ICC WTC Final 2023 AUS vs IND Stumps Day 1: Steve Smith targets 100, Head’s ton lifts Aussies to 327/3

Team India needs to catch up quickly as they are currently losing control of the game.

On Stumps Day 1 of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) Final 2023, Australia lead India by 327 runs at the Kennington Oval in London.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to field first. Going with four seamers meant the world’s number one Test bowler Ravichandran Ashwin had to be left out of the contest. Nevertheless, the Indian side began the match on a high note with Mohammad Shami and Mohammad Siraj trouncing the batters left, right, and centre. However, with time the Aussies took control of the situation and only lost three wickets on Day 1.

While with the bat, David Warner (43) face some fiery spells from the quicksters but couldn’t manage to play longer innings as he got out to Shardul Thakur courtesy of an excellent catch by wicketkeeper KS Bharat.

Marnus Labuschagne (26) also played a decent knock but it was Travis Head (146*) and the mighty Steve Smith (95*) who scored 146 off just 156 balls together for the fourth wicket partnership. Head brutalised the Indian bowlers with 22 fours and one six and punished them whenever possible. At first, when the ball was still quite new, India didn’t bowl well to him either. Smith, on the other hand, began the conversation rough. The vice-captain struggled for a while before finding his rhythm, getting away with a couple of edges that didn’t carry to the cordon. Furthermore, the duo merely forced the Indian bowlers to rest in the sweltering afternoon sun. Undoubtedly, the support for this pitch was less than what India had anticipated.

Team India needs to catch up quickly as they are currently losing control of the game.

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