Sydney: Australia were 251 for six with an overall lead of 348 runs at the close on the fourth day of the fourth and final Test against India in Sydney on Friday. Brad Haddin was not out 31 and an overnight declaration was likely.
Australia captain Steve Smith. Photo: AP/PTI
Australian captain Steven Smith smashed 71 off 70 balls while Joe Burns plundered 66 off 39 balls to lead a late charge.
Ravichandran Ashwin was the pick of Indian bowlers, taking four out of the six wickets to fall in the innings.
Earlier, India were all out for 475 in their first innings in reply to Australia's 572/7 declared on day four of the fourth and final cricket Test at the SCG here today. Australia managed to get a lead of 97 runs.
India lost skipper Virat Kohli (147) in the morning session before reaching 407 for seven at lunch on the fourth day of the fourth and final cricket Test against Australia at the SCG, here today.
Ravichandran Ashwin (33) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3) were at the crease as India saved the Follow-on but still trail by 165 runs.
Virat Kohli. Pic/ AFP
India resumed at overnight score of 342 for 5, with Kohli and Wriddhiman Saha (35), who had already put on 50 runs for the sixth wicket.
Kohli held the key for India this morning and Australia got rid of him quickly. The Indian captain had added only seven runs to his overnight score when, in the fifth over of the morning, he clipped Ryan Harris (1/71) to mid-wicket only for Chris Rogers to take a low catch. Only 10 runs had been added to the total and his partnership with Saha was worth 60 only, with the follow-on target still 21 runs away.
Ashwin walked out to the middle and batted with solidity as he and Saha put on 31 runs for the seventh wicket. They made sure that Australia will have to bat again to force a result.
Saha batted extremely well, showing a good temperament in his short but very useful innings. He was undone by Josh Hazlewood (1/58), a short delivery taking his glove on its way to Steve Smith in the slips, who didn't make any mistake this time around after two drops on day three. It exposed the Indian tail but Kumar showed what his team was missing in the last three Tests as he added 24 runs for the eighth wicket with Ashwin until the break.
However he was lucky to be still at the crease as Joe Burns failed to latch on to a lobbed up ball off his bat-pad off Nathan Lyon (1/102). He had not opened his account at that time. But he avoided any further hairy moments and helped India cross the 400-mark as the tail started eating away into Australia¿s lead.
For the hosts, Mitchell Starc (2/101) and Shane Watson (2/51) are the other wicket-takers.
Scoreboard on day four of the fourth and final Test between Australia and India being played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) here Friday:
Australia (first innings) 572/7 declared
India (first innings) (overnight 342/5)
Murali Vijay c Haddin b Starc 0
Lokesh Rahul c & b Starc 110
Rohit Sharma b Lyon 53
Virat Kohli c Rogers b Harris 147
Ajinkya Rahane lbw b Watson 13
Suresh Raina c Haddin b Watson 0
Wriddhiman Saha c Smith b Hazlewood 35
Ravichandran Ashwin c Haddin b Starc 50
Bhuvneshwar Kumar c Watson b Lyon 30
Mohammed Shami not out 16
Umesh Yadav c Haddin b Harris 4
Extras (b 4, lb 7, w 1, nb 5) 17
Total (all out in 162 overs) 475
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Vijay, 0.3 overs), 2-97 (Sharma, 43.4), 3-238 (Rahul, 86.6), 4-292 (Rahane, 99.4), 5-292 (Raina, 99.5), 6-352 (Kohli, 119.3), 7-383 (Saha, 130.2), 8-448 (Kumar, 153.1), 9-456 (Ashwin, 158.6), 10-475 (Yadav, 161.6)
Mitchell Starc 32-7-106-3
Ryan Harris 31-7-96-2
Josh Hazlewood 29-8-64-1
Nathan Lyon 46-11-123-2
Shane Watson 20-4-58-2
Steven Smith 4-0-17-0
Australia (second innings):
Chris Rogers c Raina b Kumar 56
David Warner c Vijay b Ashwin 4
Shane Watson b Ashwin 16
Steven Smith lbw b Mohammed Shami 71
Shaun Marsh c Vijay b Ashwin 1
Joe Burns c Yadav b Ashwin 66
Brad Haddin batting 31
Ryan Harris batting 0
Extras (b 2, lb 2, nb 2) 6
Total (for six wickets in 40 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Warner, 1.3 overs), 2-46 (Watson, 7.2), 3-126 (Rogers, 22.6), 4-139 (Marsh, 25.3), 5-165 (Smith, 30.6), 6-251 (Burns, 39.4)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar 8-0-46-1
Ravichandran Ashwin 19-2-105-4
Mohammed Shami 6-0-33-1
Umesh Yadav 3-0-45-0
Suresh Raina 4-0-18-0
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)