Thakur-Sundar Stand Keeps Gabba Test Hanging in the Balance
When Stumps were drawn on Day 3, Australia were 21/0 with a lead of 54 and the duo of Warner and Harris still in.
It was yet another display of great determination and grit with the bat from two bowling all-rounders for India. Shardul Thakur and debutant Washington Sundar scored half-centuries as India once again fought back from a spot of bother to leave the final Test against Australia in Brisbane delicately poised at the end of the third day.
When Stumps were drawn on Day 3, Australia were 21/0 with a lead of 54 and the duo of David Warner and Marcus Harris still in.
Earlier, India’s mammoth seventh wicket stand between Shardul Thakur and Sundar was ended by Pat Cummins with Thakur being castled on 67, in the third session of Day 3 at the Gabba.
Thakur and Sundar though added a massive 123 runs defying and frustrating the Aussie bowlers in what ended up becoming the match’s highest partnership so far. The two started with India’s score at 186/6 and by the time Australia finally made the breakthrough, India’s score read 309/7.
India were eventually bowled out for 336, conceding a lead of 33, with Josh Hazlewood ending with a five-wicket haul. Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc picked two wickets each while off-spinner Nathan Lyon, playing his 100th Test, scalped one wicket in a frustrating outing for the bowlers.
Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal and skipper Ajinkya Rahane also made notable contributions of 44, 38 and 37 respectively. India batted for more than 111 overs before getting bundled out in the final session on the third day of the match.
India’s two overnight batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara along with Mayank Agarwal and Rishabh Pant have all lost their wickets so far on Day 3 of the fourth Test at the Gabba.
Pujara was the first to go as he edged one to Tim Paine off Josh Hazlewdood. The Aussie skipper made no mistake today and held onto the ball as India’s number three bat departed on 25.
Rahane then was joined by Mayank Agarwal and the pair steadied the innings and also stitched together a partnership of 39 runs but just as the teams were getting ready for Lunch, Mitchell Starc struck. Rahane caught at fourth slip by Matthew Wade for 37.
Rishabh Pant and Mayank Agarwal then added a quick 17 off 32 balls before the Lunch break but when play resumed, Mayank’s 75-ball innings was ended by Josh Hazlewood. Steve Smith with the catch in the slips and India down to 161/5.
Rishabh Pant looked good for his 23 off 29 but fell to an avoidable shot, looking to steer a short one past gully. However, Cameron Green was in position to take a sharp catch.
That left India 186/6, staring at a big deficit. However, Sundar and Thakur resisted and counter attacked in brilliant fashion to frustrate Australia and chip away at the deficit.
Thakur drove, pulled and slashed at the pacers, while also launching Lyon over long-on for a six to get to his fifty. In the next over Sundar got to his.
Sundar, a top-order batsman in the early days of his career, was classy, showing proper technique as he has done as an opener in his short first-class career. As time passed, Australia's shoulders dropped before Cummins got through Thakur's drive to hit the stumps.
Sundar added a few more in the company of the tail - a no-look six off Lyon being the highlight - before India's innings closed.
Warner and Harris then saw out the tricky passage of play to leave the game well poised.
The four-match series is currently tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the first match in Adelaide while India registering a win in the second in Melbourne. The third Test in Sydney had ended in a draw.
Brief scores: India 336 all out (Shardul Thakur 67, Washington Sundar 62; Josh Hazlewood 5/57), Australia 369 & 21/0.
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.