14) respectively. Rahane and Srikar Bharat should produce something big or play extraordinary innings to keep India alive in the summit clash.

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