World Test Championship

Kohli’s defiance, Carey’s class and that Green catch – talking points from day four

World Test Championship

By Tom Bennett at The Oval

Hit For Six!

The ICC World Test Championship Final is heading to a fifth day and could yet see history made, with India chasing a record target. We take a look at some of the big talking points to come out of a fascinating day four.

Kohli holds key to India’s dwindling WTC hopes

The WTC Final isn’t mathematically over just yet, particularly with Virat Kohli still out in the middle.

Kohli’s every move has been cheered to the rafters by the India fans at The Oval this week, and he racked up yet another significant milestone when he passed 2000 career Test runs against Australia during his knock of 44* on Saturday evening, becoming one of just five Indian batters to have ever achieved the feat.

Video World Test Championship 10 Jun 23
Day 4 Highlights: Advantage Australia as match heads to final day | WTC23 Final
Needing 444 for victory, India ended Day 4 at 164/3 with Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease. Advantage Australia with India needing a record chase to win.

There is absolutely no doubt that Kohli and his partner Ajinkya Rahane have the quality to bat all day. And conditions should be good for batting again on Sunday, with the sun expected to beat down at The Oval on the hottest weekend of the year so far in south London.

But, with India facing a record target to win this Test, it will be truly extraordinary if these pair are to help rescue victory from the jaws of defeat.

Jadeja gets deserved slice of luck

Ravindra Jadeja bowled beautifully throughout much of Australia’s second innings, taking advantage of a bit of purchase from The Oval surface and hitting the patches of rough to ask some significant questions of Australia’s batters.

But India’s spinning all-rounder needed a slice of luck to get rid of a solid-looking Cameron Green.

Video World Test Championship 10 Jun 23
Bizarre dismissal sees Jadeja end Green's gutsy knock | WTC23 Final
Ravindra Jadeja picked up his third wicket as Cameron Green was bowled for 25.

Jadeja’s delivery turned just enough to drift past the bat and catch Green’s glove, from where the ball dropped down but with just enough momentum for it to bounce back up and onto the stumps.

You don’t see dismissals like that all too often, but it was a just reward for Jadeja's dangerous spell.

Lyon makes his mark once more

India chances of chasing down the highest-ever target to win a Test would have been great enhanced had their captain got a big score at the top of the order.

And Rohit Sharma looked in the mood too, cracking the second ball of the innings to the boundary and helping India score at a rapid rate at the start of the fourth innings.

But, in a game that has been dominated by India’s seamers, it was Nathan Lyon who made the crucial breakthrough.

Video World Test Championship 10 Jun 23
Wicket! Rohit Sharma trapped in front | WTC23 Final
Rohit Sharma trapped in front, giving Nathan Lyon a wicket. He falls short of a half-century.

Rohit went for the sweep, failed to make contact, and the ball struck him right in-front. It was worth a review just in case, but three reds send the captain packing.

Lyon is the top wicket-taker across this WTC cycle, with 85 to his name. And with plenty of rough to work with and the pitch offering some purchase, Lyon could well add to that tally on day five.

Carey plays a crucial role

Alex Carey has quietly been a very effective member of the Australia XI at The Oval.

The only time he looked particularly vulnerable was when he pulled out the reverse sweep, but he wisely kept that club in his bag for most of a half-century that pulled Australia to a near insurmountable margin.

Video World Test Championship 29 May 23
Alex Carey on Australia's build up to the WTC final and secrets to his success
Australia wicket-keeper Alex Carey talks exclusively to the ICC in the build up to the ICC World Test Championship final against India

Carey’s 48 in the first innings flew under the radar thanks to Travis Head and Steve Smith’s century efforts.

But his unbeaten 66* in the second was a warmly-welcomed top score for Australia, helping form partnerships with Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc that left India needing something really extraordinary to win this Final.

Green catch sparks discussion

Cameron Green’s catch off Shubman Gill was one of the most debated moments of the day inside The Oval.

Video World Test Championship 11 Jun 23
Ponting on Cameron Green's catch and recent change to soft signals | WTC23 Final | Byju's
Ricky Ponting discusses Cameron Green's catch and the recent change to soft signal decisions | WTC23 Final | Byju's

It’s fair to say that a vocal number of India supporters in the stands felt that Green hadn’t taken the catch cleanly when he got down low to his left at gully to snaffle the edge.

And from the reaction of both Gill and Rohit Sharma out in the middle, it seemed like the batters agreed.

Video World Test Championship 10 Jun 23
Wicket! TV umpire rules catch as Green stunner removes Gill | WTC23 Final
Cameron Green took a low catch to send back Shubman Gill as India lost their first wicket of the second innings at the stroke of Tea.

But the television umpire Richard Kettleborough was clear in his decision-making process and gave the catch.

It was the first such marginal incident since the removal of the soft signal from the game’s Playing Conditions.


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