Sydney, January 5: Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja troubled Australia on a batting-friendly surface before bad light and rain forced the umpires to call off play on the third day of the fourth and final Test match here on Saturday (January 5).
Resuming their innings from the overnight total of 24 without loss, the openers Usman Khawaja (27) and Marcus Harris (79) laid a solid foundation but the hosts squandered the advantage to give the visitors another opportunity to make a comeback.
The 72-run opening stand between Harris and Khawaja was broken by Kuldeep as the left-handed batsman was caught by Cheteshwar Pujara.
The chinaman held on to his nerves and kept tossing it up to force the batsman to pull him and he found the fielder standing at short mid-wicket to pouch it comfortably.
Meanwhile, Harris notched up his second Test fifty as he dominated the Indian bowlers into the middle and looked poised for a century. He steadied the Australian ship with another valuable partnership with debutant Marnus Labuschagne (38).
Harris' valiant knock came to an end at 79 when Jadeja got the better of the southpaw, soon after the lunch break. The Saurashtra spinner gave the hosts their third jolt by getting Shaun Marsh (8) caught at slip by Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane later took a sharp at short-leg and ended the defiant knock of Labuschagne off Mohammed Shami.
Kuldeep was once again brought into the attack by Kohli and his persistence paid off. The chinaman got rid of Travis Head (20) by taking a superb return catch to give the hosts their fourth jolt before the Tea break.
Australian captain Tim Paine (5) was the fifth wicket to perish when he was cleaned up by Kuldeep in the first over after Tea.
Later, Peter Handscomb (28*) and Pat Cummins (25*) stitched a partnership of 38-runs for the sixth wicket and denied the Indians any further success before bad light and, later, rain forced the umpires to call off early stumps. Australia are 236/6 in 83.3 overs and still trail India by 386 runs. The match will begin half-an-hour early on Sunday, Day 4.
Here's how Day 3 panned out:
The officials have called for early stumps at the SCG! Australia will resume their innings from 236/6 on Sunday at 4:30 AM (IST).
India would be happy with their efforts on Day 3 as they never let the hosts forge threatening partnerships. Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja were the stand out performers for India today. Hopefully, they'll carry it forward on Day 4.
It has started raining in Sydney. It seems there isn't a possibility of play to resume.
Play has been stopped been stopped due to bad light! Teams are heading back towards the pavilion. Australia - 236/6 after 83.3 overs.
Handscomb and Cummins have offered some resistance after Paine was dismissed in the very first over post Tea.
India have stuck with the old ball as the spinners are bowling well. The partnership between Peter Handscomb and Pat Cummins is worth 38 now.
80 overs have been bowled. Australia are 228/6. Second new ball is due now.
Kuldeep and Jadeja are bowling tightly and miserly in tandem. Handscomb and Cummins are finding it hard to score runs freely. Australia 219/6.
Wicket! Kuldeep Yadav strikes in the first over of the tea break and cleans Tim Paine for 5. Australia are 198/6 in 69 overs.
Play gets underway for the third session and Kuldeep Yadav gets a turn on the very first ball of the session.
Tea Break! Australia are 198/5 and trail India by 424 runs. Another dominating session by India as they picked up 4 wickets in this one. This is the first session in which bowlers have dominated.
Wicket! Brilliant return catch from Kuldeep Yadav and the wrist spinner ends Travis Head's innings for 20. Patience has paid off for Kuldeep. Australia - 192/5
Australia 177/4 after 63 overs. A partnership is building between Travis Head - 13* and Peter Handscomb - 12*.
Australia are 157/4 after 55 overs. Mohammed Shami is getting some reverse swing in the first hour of the second session.
Alyssa Heally lauds Kohli's captaincy!
Tactically I like the way Kohli kept manoeuvring those leg side fielders. As a batter that’s a nightmare to constantly have to change your angles when the ball is coming in like that! Eventuated in a wicket. Well played.— Alyssa Healy (@ahealy77) January 5, 2019
Wicket! Marnus Labuschagne (38) falls into Shami's trap as Rahane takes a brilliant catch at short mid-wicket. He was looking to flick the ball for a boundary but credit goes to captain Kohli for making the fielding change a couple of balls before. Australia - 152/4
Manus Labuschagne is batting on 34 and has looked impressive in this innings so far. Australia - 148/3 in 50 overs.
Wicket! Shaun Marsh (8) edges Jadeja and Ajinkya Rahane takes a sharp catch at slip. Two wickets in quick succession for Jadeja. Australia - 144/3
Wicket! Marcus Harris tries to guide the ball through the vacant point region but ends up chopping it back onto his own stumps. Jadeja removes him for 79. Australia - 128/2 in 43 overs.
Marcus Harris' wicket improved India's chances of victory by 10% according to WinViz. #AUSvIND— The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) January 5, 2019
2nd session gets underway. Jadeja starts the proceedings with the ball. Harris takes the strike.
It's lunch time in Sydney! Australia must be happy with their effort into the middle in this session as their batsmen did well. They've won a session after being on the backfoot for 6 straight sessions. Australia - 122/1 after 40 overs, trail India by 500 runs.
50 run partnership between Harris and Labuschagne for the second wicket. Both the youngsters are looking composed into the middle. Australia - 122/1.
Australia are 117/1 after 37 overs. Harris - 74 and Labuschagne - 16* are batting well as the hosts put up another partnership of 40-plus.
Hundred comes up for Australia in 29.2 overs. They have been scoring at a decent pace today.
Harris hits three boundaries from that Kuldeep Yadav over as Australia reach 99/1. The left-handed opener is looking in sublime touch as he's batting with a positive intent.
Fifty! Marcus Harris brings up his second Test half-century. This one came off 67 deliveries. He's batted superbly in this innings. Negotiated with the spinners as well as pacers well.
It's been a tough series for Australia but a bright spot has surely been Harris. Opening against this bowling attack is not an easy task. #AUSvIND— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) January 5, 2019
Wicket! First success for Kuldeep Yadav on the Australian soil and he gets rid of settled Usman Khawaja for 27. He held on to his nerves and kept tossing it up to force the batsman to pull him and he found Cheteshwar Pujara standing at short mid-wicket to pouch it comfortably. Australia - 72/1.
Kuldeep Yadav has also been brought into the attack.
50! Marcus Harris hits a glorious drive on the off-side and brings up the 50 for Australia. Good start for the hosts on a decent batting surface. They are looking to attack Jadeja as the spinner has hardly found any spin so far. Australia 57/0 after 17 overs.
After just four overs from pacers, skipper Kohli has introduced spinner Ravindra Jadeja and he had almost got Khawaja had it carried it to the hands of KL Rahul. A superb effort at mid-on from Rahul.
Mohammed Shami bowls the second over and concedes just two from it. Australia - 29/0.
Jasprit Bumrah starts the proceedings with the ball as Marcus Harris takes strike. Harris gets three runs on the first delivery of the day.
Bumrah has completed his 1st year in Test cricket today. It was a year ago in South Africa when he made his Test debut in 2018 and what a sensational first year it has been for him?
The batsmen are ready, so are we.
Australia needs 399 more runs on day three... and that's just to avoid the follow on!— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) January 4, 2019
Can they do it?
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Hello and welcome to the live updates on Day 3. The surface is still very good for batting and the Australian batsmen should look to make most of it and tire the Indian bowlers.