Fighting back through debutant Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur, India scored 336 in their first innings to cut Australia’s lead to just 33 on day three of the series-deciding fourth Test here on Sunday.
Washington (62) and Thakur (67) added 123 runs for the seventh wicket after India lost four wickets.
In the six overs that Australia had to negotiate before stumps, the hosts scored 21 in their second innings with openers David Warner (20) and Marcus Harris (1) hardly looking troubled by the Indian bowlers Australia’s overall lead stands at 54 runs.
Resuming at 62 for two, Indian skipper Ajinkya Rahane (37) was watchful till he went for a flashy drive off Mitchell Starc and ended up getting caught in the slip cordon. Before his dismissal, Cheteshwar Pujara (25) fell to a peach of a delivery off Josh Hazlewood in the opening session.
In the second session, India lost Mayank Agarwal (38) and young Rishabh Pant (23) and innings seemed to be falling apart but Washington and Thakur resisted the Australian attack with aplomb.
Thakur’s combative knock ended when Pat Cummins went through his gates while Washington was dismissed by Starc in the final session.
Australia 1st innings: 369 and 21 for no loss in 6 overs.
India 1st innings: 336 all out in 111.4 overs. (S Thakur 67, W Sundar 62, R Sharma 44; J Hazlewood 5/57, M Starc 2/88).
Australia 1st innings: 369 all out India 1st innings: (Overnight 62/2) Rohit Sharma c Starc b N Lyon 44 Shubhman Gill c Smith b P Cummins 7 Cheteshwar Pujara c Paine b J Hazlewood 25 Ajinkya Rahane c Wade b M Starc 37 Mayank Agarwal c Smith b J Hazlewood 38 Rishabh Pant c Green b J Hazlewood 23 Washington Sundar c Green b M Starc 62 Shardul Thakur b P Cummins 67 Navdeep Saini c Smith b J Hazlewood 5 Mohammed Siraj b J Hazlewood 13 T Natarajan not out 1 Extras: (B-5, LB-7 NB-2) 14 Total: (all out in 111.4 overs) 336 Fall of wickets: 1-11, 2-60, 3-105, 4-144, 5-161, 6-186, 7-309, 8-320, 9-328 Bowling: Mitchell Starc 23-3-88-2, Josh Hazlewood 24.4-6-57-5, Pat Cummins 27-5-94-2, Cameron Green 8-1-20-0, Nathan Lyon 28-9-65-1, Marnus Labuchagne 1-1-0-0.
Australia 2nd innings: Marcus Harris batting 1 David Warner batting 20 Total (For no loss in 6 overs) 21 Bowling: Mohammed Siraj 2-1-12-0, T Natarajan 3-0-6-0, Washington Sundar 1-0-3-0.