The third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test series between Australia and India being played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is poised at a very interesting point after the end of the fourth day’s play.
Australia will want to say that they are in control after setting India a target of 407 runs to win, while India managed to conjure up a good start in the chase, but have lost two wickets and will need 309 runs to win on the final day of the Test on Monday.
The day started with Australia resuming from 103/2 and Navdeep Saini struck soon, removing Marnus Labuschagne for 73 and then Matthew Wade for 4 runs. Cameron Green then added 60 runs with Steve Smith, before Ashwin got rid of Smith for 81, for the third time in the series.
Green continued his assault on Indian bowling, hitting Mohammed Siraj for a couple of sixes in one over. He scored 84 runs (8 fours, 4 sixes), while skipper Tim Paine made 39* runs. Green fell to Jasprit Bumrah, leading to Paine declaring the innings at 312/6.
Navdeep Saini (2/54) and R Ashwin (2/95) were the best bowlers from the Indian camp, which is missing the services of Ravindra Jadeja, who has a dislocated and fractured thumb in his left hand and will not be batting in the second innings.
India’s fielding woes continued as they dropped more than 5 catches, with the majority off Bumrah’s bowling. Apart from that, the morning was marred by Siraj being racially abused again by the spectators in the stand, leading to him and captain Ajinkya Rahane complaining to the umpires.
This led to six fans being evicted from the stands.
Meanwhile, in the reply, India started off well with Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma showing positive intent. Gill fell for 31 off Josh Hazlewood, while Sharma made 52 runs before falling to Pat Cummins, caught at fine leg, hooking.
India ended the day on 98/2, with 309 runs still needed. However, they have been guilty of losing wickets early on a new day, something that has become a pattern and if India wants to stay in the game, they must ensure, no wicket falls in the first hour of the fifth day’s play.
AUS 338 & 312/6d (C GREEN 84, S SMITH 81; N SAINI 2/54) AND IND 244 & 98/2 (R SHARMA 52, S GILL 31)
Stumps, day 4- India requires 309 runs to win with 8 wickets in hand