Brisbane: India were 4/0 in their second innings at stumps, requiring 324 more runs to win the series-deciding fourth Test against Australia after rain forced play to be abandoned early on day four, here on Monday.
India dismissed Australia for 294 in their second innings to set themselves a target of 328 after after skipper Tim Paine chose not to declare. An emotional five-for for Mohammed Siraj (5/73) was the highlight of the day.
Indian openers Rohit Sharma (4*) and Shubman Gill (0*) were at the crease and they faced just 11 deliveries of the remaining 25 overs to be bowled on day four before rain set in.
Earlier in the morning session, David Warner and Marcus Harris resumed at 21/0 and quickly pushed Australia’s lead out to 122 runs after India were bowled out for 336 in reply to the home side’s first-innings total of 369.
However, India dug deep and hit back. Shardul Thakur (4/61) had Harris caught behind on 38 and the dismissal sparked a collapse that saw Australia lose 34/4 in seven overs approaching the lunch break.
Warner was next to go, trapped in front by Washington Sundar (1/80) on 48, and when Siraj struck twice in four balls, Australia were forced on the back foot with Marnus Labuschagne (25) and Matthew Wade (0) gone.
Paine’s men were 149/4 at lunch, but Steve Smith was able to lift the tempo after the restart, belting 55 from 74 balls before Siraj removed him. Cameron Green never found rhythm on his way to 37 from 90 balls and was on his way when Sharma took his fifth catch of the Test, the most by an Indian player in a Brisbane Test.
The home side was 243/7, with a lead of 276, when tea was taken early as showers passed over at the Gabba.
Pat Cummins (28*) and Mitchell Starc (1) came to bat after the break and searched for quicker runs. Australia added further 51 runs for three wickets post the resumption of play in gloomy conditions.
An emotional Siraj, whose father passed away in November, gestured to the sky after Thakur caught Josh Hazlewood (9) in the deep to end Australia’s second innings and seal the first five-wicket haul of his career.
Meanwhile, Thakur (4/61) took four and spinner Washington Sundar (1/80) scalped one wicket.
With the series tied at 1-1, Australia must win to claim the Border-Gavaskar Trophy while India can retain the coveted prize with a draw.
Brief Scores: Australia 1st innings: 369 all out, India 1st innings: 336 all out in 111.4 overs.
Australia 2nd innings: 294 allout in 75.5 overs (Steve Smith 55; Mohammed Siraj 5/73, Shardul Thakur 4/61).
India 1st innings: 4 for no loss in 1.5 overs (Rohit Sharma 4, Mitchell Starc 4/0). (UNI)