Scott Boland legend grows as Aussie bowlers rip through India in Test final

The Aussie quick is once again the talk of the cricket world.

Scott Boland was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with a stunning spell on day two of the WTC final against India. Pic: Getty
Scott Boland was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with a stunning spell on day two of the WTC final against India. Pic: Getty

Cult Aussie cricket hero Scott Boland is making an irresistible case for Ashes selection after a devastating display on day two of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India at The Oval. Boland was the pick of the Aussie bowlers on day two, with a blistering spell from the Victorian helping Pat Cummins' mean rip through India's top order to leave them 5-151 going into day three.

After centuries to Steve Smith (121) and Travis Head (163) propelled Australia to 469 in their first innings, Boland led the charge as the merciless Aussie pace attack took five Indian wickets to leave their opponents trailing by 318 runs and with a mountain to climb on day three.

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The Victorian finished the day with 1-29 from 11 overs, having nipped a ball back extravagantly from outside off stump to bowl Shubman Gill for 13 in the middle session. Boland set up Gill superbly after a succession of deliveries just outside the line, before adjusting his line ever so slightly to trap the dangerous batter in front.

The wicket was Boland's first overseas, with the quick bursting onto the scene during the last Ashes series in Australia, where he took 6/7 from just four overs against England. At The Oval, the wicket of Gill was the quick's 29th of his Test career and incredibly pushed his average back under 13. Boland had three overs before tea, where he went in with the ridiculous figures of 1/2.

Cricket world erupts over Scott Boland heroics

Boland, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Cameron Green and Nathan Lyon all took a wicket each for Australia on Thursday, giving them the clear upper hand at The Oval, but it was Boland who was Australia's best. He has been the most economical bowler in the world for the past two years, again sent down four maidens on day two and added to his legendary status with a display that lit up the cricket world.

Steve Smith scores 31st Test century

Smith and Head had earlier put the Aussies in an incredible position, with the former taking just two balls to notch his 31st Test century, after resuming on 95 on day two. Smith's stunning feat was his seventh century in England and saw him match Steve Waugh's mark, leaving only Don Bradman (11) ahead among visiting batters.

Smith's runs came as part of a 285-run fourth-wicket stand with Travis Head, who went from 146 overnight to 163 on Thursday before being caught behind off Siraj (4-108). Alex Carey also hit 48 for Australia, before being out reverse sweeping for the fourth time this year when trapped lbw by Jadeja.

Pictured here, Steve Smith in the WTC final.
Steve Smith scored the 31st Test century of his career on day two of the WTC final. Pic: Getty

That set the Aussie bowlers up for an afternoon to attack India's top order, with Boland presenting Australia's selectors with plenty of headaches before the Ashes. Rotation is likely to be key, with fellow quick Josh Hazlewood rested for the India match due to ongoing side soreness.

While Boland shone, it was a mixed bag for his fellow quicks with Starc (1-52) pulled off after two overs in his opening spell after going for 14. But his brute of a ball later in the day that rapped Virat Kohli (14) on the glove and had him caught at second slip served as a reminder of his threat.

Cummins claimed Australia's first wicket when he trapped opposing captain Rohit Sharma lbw for 15 but overstepped his mark four times, costing his side a wicket with one no-ball when he had Ajinkya Rahane trapped in front for lbw. Rahane was able to survive through to stumps on 29, watching on as Ravindra Jadeja fell at slip to Lyon on 48 late. Green had earlier removed Cheteshwar Pujara's off stump on 14.

with AAP

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