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Travis Head and Steven Smith exerted complete dominance over India on the first day of the match

Travis Head and Steven Smith showcased a dominant batting performance for Australia against India during the WTC final at The Oval.

Travis Head and Steven Smith exerted complete dominance over India on the first day of the match

Photo source: Australia Cricket

On the first day of the WTC final at The Oval, Travis Head and Steven Smith showcased a dominant batting performance for Australia against India. Despite winning the toss, India struggled to make an impact during the challenging three sessions of play. At stumps, Australia stood at an impressive 327 for three, with Head remaining unbeaten at 146 and Smith just five runs short of his 31st century.

Head, in particular, shone brightly as he notched up his first century outside Australia, converting it into a substantial score. His unbeaten knock of 146 came off just 156 deliveries, including 22 fours and a six. This century was also significant as it became the first-ever century in a WTC final.

One of the major talking points of the match was India’s decision to opt for a fourth fast bowler instead of including the spin maestro R Ashwin in the playing XI. This strategy had previously worked for India against England in 2021. It seemed that the Indian team management was influenced by the grass cover on the pitch measuring 6mm and the overcast conditions in the morning. However, the fourth fast bowler failed to maintain the desired control that is expected from the additional pacers in a four-man pace attack. Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur, in particular, struggled, conceding 129 runs and taking just one wicket in their combined 32 overs.

On the other hand, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj impressed with their performance with the new ball. In the initial hour of play, they bowled tightly, giving away only 29 runs and dismissing Usman Khawaja for a duck. The number of false shots by the Australian batsmen suggested that there could have been more wickets for India if luck had favoured them.

However, once the opening spell was over, Umesh and Thakur provided opportunities for easy runs to the Australian batsmen on several occasions. Umesh, in particular, started his spell with a half-volley that allowed David Warner to score freely. He was subsequently hit for four boundaries on the off side in his second over, further diminishing India’s control over the game.

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  • Vineet Karmokar

    An engineering student enthusiastic about cricket and other sports. Blogs regularly on sports as well as fashion, food and fitness.

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An engineering student enthusiastic about cricket and other sports. Blogs regularly on sports as well as fashion, food and fitness.

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