Sundar, Thakur’s resilience keeps India alive in fourth Australia Test

Ind Australia

A pair of unlikely third-day batting heroes gave India a fighting chance of securing the draw they need in the fourth Test against Australia to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur, put on 123 runs for
the seventh wicket — a record for India at the Gabba — taking their team from a
precarious 186 for seven to 309 before Thakur was bowled by Pat Cummins for an
entertaining 67.

All-rounder Sundar, on debut, batted well with the tail
until he guided a Mitchell Starc short ball to Cameron Green in the gully to
fall for 62.

By the time Mohammad Siraj was bowled by Josh Hazlewood,
giving him figures of 5-57, India had reached 336, only 33 runs behind
Australia’s first innings total of 369.

Australian openers Marcus Harris and David Warner survived
six testing overs as Australia finished the third day on 21 without loss, a
lead of 54 runs with all 10 second innings wickets intact.

Without Sundar and Thakur, India, would have been in far
greater trouble against an Australia side who must win the match to regain the
Border-Gavaskar Trophy with the four-match series locked at 1-1.

The two smashed the previous seventh-wicket record for India
at the Gabba of 58, set by Kapil Dev and Manoj Prabhakar in 1991.

India’s top-order batsmen all squandered chances to score
heavily, with all but Shubman Gill getting starts but all except Cheteshwar
Pujara falling to rash shots.

The visitors began the extended morning session on 62 for
two, with Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease.

Both men looked to keep the scoreboard ticking over, in
contrast to Saturday afternoon, where they were more intent on survival.

They saw off Starc and Cummins but Hazlewood was introduced
into the attack and produced a brilliant over which led to Pujara’s downfall.

Hazlewood had Pujara in trouble when a short ball followed
him as he tried to evade it, the ball hitting his glove and falling just short
of Cameron Green in the gully.

But two deliveries later Hazlewood got a ball to angle in,
then straighten slightly to catch the outside edge of Pujara’s bat and
Australia’s captain and wicketkeeper Tim Paine took a routine catch.

Rahane and Mayank Agarwal steadied the ship but with the
lunch break in sight, Rahane couldn’t resist playing at a wide ball from
left-arm paceman Starc angling across his body and edged a comfortable catch to
Matthew Wade at fourth slip.

The Indian captain, on 37, threw his head back in disgust at
the manner of his dismissal before trudging off.

The Indians began the second session at 161 for four with
the dangerous Agarwal and Rishabh Pant at the crease.

However, like Rahane, both Agarwal and Pant fell to
injudicious shots.

Agarwal slashed at a wide delivery from Cummins’ second ball
after the resumption to fall for 38, caught at second slip by Steve Smith.

Then to compound India’s problems, Pant did the same to
Hazlewood, only to be caught in the gully by Green for 23.

At that stage Australia were in command of the Test but
Sundar, playing his first Test, and Thakur, in his second, had other ideas and
defied the bowling attack with a mixture of solid defence and attractive stroke
making.

Author: desi123

Desi123.com is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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