India resume on 65-2 after two days of play. As they trail by 307 runs with Ajinkya Rahane on eight. And Cheteshwar Pujara on two. While Australia earned two wickets late yesterday with the ball/field.
Not only Pujara continued his usual mantra with the forward defense. But he gave Rahane the strike to fire off with the runs quickly. That combination helped India reach the 100 run mark. Before Pujara mistimed the edge off Josh Hazlewood. Where it carried to Tim Paine behind him on 25. As Josh Hazlewood found the breakthrough for Australia.
Australia also taken another wicket this time on Rahane (37). Thanks to Matthew Wade at point off Mitch Starc. The reading is there when they found their weaknesses. That would be making both Pujara and Rahane play the edge. In which these tactics have worked so far this morning. But Mayank Agarwal settled in ahead of lunch alongside Rishabh Pant.
The away side came back after the 40 minute break at 161-4. While trying to work off the 208 run trail. Agarwal have improved slightly this time at 5. After he was dropped as Opener before the 3rd Test. But was dismissed on 38 by Josh Hazlewood. The same goes with Rishabh Pant on 23. As Pant was unable to repeat his 2nd innings Sydney heroics last week.
Australia thought they might have a wonderful day ahead. Especially with the three scalps from Hazlewood. But endured another tough time. When all-founders Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur came in. And both men settled in with the basics strike approach. Having reached nearly the 40 run mark together ahead of tea. India 253-6, trails by 116.
This Sundar-Thakur partnership used their best strengths. Not just the usual blocks off the good balls. They also took advantage where the Australia did not maximise their pace. It allowed them to hold their wicket for longer. As both men secured their respective 50s. And the 100 run stand together. Having extended their time at the crease over the next 1 1/2 hour.
But this stand finally came to a close on 133. That is the second highest in this series behind Pujara and Pant on 148 last week, When Pat Cummins clean bowled Thakur out on 67. Before Australia wrapped up the leftover India tail end & Sundar (62). India all out for 336 as Australia bat again with the 33 run advantage. As Day 3 ended with Australia 22-0, leads by 54 runs. Both openers David Warner remains on 16 while Marcus Harris on 1. Fingers crossed for play tomorrow with heavy rain looming ahead.
India would be in the box seat right now after a brilliant response. They took their time all day wth the bat. Partnerships first before looking at the scoreboard. It might not be exactly be the Top 6. As some have played alright after scoring 30-40. But it is the tail end pair at 7 & 8 have kept these hopes up. Sundar and Thakur are quickie all-rounders who batted the above attributes. And showed how dynamic they are v the Aussies. When it comes to their rotation and placement of strikes. Now the tables turn on the bowlers tomorrow AM.
Australia are in the middle of both good and bad on the field. Especially with Josh Hazlewood firing up. Having got both middle order men after lunch. Before Josh found it easy to wrap it up. And deserves his five wicket haul. But there are mistakes as a whole bowling unit. Such as a lack of fire under their belly. As well as the wrong areas that made the Indian all-rounders hit downtown. Not even a chance coming towards a catch. They must build a competitive total before it is too late.