India beat Australia in Mebourne Test by 137 runs, taking the 2-1 lead in the four-match series. Chasing a target of 399, Australia were all out for 261 in the post-lunch session after the first session was washed out due to intermittent showers.
India took just 4.3 overs to take the remaining two wickets of Australia. Man of the Match Jasprit Bumrah took 3/53, finishing with a match-haul of 9 for 86 in the match. Ishant Sharma finished 2/40 as he took the final wicket of Nathan Lyon. Among other bowlers, Ravindra Jadeja took 3 for 82 runs and Mohammed Shami finished his spell with 2 for 71 runs. For Australia, Pat Cummins with 63 runs remained the was the highest score.
This was also India’s 150th Test match victory.
Speaking on India’s win, Captain Virat Kohli said that the win in Melbourne had given his side more confidence to prepare for the fourth and the last Test match of series at Sydney. He said, “We’re not going to stop here, this has only given us more confidence to go out in Sydney and play even more positive cricket. We’ve been really smart in all departments in the two matches that we’ve won and that’s why we’ve at least retained the trophy, but the job is not done yet. We want to win the last test if the opportunity comes our way, and that’s the mindset that we’re playing with since we started in South Africa.”
Kohli said that the decision to not force Australians to follow on was justified and he was glad that he did not face any criticism from outside. He said, “It’s a good thing I don’t read any comments and opinions from the outside, what matters is what we decide in the change room. We were pretty clear that we wanted to bat again, it was always going to get tougher to bat on that wicket.”
On Bumrah’s 9-wicket haul in the match, Kohli said that the way he bowled in Perth it was ‘almost criminal to not get wickets on that.’ “Management said wickets would come, and they came in bunches. I feel proud as a captain to see these guys bowl well in partnerships. (Re: Agarwal) I thought his mindset was fantastic,” he added.
Australian captain Tim Paine conceded that his team was outplayed by the Indians. He said, “They outplayed us for the majority of the test match. A disappointing result after what was a really positive step in Perth. We’ve got to keep backing them (our players), our guys are trying their guts out. We’ve got a few days to prepare and come back hard.”
Paine said that conditions in Sydney were ‘potentially going to be different to what we’ve seen.’ Praising Cummins, he said that he has been fantastic. “No only is he highly skilled, he rolls his sleeves up and has a crack. We wanted to win the series and get the trophy back, but that’s not to be. To come up against the best team in the world and get 2-2 however would be great,” he added.