The third Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar series will roll into Day 5, as India survived Day 4 with 98 runs on board losing two wickets. The visitors were battered throughout the day, amid a reported racial abuse incident that halted play for some time. Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma gave India a promising start before perishing. Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane held fort at stumps.
Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne commenced the day’s play on the front foot as they never allowed the Indian bowlers to settle. The attacking mindset of both the batters trickled down on the incoming batters. Amid a flurry of catch drops from the Indians, Wriddhiman Saha emerged as an unlikely hero when he caught Labuschagne (73) behind the stumps off Navdeep Saini.
Smith continued the onslaught as the visitors almost gave up on creating chances. Mathew Wade’s (4) stay was short, as he nicked one off Saini to Saha. It was Cameron Green who danced to Smith’s tune as he struck the Indian bowlers with ridiculous freedom. Smith (81) fell prey to Ashwin, for the third this series, as he missed out on a hundred. Tim Paine was dropped on 7, which he welcomed with open arms.
Green and Paine frustrated the bowlers pretty much in a T20 style. The youngster who was out on a duck in the first innings hammered the likes of Siraj, Bumrah, and Ashwin to sprint to a hundred. However, he fell short on 84. Australia declared post that and set a target of 407 for India.
Coming out to bat, Rohit and Gill looked much polished in handling the new ball. Mitchell Starc, Cummins had to toil hard for a result, as the Indian duo stitched a 70-run partnership for the first wicket. Josh Hazelwood came back into the attack and dismissed Gill on 31. Rohit Sharma scooted to his fifty but failed to control himself from pulling a short ball from Cummins. The ball dipped straight to Starc in the boundary. Ajinkya Rahane (4) and Cheteshwar Pujara (9) remained unbeaten at the end of the day’s play, with the visitors 309 runs away from a victory and Australia needing 8 wickets to win the Sydney Test.