Seemingly against all odds, Australia pulled off an upset for the ages and defeated India in India. It’ll be remembered as one of this generation’s greatest Test wins. There was no Cummins, two rookie spinners, and a pile of evidence from the first two Tests to suggest Australia was out of their depth. But the Aussies prevailed, handing India their third Test defeat on home soil in the last decade, and keeping their hopes alive of levelling the series in the process.
Fittingly, for the first time in this series, an Australian player topped The Sporting Landscape’s Player Rankings, as Aussies filled out the entire top-four, with six making the list in total.
Read our full 3rd Test Player Rankings below.
10. Steve Smith (AUS) 26 (38 balls)
Smith managed 26 from his only hit - which in the context of the match was far from underwhelming - but it was his leadership that stole the show as he reminded the cricket world of the tactician he is. Became the first Australian captain to win a Test in India on multiple tours, which is no mean feat.
9. Umesh Yadav (IND) 3-12 (5 overs), 0-10 (2)
With just seven overs bowled across the entire match, Yadav wasn’t afforded much opportunity to leave his mark on the Test. Regardless, he still managed to mow through Australia’s tail in the first innings, where he picked up all of his three wickets.
8. Ravichandran Ashwin (IND) 3-44 (22.3), 1-44 (9.5) and 3 (12), 16 (28)
Ashwin failed to reach the heights he had in the previous two Tests of the series, with runs and wickets coming at a scarcer rate. Helped mop up Australia in the first innings as they lost 6-11 and slumped to all out for 197.
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7. Ravindra Jadeja (IND) 4-78 (32), 0-23 (7) and 4 (9), 7 (36)
Arguably the player of the series to date, Jadeja likewise had a quiet match with just four wickets, which in itself speaks volumes to the level he’s been performing at. Claimed the wickets of all of Australia’s top-four in the first innings.
6. Marnus Labuschagne (AUS) 31 (91), 28* (58)
In a low-scoring affair, Marnus was part of a rare few who managed starts in both innings. His hand in the second innings was particularly critical as he protected the rest of Australia’s line-up, with that ever-present threat of a collapse hanging over their head in pursuit of the 76 required to win.
5. Cheteshwar Pujara (IND) 1 (4), 59 (142)
In an uncharacteristically poor batting performance from the hosts, where they could only muster a lowly 272 runs across the match, Pujara stood tall in the second innings, proving a thorn in the side of the Aussie’s as he has on many occasions. It marks somewhat of a return to form for the traditionalist batsman, who had only surpassed double figures once prior this series.
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4. Travis Head (AUS) 9 (6), 49* (53)
Australia’s at-times brazen dasher found his free-flowing best in Australia’s threateningly low second innings run chase. Due to the frequency of the Aussie’s second innings collapses, and collapses in general, it was a target that threatened to embarrass, but fortunately that threat never eventuated, largely due to the hand played by Head.
3. Usman Khawaja (AUS) 60 (147), 0 (2)
Khawaja continued his rich vein of form on this tour - and since his Test recall - with a first innings 60 that was critical in setting up Australia’s first innings lead. Now has half centuries in the last two Tests.
2. Matt Kuhnemann (AUS) 5-16 (9), 1-60 (16)
A maiden Test five-fa in just his second Test! Based on the initial squad, he wasn’t considered one of Australia’s best four spinners just weeks ago by selectors, but was parachuted in at the eleventh hour for the second Test and hasn’t looked back. Everything he bowled turned to gold in the opening innings as the Indore pitch wreaked havoc.
1. Nathan Lyon (AUS) 3-35 (11.2), 8-64 (23.3)
Lyon’s brilliant second innings performance saw him become the first ever bowler to claim two eight-wicket hauls in India. With 11 total wickets for the Test, it was a match to remember for Australia’s GOAT of off-spin.