After the 20-minute tea break, Australia resume on 5-138 here at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
There’s still a lot of work to do as they need 260 runs so they can celebrate an unlikely victory.
For now, they will need to pray for their two batsmen to survive in the middle as their only hope:
- Tim Paine, One Not Out
- Travis Head, 29 Not Out
If not, India only needs five more wickets to win the 3rd Test Match.
They will not only leave Melbourne 2-1 heading into the 4th & final Test in Sydney next week.
But they will also get to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Paine immediately fired off with a few runs on board by keeping his shots simple using a full straight bat.
Head’s adopting the same approach as Paine with both batsmen handled the innings nicely.
But the 21-run Paine-Head stand shut down when Ishant Sharma captured Head for the third time in this series on 34.
Head didn’t move his feet too much trying to knock off a full straight ball before it knicked the inside edge & onto the stumps.
Paine batted on while Pat Cummins backed him up and both held India’s attempts to wipe off a wicket for a while.
Then Virat Kohli’s reinstatement of Ravi Jadeja into the attack helped get rid of Paine on 26.
Jadeja only attacked the pitch straighter and in-line towards the off stump where Paine made a mistake by edging straight to Risbabh Pant’s gloves.
Paine’s footwork planted far from where he wanted to hit the ball on the back foot which caused him to back away.
The Australian skipper should put his foot closer towards where the ball goes.
That way Paine can execute the cut better with soft hands & maintaining his shape next time.
Mohammed Shami easily bowled Mitchell Starc out on 12 with a fantastic straight low-bounce yorker.
The way Shami swung in-line & maintaining that length helped complete what the Indian bowlers wanted to which is to target the stumps.
With only two wickets left for India to win the 3rd Test, the Umpires approved the extra eight overs to play in this session.
Pat Cummins soon picked up his half-ton having batted for long periods.
Cummins never gave his wicket away when he produced 100s of blocks plus picking out straight bat shots at the right time.
You see where whacking the bad balls away does turn into decent rewards.
And that has heavily supported Cummins’ superior intent & technical work in the middle.
It didn’t take long for Cummins to produce a few more boundaries before he helped Australia reach the 250 run mark.
Stumps Day 4: Australia 8-257 & needs 141 more runs to win.
It’s an incredible fightback from Australia to keep the Indian bowlers’ frustrated thanks to Pat Cummins.
Cummins is the only man who stuck with the straight bat shots all the time that any Australian batsman couldn’t do earlier in this innings.
So Australia still needs Cummins & Lyon to survive all day tomorrow in a chance to make a last minute win.
Apart from that, India’s is in a dominant position to win the 3rd Test.
Yes, their bowlers may have run tired at the end of today.
But they can rest up overnight and come back fresh for the final day tomorrow.
And their approach should stay the same which is to attack nice and straight towards the stumps.
India only needs two wickets to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and leave Melbourne 2-1.