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IND v AUS, 4th Test, Day 3 Review: Bowlers put India in the driver’s seat, require 87 more to win series

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Opening Session 

It was bound to be the make or break day for both the teams with the match hanging in the balance before the start of the day’s play. From India’s point of view, a partnership was required badly and the duo of Wirddhiman Saha and Ravindra Jadeja did exactly what the doctor had ordered for Team India.

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Jadeja smashed the Aussie bowlers all around Dharamsala and made his way to his 7th half-century of his Test career. He looked in complete control and along with Saha, the duo ensured India took the lead without any further hiccups. It was an excellent display of batsmanship by the wicket keeper and the all-rounder.

Jadeja played out the initial burst from Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood and started growing in confidence. He straight drove Pat Cummins for an exquisite boundary and then stepped down to Nathan Lyon and smashed him over the mid-wicket boundary for a massive six.

Saha, on the other hand, rotated the strike along and kept the scoreboard ticking. He was assured in his crease and gave most of the strike to his attacking partner Jadeja. The southpaw completed yet another half-century and his famous sword celebration was out yet again. It was an exceptional innings under the circumstances.

Just after completing his half-century Jaddu took on Pat Cummins with disdain and smashed him for a four and a six of consecutive deliveries with terrific pull shots. He executed both the shots to perfection and the commentary panel was awestruck with the audacity shown by Jadeja.

But just when India looked set for a big 1st innings lead, Jadeja gave away his wicket to Pat Cummins. It was a full-length delivery outside the off stump and he inside edged it straight onto his stumps. Bhuvneshwar Kumar joined Saha in the middle and the duo looked to carry on the good work.

Bhuvi was dismissed by Steve O’Keefe in the very next over as edging a straighter delivery from the left-arm spinner straight to the slip fielder. Pat Cummins then bounced out Wriddhiman Saha with a scorching delivery as the wicket-keeper gloved it to the slip cordon. Steve Smith jumped at the correct time and plucked a stunning catch out of thin air.

Debutant Kuldeep Yadav looked resolute in his brief stay and smashed a gorgeous boundary before falling to Nathan Lyon to give the off-spinner yet another 5-wicket haul in Test cricket. With a lead of 32, India will be going into the 2nd innings with a slight advantage.

Brief Scores (up to Lunch) 

Australia 1st innings 300 all-out in 88.3 overs (Steve Smith 111, Matthew Wade 57, Kuldeep Yadav 4/68, Umesh Yadav 2/69)

India 1st innings 332 all-out in 118.1 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 62, KL Rahul 60, Ajinkya Rahane 46, Nathan Lyon 5/92, Pat Cummins 3/94

India lead by 32 runs

Post-Lunch Session 

The Indian bowlers have put them in the ascendancy in the 4th and the final Test in Dharamsala and will look to wrap the Australian 2nd innings pretty soon in the 2nd innings. The Australian openers Matt Renshaw and David Warner began tentatively as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav consistently troubled the duo.

Karun Nair yet again missed David Warner’s catch in the slip cordon but it didn’t cost India much this time around as the southpaw fell to Umesh Yadav in the very next over. It was an exceptional delivery which moved just a bit and took the outside edge of Warner’s bat.

Steve Smith joined Renshaw in the middle and played some delightful shots. Resnhaw, on the other hand, was consistently peppered by Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Smith failed to convert his start and was dismissed by Buvneshwar Kumar. It was a nippy short of a length delivery which took the inside edge of Smith’s bat and crashed into his stumps.

Umesh Yadav finally dismissed Matt Renshaw as his persistent line and length finally paid off as he edged a delivery straight to Wriddhiman Saha behind the stumps. It was an exceptional display of fast bowling by the duo which rattled the Aussie top order. Australia was still to take the lead and had already lost their top 3.

Glenn Maxwell and Peter Handscomb looked settled in the middle and Maxwell, in particular, played some delightful and took on the young spinner Kuldeep Yadav. He smashed him for a couple of boundaries and a six and looked to counter to the Indian bowlers. After setting up a 50 runs partnership Handscomb finally fell prey to Ravichandran Ashwin.

It hit the crack and took off. It had steep bounce and Handdscomb got an outside edge which flew to the slips. Skipper Ajinkya Rahane held on to a stunning reflex catch to break the partnership.

Shaun Marsh who jarred his back while fielding finally came out top bat but couldn’t contribute much. He was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja in the last over before lunch. It took the inside edge of Marsh’s bat and was taken by Cheteshwar Pujara in the short leg region.

Brief Scores (Up to Tea) 

Australia 1st innings 300 all-out in 88.3 overs (Steve Smith 111, Matthew Wade 57, Kuldeep Yadav 4/68, Umesh Yadav 2/69)

India 1st innings 332 all-out in 118.1 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 62, KL Rahul 60, Ajinkya Rahane 46, Nathan Lyon 5/92, Pat Cummins 3/94

Australia 2nd innings 92/5 (Glenn Maxwell 37*, Umesh Yadav 2/22, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/3, Ravindra Jadeja 1/12, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/2

Post-Tea Session 

India consolidated to a position of strength by the end of the 3rd day’s play in Dharamsala and will look to chase down the target with utmost comfort in the morning session tomorrow. It was the spin duo of Jadeja and Ashwin who wrecked havoc in the final session and bowled out the Aussies for only 137 in their 2nd essay.

Wade and Maxwell came out in the middle after the tea interval to begin proceedings. Maxwell was removed by Ravichandran Ashwin early on as the batsman failed to read the direction of the turn. He didn’t offer a shot and was struck plumb in front. It was a close call ane the onfield umpire Ian Gould gave his decision in favour of the bowling team.

Pat Cummins and Wade then stitched together a brief partnership before Jadeja came back into the action and sent Cummins back to the pavilion. The ball turned sharply and took the outside edge of Cummins’ bat. Rahane stationed in the slip cordon completed a straight forward catch.

Steve O’Keefee followed Cummins to the dressing room soon after as he jabbed a straighter delivery from Jaddu straight to the silly point fielder Cheteshwar Pujara. It was a sensational catch taken by the run-machine. Nathan Lyon too gave away his wicket to a fiery Umesh Yadav who finished with a 3 wicket haul.

It was a beautiful outswinger which took the outside edge and was grabbed by Murali Vijay at slip. Eventually, Ravichandran finished off the proceeding with the wicket of Josh Hazlewood. It went on with the arm and thudded onto his pads. The umpire Ian Gould ruled it in favour of the Aussies. Hazlewood went for the review but the replays suggested it would have been umpire’s call.

Chasing 105 to win, the Indian openers walked out in the middle. In form batsman, KL Rahul carried on from where he left in the 1st innings and smashed Pat Cummins for a hat-trick of boundaries in the opening over. Vijay and Rahul then played out the remaining 5 overs without any hiccups and will look to finish off proceedings quickly tomorrow.

Brief Scores (Full Day) 

Australia 1st innings 300 all-out (Steve Smith 111, Matthew Wade 57, Kuldeep Yadav 4/68, Umesh Yadav 2/69)

India 1st innings 332 all-out (Ravindra Jadeja 62, KL Rahul 60, Ajinkya Rahane 46, Nathan Lyon 5/92, Pat Cummins 3/94

Australia 2nd innings 137 all-out (Glenn Maxwell 45, Ravindra Jadeja 3/24, Ravichandran Ashwin 3/29, Umesh Yadav 3/29, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1/27)

India 2nd innings 19/0 in 6 overs (KL Rahul 13*, Murali Vijay 6*)

India need 87 more runs to win

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