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India left with a mountain to climb as Australia set target of 407 in Sydney Test

India need to score 407 to win
India need to score 407 to win
Wasiq Agha
ANALYST
Modified 10 Jan 2021, 10:32 IST
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Australia took off in the afternoon session, scoring at more than 5.50 rpo to bat India out of the game in the Sydney Test. Cameron Green and Tim Paine led the attack against India’s bowling line-up. The visitors now need to chase 407 and have a little over a day left to try and save the Test. 

India had made a promising start to the session after Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Steve Smith for the third time this series. But that was the only shining light for the visitors, as the team missed the presence of Ravindra Jadeja as their 5th bowler. 

The session was marred by another incident of racial abuse against Mohammed Siraj, and security asked the guilty party to leave the stands.

Brief scores: Australia 312/6 (Steve Smith 84, Marnus Labuschagne 81; Navdeep Saini 2/54, Ravichandran Ashwin 2/95) & 338 all-out lead India 244 all-out by 406 runs


Australia started the second session with a clear plan in mind. After scoring at 2.26 rpo in the morning session, it was time to accelerate. Initially Steve Smith came out all guns blazing, as the hosts scored 24 in the first three overs after lunch.

But his assault came to an abrupt end at the hands of nemesis Ravichandran Ashwin. India decided to review after a loud call for LBW was adjudged as not-out. It proved to be a great decision, as HawkEye returned three reds and Smith walked back for 81.

The wicket of Steve Smith slowed down Australia’s scoring rate again, as Tim Paine began to get his eye in. Cameron Green at the other end looked assured, as he kept putting the bad balls away to the boundary.

India's poor fielding show continues

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India failed to back up the bowlers with their fielding
India failed to back up the bowlers with their fielding

Hanuma Vihari dropped a sitter off Bumrah’s bowling in the morning, and it was vice-captain Rohit Sharma’s turn next. The fast bowler got Tim Paine to edge a delivery to first slip, but the India opener could not hold onto it.

Tim Paine decided to up the ante after the dropped chance. The skipper was batting on seven off 19 when the catch was dropped but raced to 33 of 39 in no time. 

India opted against taking the second new ball for a while, as they tried to bowl with the softer ball to keep the scoring in check. But they couldn't quite keep the run-rate down.

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Cameron Green soon brought up his maiden Test fifty to compound India’s misery. The all-rounder made an adjustment, playing deliveries from way outside his crease. He hit Mohammed Siraj for a couple of huge sixes down the ground.

But as Green and Paine were taking the match out of India's reach, another incident of racial abuse cropped up at the end of the 86th over.

Mohammed Siraj reported a similar incident and the match resumed only after security officials asked the guilty party to leave the stands.

The stoppage in play led to Cameron Green’s downfall. In his quest for a hundred, the all-rounder ended up knicking one to the keeper, as Jasprit Bumrah finally got a wicket on Day 4. 

India set huge target

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Tea was taken immediately after Green's dismissal and Australia declared during the break. The hosts now have upward of 130 overs to bowl the Indians out to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

For the Indians, the task is simple: bat till the end of the fifth day. 

Published 10 Jan 2021, 10:32 IST
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