Australia v India: Hosts level series with Perth win

Arnold Nichols
December 19, 2018

India lost the key wicket of Hanuma Vihari for 28 when he holed out off Mitchell Starc (3-46) and from then on, it was just a matter of time before Australia sealed the win.

Captain Virat Kohli conceded that the Australians played more consistent cricket and deserved to win the match.

After the game, which Australia won by 146 runs to the level the series 1-1, both Paine and Kohli attempted to play down their on-field sledging, which was often picked up by stump microphones. Seven overs later, Nathan Lyon dismissed Pant to end India's hopes.

Without suspended former captain and vice-captain, Steve Smith and David Warner, Australia's shallow batting depth has been laid bare.

After Australia scored 326 in the first innings, India replied with 283 runs which was largely built around Kohli's 25th century in his 75th Test.

"It does seem like he is getting better", Paine said.

India could live to regret replacing injured offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin in Perth with a fourth quick in Umesh Yadav, who finished with match figures of 2-139.

India resumed at 5-112 on Tuesday, having been asked to complete what would have been a record-breaking chase of 287, and were quickly rolled for 140.

Shami was the pick of the bowlers who took wickets 6/56. "Just the pace on the ball that Lyon bowled with. that's how he got the wickets", Kohli said. But stresses that looking at the grass on the first day, four fast bowlers would have been enough was the thought.

"There's no doubt with one win a bit of belief comes but they can't just rock up in Melbourne and expect India are going to play like they did here", he said.

But Johnson said Kohli's behaviour made a mockery of his pre-series claims that he was a changed man and didn't plan to initiate any confrontations.

The test was the first at the new 60,000-seat stadium located in Burswood after a 47-year run at the WACA but crowds were disappointing especially when fierce heat blighted the early part of the match.

Melbourne will host the traditional Boxing Day Test before the final match is played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 3.

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