Australia came back to Day 4 at 103-4 alongside a 197 run lead. Marnus Labuschagne may wasted little time to secure his 50. It is consistent having carried from his first innings spell on 81.
And used the bowlers poor form with executing these glamour shots. But made a nothing shot trying to hit leg side off Navdeep Saini. When it carried straight to Wriddi Saha behind Marnus on 73. I want to correct Will Pucovski’s dismissal late afternoon that the keeper was Saha. Not Rishabh Pant when he got hit in the elbow off the short ball. Then Pant forced off the field. But he can still bat later on. Even though Pant unable to keep for now.
India’s bowling run this AM has eased slightly without Marnus. Saini once again on fire. When he removed Matthew Wade quicksmart as caught behind (Saha). And Wade did not use his crease that much as these strengths to fire off. Hard to talk about his form back in the middle order after two tests as opener. But his spell in Sydney must suggest changes next test.
But still struggled at large against Steve Smith alone. The Centurion from the first innings played like an elite start in the crease. And hung in there longer than Marnus to get his 50. While Cam Green backed Smith up with a great base on 20 by lunch. Australia 182-4, leads by 276.
Ravi Ashwin denied the possible back to back 100 on Smith for 81. Smith nonetheless just reached out for the defensive block with no footwork. Before it tagged his right pad. The main umpire initially said no. But Ashwin successfully flipped the decision from not out to out.
Australia however have moved past the 300 to 400 run mark. Thanks to Cam Green & Tim Paine. They both added runs down low having kept the partnership simple. Cam went on to secure his first Test 50. While Paine remained on 39 not out. Cam hung in there for more brilliant shots a little longer. But Australia declared 312-6 as soon as Cam got caught behind on 81. Tea is taken immediately before India bat again with 407 runs to win.
The away side fired off with runs stacked by both openers. At least for the first hour or two or 20 overs having made 50 together. But Shubman Gill did not plant his foot foot properly. Where it knicked straight to Tim Paine from Pat Cummins on 31. Rohit Sharma on the other hand desperately tried to save his spell. He just unable to find the rope as Mitch Starc took the catch at deep fine leg. Even though Rohit just scored a half-ton.
India finish the 4th day of the 3rd Test on 98-2. And need 309 runs to win going into the 5th & Final day tomorrow. While Australia just need 8 wickets to win this game. Then the series will go into a decider from Friday-Tuesday at The Gabba in Brisbane. Should Australia bowl India all out before the 407 run target. No matter how long it takes in last 3 sessions.
All eyes on India to have Cheteshwar Pujara stick to his usual blocks. As well as seeing some dynamics from the fill-in skipper Ajinkya Rahane. This approach could work when one is patient. Then you have Rahane going white ball tactics. It could upset Australia dearly as long as Pujara and Rahane are not out. Otherwise it will be game over. When you have a weakened leftover batting order. It is a long shot with Pant & Ravi Jadeja still batting. But both have the pain barrier.
Australia on the other hand is in the box seat. Steve Smith is always class as seen throughout this test match. As well as some fine displays from a quickie all-rounder at last in Cam Green. He is young who is on his first legs playing at Test level. While Tim Paine is exceptional as a leader, keeper and batsman. Now the tables turn on the bowlers to find the weaknesses of Pujara & Rahane. Before they are one step closer towards winning.