After the 40-minute break, Australia resumed work on 2-44 with Usman Khawaja & Shaun Marsh back in the middle.
S. Marsh wasted little time with one gentle shot towards the rope down the ground for four.
On the other hand, Khawaja remained patient to survive and picked one wide ball to shoot through mid-wicket which worked well past the rope on the ground.
However, Khawaja had to leave on 33 when he jumped and defended the bat far from his pad.
Hence, that left an open gap in his crease where Mohammad Shami pitched a straight tad short ball before it tagged his front pad which did hit the stumps.
After Khawaja got out, Travis Head made up lost time and batted patiently with the runs required on the board.
At the same time, Head backed up S. Marsh where his left-hand partner too worked his way into the 40-run mark.
This S.Marsh & Head partnership helped Australia drive past 100 with plenty of work still to do to secure an unlikely win.
Not long later, Jasprit Bumrah shredded the S.Marsh-Head stand when he dismissed S.Marsh on 44.
Bumrah again pitched up short and swing in straight before it targeted the leg stump by tagging S.Marsh’s leg pad.
Like Khawaja, S.Marsh jumped a bit so he can try flicking the shot through mid-wicket.
It’s the hesitation of not using the footwork plus defending the bat far from the pad has helped sent him back in the pavilion.
Ravi Jadeja soon ticked off Australia’s fifth wicket loss when he dismissed Mitchell Marsh on eight.
M.Marsh tried to whack the cover drive for six before he couldn’t find the rope.
It just flew straight to Virat Kohli’s gentle hands at mid-off.
He should’ve kept his head still and not moving sideways when he played the cover shot early & chipped it straight in the air.
Again, you cannot guarantee to score runs when you try to hit big which proved risky to lose the wicket.
On the other hand, great job from Jadeja in keeping targeting the stumps.
Jadeja pitched up without too much turn while keeping the length a bit fast to make Mitchell Marsh play.
As a result, M.Marsh had a hard time processing the cover shot from the stumps, and it helped Jadeja clinch his 2nd wicket.
Tea Day 4: Australia 5-138 & needs 260 runs to win.
Australia’s defensive play with the bat continued to suffer by not marrying up the bat & pad close together.
Instead, they defended the flat bat first far from the pad where the ball scooped straight to the fielder.
Plus their patience didn’t help too much where at one time, Mitchell Marsh made a mistake whacking an attacking shot off the middle of his crease.
The same went to M.Marsh’s brother Shaun when he too tried to flick through mid-wicket.
But again Shaun’s mistake comes from the same approach that Mitchell suffered a while ago.
Whenever it’s a good ball, block it.
Let’s move on and whack off a loose ball; it may profit into a couple of boundaries in hand.
That’s what Tim Paine (1*) and Travis Head (29*) need to do to block 100s of times after the 20-minute break.
Now that Khawaja’s out, Head & Paine’s their only hope now for the Australians to survive heading into the final day tomorrow.
I like the way they continue to attack the stumps whichever variation they chuck whether it’s a short ball or yorker.
To complete the successful short ball strategy, their bowlers chose to pitch up straight with maximum power.
As long as it targets the stumps, it’s worthy of a good ball to make the batsman play which claimed Khawaja & S. Marsh.
Likewise, with the spinner in Jadeja, he’s able to maintain that line straight which did comply towards the stumps before he achieved the X-factor when M.Marsh chipped the cover shot ineffectively from the middle of his crease.
India will need to continue sticking with the winning formula after tea.
If they can get rid of Paine & Head somewhere in this last session today, then India will, of course, win this test match.