Dominant Australia thrash India to seal World Test Championship

Pat Cummins' side seal 209 run-victory at The Oval and look in good form ahead of Ashes series that start next week

Powered by automated translation

Australia swiftly ended any hopes of a record-breaking India win to seal victory by 209 runs in the World Test Championship final at The Oval on Sunday.

Set an unlikely target of 444, India had a glimmer of hope when they started the fifth morning at 164-3 with linchpin Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane in the middle – on 44 and 20, respectively – as they chased 280 more runs.

But in the seventh over of the day, Kohli edged fast-bowler Scott Boland and Steve Smith took a great catch at second slip and was gone for 49. Boland then claimed Ravindra Jadeja's wicket two balls later for a duck.

The demise of Kohli confirmed it was a matter of when, not if, Australia would become a first-time world Test champion. “It was a big moment, we know how good Kohli is particularly chasing a big total,” said Australia's Steve Smith. “It opened the game up for us.”

Kohli's exit meant silence fell over the overwhelmingly pro-India crowd in London along with an air of inevitability.

Rahane reached 46 when he edged Mitchell Starc behind and began a collapse of the last five India wickets in the 30 minutes before lunch as they were bowled out for 234.

Starc added the wicket of Umesh Yadav (one), but the rest of the tail was mopped up in efficient style by Nathan Lyon.

The spinner finished with 4-41, nailing Shardul Thakur lbw for a duck, collecting a skier of a return catch from KS Bharat (23) and finishing things up when Mohammed Siraj steered a reverse sweep straight to point for one.

Australia’s celebrations began in earnest as the formed a circle in the middle of the pitch, while India were once again runners-up, having lost the inaugural final to New Zealand two years ago.

Attention now shifts to the first Ashes Test against England that starts at Edgbaston on Friday.

“It's a lot of hard work that has gone into this,” added Smith. “I feel like we've dominated the game from day one and let them back in glimpses, a few errors with no balls and dropped catches, but outside of the that it was a polished performance and we knew that the first partnership was a big one to break.

“The timing of the final isn't ideal but I don't know where else in the calendar you'd fit it in. Hopefully we can keep playing some good cricket.”

India had beaten Australia 2-1 in their last four test series, two at home and two away, to regain the world No 1 Test ranking last month, but they were always chasing the game in Birmingham.

“It was a tough one,” said India captain Rohit Sharma. I thought we started well with winning the toss and we bowled pretty well in the first session. Then we let ourselves down a little bit with how he bowled.

“We put up a good show, fought to the end but congratulations to Australia.”

Updated: June 11, 2023, 1:49 PM