Australia are in a commanding position in the third Test after setting a 407-run target against India to win the match here at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday.
At stumps on day four, India were at 98/2 with Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten on nine and four runs respectively. Coming in to bat at the final session of the day, both the openers Rohit Shamra and Shubman Gill showed great intent against the Australian pace-battery on the deteriorating pitch of the SCG.
The duo accumulated the second 50-plus opening stand in the match. The openers provided a formidable start to the visitors as they added 71-run for the first wicket.
Pacer Josh Hazlewood scalped Gill (31) as he was caught behind the stumps by skipper Tim Paine. Pujara walked in to bat at number three. Pujara and Rohit then played defensively and kept the scoreboard moving. They stitched a 21-brief stand before Rohit was removed by Cummins. At that time, India were left reeling at 92/2 in 30.2 overs.
Rohit played a knock of 52 runs studded with six and five fours. After Rohit’s dismissal, Rahane joined Pujara in the middle and made sure that the side did not lose any more wickets in the day. India are still 309 runs behind from the target while Australia need eight wickets to seal the series on the final day of the Pink Test.
Earlier, the hosts declared their second innings on 312/6 at tea on the fourth afternoon after the dying minutes saw an unruly group in the crowd once again hurl abuses at Indian pacer Mohammed Siraj.
The second session saw Australia scoring 130 runs from 23 overs. Cameron Green played a knock of 84 runs while Tim Paine remained unbeaten on 39. The second session on day four witnessed high drama after Siraj along with India skipper Rahane had a word with umpire Paul Reiffel regarding the unruly behaviour of the crowd. Visuals on television indicated that there were some words spoken for Siraj who was fielding near the boundary rope.
Both the umpires then had a word with each other and the police then asked a group of men to leave the stand. Resuming the second session at 182/4, Steve Smith started batting in an aggressive fashion from the very start and he was quick to capitalise on the loose deliveries.—Agencies