Twitter Reactions: Australia seven wickets away from winning the SCG Test; India fighting hard

Twitter Reactions: Australia seven wickets away from winning the SCG Test; India fighting hard

India ended Day 4 on 98/2 chasing an improbable 407.

Steve Smith
Steve Smith. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Australia have tightened their grip over the ongoing Sydney Test against India. On the fourth day, they extended their lead thanks to some brilliant batting from Steve Smith and Cameron Green and then came back to nip out India’s two wickets in the second innings. The visitors though batted well in their second essay keeping the opposition at bay and are fighting hard to save this Test.

Earlier, India got off to a poor start on the field as Marnus Labuschagne was dropped by Hanuma Vihari off the second ball of the day itself. Australia’s number three then piled on runs along with Smith to notch up a century partnership. Just when Labuschagne was once again setting himself up for a century, Navdeep Saini strangled him down the leg-side with Wriddhiman Saha taking a splendid catch.

The same pacer then sent back Matthew Wade as India looked to make a comeback. But the marathon man, Steve Smith was still in the middle who got to his 50-run mark and went unscathed till Lunch. He cleared his intentions in the first over of the second session then by smacking a six and a four and soon reached into the 80s as well. However, Ravi Ashwin bowled a brilliant delivery to catch him in front of the stumps.

Cameron Green, at the other end, though got set by then and was also reprieved not once but twice. He began to play his shots while Tim Paine, who was also dropped once, looked comfortable at the crease. After crossing fifty, Green shifted into T20 mode hitting as many as four massive sixes. It helped Australia to stretch their lead past 400.

Green getting out at 84 led to the umpires taking Tea and the hosts also declared their second innings at 312/6 after 87 overs setting an improbable target of 407 for India.

A gritty final session

Much like the first innings, India’s openers Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma started well. They looked unfazed about the pitch behaviors and the target and kept batting. Both the batsmen played some authoritative strokes as well adding 71 runs for the opening wicket. Unfortunately, Gill edged a very good delivery from Josh Hazlewood in the 23rd over and failed to convert yet another start.

Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma impressed once again and this time, he made sure to cross the 50-run mark. He looked set to go unscathed by the end of the day until Pat Cummins induced a pull shot off him only to get caught by Mitchell Starc at fine-leg. It was a telling blow for the visitors with just less than 15 minutes to go for stumps.

Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara joined hands then and didn’t let Australia pick any more wickets. India ended the day on 98/2 after 34 overs and the onus will be on these two senior batsmen to bat as long as they can on the fifth day. With Ravindra Jadeja unlikely to bat, Australia need only seven wickets and are the favourites to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

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