Cricket / fourth test match
Australia-India: 4th Test Day 3 Australia trail India by 386 runs
Australia has finished on 236 runs for the loss of six wickets at the end of the third day of the fourth Test in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. 202 runs were scored in 73.3 overs bowled before bad light curtailed play at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) on a wicket that is still considered good for batting by most of the experts who commented on the pitch. While Australia could have done with losing a couple of wickets less, the Indians too will not be almighty pleased at the end of the day. A possible more than 15 overs play was lost and there is the likelihood of further bad weather tomorrow. Australia needs to score another 137 runs to prevent India from enforcing the follow-on. Kuldeep Yadav took three important wickets today Source After winning the third Test match at Adelaide, Virat Kohli had let it be known that India will be going into this Test match with the intention of winning it. Having put up 622 runs on the board in the first inning, he knows that he has a chance of walking the talk. He and his team would have liked to come out of today’s play at least another couple of wickets richer. There were no demons in the pitch when play started this morning other than those that were ably tamed by Pujara, Pant and co. The odd ball did keep low and the spinners got purchase on the wicket. The Australian opening batters were doing well till Usman Khawaja decided to skip down the wicket and take an almighty heave at a flighted Kuldeep Yadav ball. Pujara took an easy lobbed catch on the leg side which prompted the television commentators to have another review of his batting. Marnus Labuschagne and Marcus Harris negotiated the bowling well to make sure that Australia went into lunch with the score on 122 runs for the loss of just one wicket. Both batsmen were not exactly comfortable with the spinners and Harris decided to do something about it when he hammered 12 runs off one Kuldeep Yadav over before lunch. Jadeja celebrates one of his two wickets Source It was Jadeja who got Harris when he bowled a slightly short ball outside the off stump. Harris tried to cut the ball late but it kept low and the batsman ended up with an inside edge that rattled his stumps. Shaun Marsh joined Labushagne when the Australians were on 128 runs and had lost their openers. Having only scored 8 runs in 13 balls Marsh played for a spin when a ball from Jadeja went straight through. Rahane in the slips took a rather comfortable catch. Hardly about three overs later Kohli changed his field to cut off Labshagne’s straight drives. The ploy worked when Labushagne flicked a ball through squarish midwicket. Rahane who was stationed there but pretty close to the batsman took a smart catch just inches off the ground to his right. Now at 152 runs for four, Australia had lost three wickets for only 26 runs. Kuldeep Yadav displayed good reflexes to take a return catch from a mistimed drive by Travis Head to claim the fifth Australian wicket. With the captain, Paine and Handscomb at the wicket Australia were 198 for five at the tea break having lost four wickets in the session for 76 runs. But Kuldeep Yadav got Tim Paine out in the very first over after tea when a ball that turned, beat Paine’s bat and crashed into his stumps. Pat Cummins who came in at the fall of Paine’s wicket and Peter Handscomb negotiated the remaining overs. Fifteen of them were bowled before the umpires called off play due to bad light. Marcus Harris scored a valuable 79 runs for Australia Source When the teams retired Australia was still trailing India by 386 runs with four first-innings wickets in hand. The rain had been forecast in the evenings over the weekend even before the Test had begun. Some more time is going to be lost to either bad light or bad weather during the remaining two days of the Test match. It means that the Indians get lesser time than they expected to, to try and force a favourable result in this match. The Australians could ride this out if they are willing to curb their attacking strokes. They hit 30 boundaries today in the 202 runs that they scored, and that is I tad aggressive, even as six wickets fell. It certainly won’t become any easier to bat over the next two days.