• All square.

    Australia have levelled the series with India by winning the second Test by 146 runs.

    That is not a typo. It was the sort of outcome that would have been impossible to foresee less than a year ago, when it seemed as though the entire cricket world were delivering eulogies dedicated to the Baggy Green in the aftermath of what some are calling Sandpapergate.

    Richard Nixon unwittingly contributed to the modern lexicon in a way that will long outlive his contributions to the political arena.

    Australia’s bowlers set up and knocked down the middle and lower order of India’s batters on the fifth day of the second Test.

    That outcome, combined with the verbal theatrics that demonstrate just how much decorum the game of bowls and wickets has jettisoned in the attempt to remain relevant, has brought some much needed cheer, Christmas and otherwise, to an international XI that proved that there is life after Steve Smith, Cameron Bancroft and David Warner.

    Australia set a target of 287 in Perth and now find themselves holders of a 2 – 0 lead in the Border-Gavaskar series.

    Australia waited with baited breath for the collapse, but it never came, as the hosts needed just 15 overs and gave up a meagre 42 runs in taking India’s last six wickets, leaving the tourists from the sub-continent speechless. At least, Kohli did not have time to do any talking.

    With the Test series tied at one all, both sides will wait until Boxing Day to play the decider in Melbourne, assuming it does not end drawn.

    Some of the verbal jousting between Aussie captain Tim Paine and the evildoer Virat Kohli was picked up by the stump microphone.

    No shrinking violet, Paine was heard to ask Kohli, “You’re the one that lost it yesterday. Why are you trying to be cool today?”

    It was the first Test win for Paine as captain and Justin Langer as coach, both of whom will find a special bookmakers’ free bonus bet in their stockings, although they must use it or lose it before the calendar ticks over to 2019.