Australia vs India 2014/15 - 4th Test, Day 5, Lunch: India require 189 more for victory
Report of the post-lunch session on day five of the fourth Test at the SCG.
Sydney, Jan 10 - India put themselves in a strong position at tea after reaching 160 for two in their second innings, requiring 189 more runs to win with the last session left to play on final day of the fourth Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here on Saturday.
The visitors added 87 runs from 28 overs, losing one wicket in the post-lunch session to set up an interesting chase of their target of 349 runs after Australia decided to declare at their overnight score of 251 for six in the morning.
Opener Murali Vijay (batting 71) and Rohit Sharma (39) looked strong at the start of the second session until the latter was caught by Australian skipper Steven Smith, who took a blinder at wide slip, flying to his right and taking a one-handed catch.
Thereon, Vijay consolidated the Indian innings with skipper Virat Kohli (batting 26), stringing an unbeaten 56-run partnership for the third wicket.
India, though, failed to up the ante and were quite respectful towards the pacers but went after off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who is incidentally also the most successful bowler of the series with 22 wickets.
Opener Vijay took time to settle down. Slowly he started attacking and scored his fourth half-century of the series and the tenth of his career.
Earlier in the morning, India reached 73 for one in 29 overs after Australia decided to declare on their overnight score.
Smith, along with the team management, believed that it would be quite difficult for India to chase down 349 runs on a day five pitch and declared early in the morning.
Vijay and Lokesh Rahul (16) looked solid at the crease, though Vijay was dropped in the 10th over by wicketkeeper Brad Haddin off Lyon.
However, Australia did not have to wait long for success as Lyon got another wicket when he scalped first innings centurion Rahul, who gloved a turning delivery to backward short leg.
Vijay and Rohit stuck it out in the middle thereon.
Lyon was the lone wicket-taker, but the Aussie pacers were the stars in the morning session, testing the Indian batsmen with their length and pace in seaming conditions.
Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, with respective figures of 7-4-5-0 and 5-4-1-0, built the pressure on India by giving away less than a run per over.
Australia 1st innings: 572/7 declared
India 1st innings: 475 all out
Australia 2nd ?innings: 251/6 declared
India 2nd innings (target 349)
Murali Vijay batting 71
Lokesh Rahul c Warner b Lyon 16
Rohit Sharma c Smith b Watson 39
Virat Kohli batting 26
Extras (b 4, lb 4) 8
Total (for two wickets in 57 overs) 160
Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Rahul, 13.2 overs), 2-104 (Sharma, 37.6)
Mitchell Starc 12-6-15-0
Ryan Harris 11-3-28-0
Nathan Lyon 18-2-81-1
Josh Hazlewood 9-6-6-0
Steven Smith 2-0-7-0
Shane Watson 5-1-15-1
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)