Australia vs India 2014/15 - 4th Test, Day 4: Australia secure 348-run lead after Steven Smith, Joe Burns half-centuries
Sydney, Jan 9 - A blazing run-rate in the second innings helped Australia extend their lead to 348 runs and take a commanding position at stumps on the fourth day of the concluding Test against India.
Having bowled out India for 475 to take a 97-run lead, Australia scored at a fast clip to post 251 for six in 40 overs at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Friday.
The home team’s batting approach was in stark contrast to their opponents, scoring at 6.27 runs per over in comparison to India’s 2.93.
Resuming at 342/5, India managed to avoid the follow-on but lost skipper Virat Kohli early (147) as he added only seven runs to his overnight score.
The other overnight unbeaten wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha (35) looked fluent at the crease, tackling the Australian pacers well, who enjoyed considerable movement in the morning session.
However, Saha fell to a bouncer when he awkwardly gloved a Josh Hazlewood (1/64) delivery to first slip.
India added 65 in 29 overs in the first session losing two wickets, but they came out post the break with an attacking mindset.
Handy lower-order batsmen Ravichandran Ashwin (50), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (30) and Mohammed Shami (16 not out) provided some fireworks at the end of India’s innings to reduce the lead below 100.
Ashwin held the innings together scoring his fourth Test half-century.
Umesh Yadav (4) was the last wicket to fall, getting caught behind to end India’s innings. It was a collective effort from the Australian bowlers who shared the wickets to fall with left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc (3/106) being the most successful.
India started on a positive note with Ashwin getting a fair amount of turn from the fourth day pitch. He accounted for the dangerous David Warner (4) in the second over itself.
The visitors had a couple of other chances to make early inroads into the Australian batting order, but they squandered those opportunities with Saha missing a stumping and a run-out chance.
Australia, sensing the tricky situation they were in, started to counter-attack, with No.3 batsman Shane Watson (16) and opener Chris Rogers (56) upping the ante.
Rogers scored his sixth consecutive half-century. His initial ascendancy was complemented by Steven Smith (71) and Joe Burns (66).
Smith’s form saw him overtake Australian legend Don Bradman to become the highest run-getter in a Test series between Australia and India with 769 runs from just eight innings. Bradman had scored 715 runs in six innings in the 1947-48 series.
Ashwin (4/105) was the only bowler who seemed to make a worthwhile impact on the marauding Australian batsmen and was rewarded for his efforts, picking up his best bowling figures outside India.
Indian pacers, particularly Umesh Yadav were plundered all over the park for runs, which dented India’s prospects of a face-saving win having already surrendered the Border-Gavaskar trophy.
Australia 1st innings: 572/7 declared
India 1st innings (overnight 342/5)
Murali Vijay c Haddin b Starc 0
Lokesh Rahul c & b Starc 110
Rohit Sharma b Lyon 53
Virat Kohli c Rogers b Harris 147
Ajinkya Rahane lbw b Watson 13
Suresh Raina c Haddin b Watson 0
Wriddhiman Saha c Smith b Hazlewood 35
Ravichandran Ashwin c Haddin b Starc 50
Bhuvneshwar Kumar c Watson b Lyon 30
Mohammed Shami not out 16
Umesh Yadav c Haddin b Harris 4
Extras (b 4, lb 7, w 1, nb 5) 17
Total (all out in 162 overs) 475
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Vijay, 0.3 overs), 2-97 (Sharma, 43.4), 3-238 (Rahul, 86.6), 4-292 (Rahane, 99.4), 5-292 (Raina, 99.5), 6-352 (Kohli, 119.3), 7-383 (Saha, 130.2), 8-448 (Kumar, 153.1), 9-456 (Ashwin, 158.6), 10-475 (Yadav, 161.6)
Mitchell Starc 32-7-106-3
Ryan Harris 31-7-96-2
Josh Hazlewood 29-8-64-1
Nathan Lyon 46-11-123-2
Shane Watson 20-4-58-2
Steven Smith 4-0-17-0
Australia 2nd innings
Chris Rogers c Raina b Kumar 56
David Warner c Vijay b Ashwin 4
Shane Watson b Ashwin 16
Steven Smith lbw b Mohammed Shami 71
Shaun Marsh c Vijay b Ashwin 1
Joe Burns c Yadav b Ashwin 66
Brad Haddin batting 31
Ryan Harris batting 0
Extras (b 2, lb 2, nb 2) 6
Total (for six wickets in 40 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Warner, 1.3 overs), 2-46 (Watson, 7.2), 3-126 (Rogers, 22.6), 4-139 (Marsh, 25.3), 5-165 (Smith, 30.6), 6-251 (Burns, 39.4)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 8-0-46-1
Ravichandran Ashwin 19-2-105-4
Mohammed Shami 6-0-33-1
Umesh Yadav 3-0-45-0
Suresh Raina 4-0-18-0
Toss: Australia chose to bat
Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and Richard Kettleborough (England)
TV umpire: Simon Fry (Australia)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (Sri Lanka)
Reserve umpire: Gerard Abood (Australia)