Mon, 25 Sep 2023

London [UK], June 10 (ANI): Australia's star seamer Mitchell Starc praised batter Ajinkya Rahane who sustained a finger injury in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final, and cited that the India batter "played really well" and it took fielder to take a "brilliant catch to get him out."Rahane was hit on his right hand's index finger by an extra bounce delivery from Australia skipper Pat Cummins in the 22nd over of India's batting on Day 2 of the WTC Final.

Rahane overcame a difficult spell from Australian pacers on his way to a spectacular 89 off 129 balls on the third day, taking India to 296 all out from 152 for six in his first Test in 18 months.

"He [Rahane] played really well. We know 'Jinx' can play really well. He was a little bit more with the bat. It took a brilliant catch to get him out," Mitchell Starc said in a post-match press conference.

On Day 3, Australia led by 296 going into day four of the ICC World Test Championship Final, but counterattacking half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur were followed by an excellent bowling effort to leave India with a sliver of hope after a fascinating day's play.

Starc believes that despite restricting India at 296 they could have done better.

"Keep batting, as far as I know, keep batting. India are playing quite aggressively. We restricted them to 300 but could have done better. It seems to be a good toss to lose. Bowling from the far end was tough. In terms of length, we did not have too much discussion to change. The pitch might play a few different tricks," Starc added.

"Based on last year not many. It will be interesting to see what kind of wickets they produce. In England they normally don't produce bouncy wickets. We have plenty to improve from our first innings of bowling," said the Australia pacer.

Australia batter Marnus Labuschagne believed he could get some rest after Australia bowled out India for 296 in the second session of the third day of play in the current WTC Final in London.

When David Warner and Usman Khawaja ran out to the middle to begin Australia's second dig, Labuschagne decided to nap on a chair in The Oval's pavilion. Warner was dismissed by Mohammed Siraj, and the batter was woken by the crowd's clamour and swiftly walked out to take the crease.

"I don't know. I think he mentioned that he was having a little doze-off. But he got up really quickly and survived well. He batted really well on the day," he added.

Star allrounder Ravindra Jadeja's remarkable spell enabled India to raise visions of an unlikely win at the close of play on Day 3 of the ongoing World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at the Oval on Friday. Australia closed the day at 123/4 in 44 overs, with Marnus Labuschagne and Cameron Green unbeaten at 41(118) and 7(27) respectively. (ANI)

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