travis head and Mohamed Siraj both had outstanding performances during the WTC match finale, putting them in contention for Man of the Match. Head was an important player for Australia, scoring 163 runs in the first innings and laying a solid foundation for the team.
Mohammed Siraj, on the other hand, was crucial to India’s bowling assault, taking four wickets in the first innings and quickly bowling out several of Australia’s best batsmen. Furthermore, he showed excellent skill and dedication in his performances, which made him a star in India.
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We take a look at the cricketers competing for the prestigious Aramco Player of the Match award ahead of the penultimate day of The Ultimate Test.
Australia were in a vulnerable situation at 76/3 just seven balls in the second session of the first day when India made early gains.
Travis Head went into the game head-on instead of staying inside himself. Head faced Mohammed Shami with a lead around the cordon for four after coming out and defending the first two deliveries from him. He then ran to 30 on just 22 balls after hitting his first ball against Mohammed Siraj to the limit. Head surged further in the third session, reaching triple figures on 106 deliveries and ending the day at 146*. Head contributed 14 more on the second day, allowing Australia to score 469 in their first innings.
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Steve Smith rushed in and played the ideal support position at the other end, as he once again displayed the exceptional ability to make copious runs on England’s shores as Head stole the pun-filled headlines.
The 34-year-old had to maneuver at a difficult moment before lunch and allowed Head the freedom to attack as he knew his own chance to attack the bowlers would come.
When that moment finally came, Smith bowed on day one by hitting a cap on the penultimate ball, though he might have had trouble sleeping knowing he still had five runs to go from reaching his 31st Test century going into day two. .
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The breakout of 469 in the first innings may not look impressive on record, but Mohammed Siraj’s performance, taking four wickets and moving on over the course of the better part of two days, allowed India to cling to the hope of victory.
On the first morning of play, Mohammed Siraj raised a number of issues, dismissed Usman Khawaja and frequently challenged Australia’s elite mid-order, particularly No. 1 Test batsman Marnus Labuschagne.
Importantly, Mohammed Siraj bowled just as quickly in his periods at the end of day one and day two, claiming Travis Head before another blitz and cleaning up the tail to finish at 4/108.
Ajinkya Rahane, 35, was unconcerned with the strain of being rushed into the WTC India final squad because, up to that point, he had nearly lived up to all expectations at The Oval.
Rahane left the field at 50/3 with India still 419 runs behind the Australians and facing the prospect of a sub-200 total. This was a situation not dissimilar to opponent No. 5 Travis Head.
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Rather than capitulate under pressure, Rahane launched his own counter-attack, scoring 89 runs from 11 fours and sixes. Rahane was only prevented from scoring a century thanks to an incredible catch from Cameron Green as India reached 261/7.
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