Australia have sent India in to bat on day 5 at the SCG after declaring before the start of play in the fourth and final test. The Indian tail helped push the Aussies hard to post a competitive total on day four as Ravi Ashwin tore up a dusty wicket.
India need 349 runs or to remain at the crease after the minimum 90 overs to prevent Australia claiming their third win in the series.
After the Indian tail wagged for the first time this Summer, Australia hit a quick-fire 6/251 from 40 overs to produce a lead that would require an SCG record for India to win.
Steve Smith was pick of the batsmen again with 71 runs from 70 balls. He has totalled 769 runs for the series at an average of just over 128, beating Don Bradman’s 1947-48 record of 715 at an average of 178.75 from 6 innings.
It was Ashwin who did the damage with the ball on day 4 for India on a deteriorating pitch. His variation, massive turn and the lack of bounce in the pitch assisted the Indian talisman to 4/105 from 19.0 overs.
Ashwin removed the dangerous David Warner in the second over after Kohli chose to open the innings with spinner. It was a move that proved significant as Ashwin also bowled Watson in the 8th over.
Chirs Rogers and Smith dug in for an 80-run 4th wicket partnership that saw Rogers notch his 6th straight half-century.
Joe Burns and Brad Haddin seemed to be having a blast, smashing the Indian bowlers in one-day fashion. Burns hit an important 66 runs and looked comfortable for the first time since joining the team during their 86-run 6th wicket partnership.
No team has ever hit 300 runs on the third day of a test match and Australia will be working hard to keep it that way on day 5.
India will need more than Virat Kohli to reel in the total. Murali Vijay must bounce back from his first innings duck to prevent the Aussies gaining early momentum.
Rahul will be looking to back up his first innings century with another fine performance in his blossoming career while the Aussies need Nathan Lyon to get something out of the wicket to keep India playing at the ball.