1st Test, India vs Australia: Visitors in driver's seat after Day 4, need 6 more wickets to win

India ended the fourth day's play in a strong position, needing just six wickets to win the opening Test against Australia. 

1st Test, India vs Australia: Visitors in driver's seat after Day 4, need 6 more wickets to win
Image Credits: PTI

Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami scalped two wickets each as India ended the fourth day's play in a strong position on Sunday, needing just six wickets to win the opening Test of the four-match series against Australia at the Adelaide Oval. 

Chasing a huge target of 323 runs to win, the Indian bowlers started putting pressure on Australia from the very first over, with Ishant Sharma rapping opener Aaron Finch on the pads in the second ball and the umpire raising his finger. But, Finch opted for the review and replay showed Ishant's front foot landed on the line. 

Finch, however, could not stay at the crease for long as he got dismissed off Ashwin's delivery after scoring just 11 runs.

Soon after the beginning of the third session, Shami struck for India and sent Marcus Harris back to the pavilion for just 26 runs. 

Following the quick dismissals of the Australian openers, the Indian bowlers started piling even more pressure on the hosts as they avoided giving them easy runs and managed to bowl a few maiden overs. 

Shami and Ashwin soon got rid of Usman Khawaja (eight) and Peter Handscomb (14) as Australia struggled to build the partnership during the fourth day's play.

At stumps, Shaun Marsh (31) looked strong at the crease as he joined forces with Travis Head (11) to help Australia cross the 100-run mark. The home side still need 219 runs to win the match. 

Earlier, resuming at Saturday's score of 151-3, Cheteshwar Pujara (71) and Ajinkya Rahane (70) not only smashed a half-century each, but also stitched a crucial partnership of 87 runs to help India extend their lead to 322 runs against Australia. India, however, lost their last four wickets for just four runs. 

Nathan Lyon was the pick of the bowlers for Australia as he claimed a six-wicket haul, followed by Mitchell Starc who bagged three wickets. 

Here are the highlights of the match: 

# Stumps

# Australia manage to bring up a fighting 100 by the end of the day's play, thanks to Shaun Marsh who stuck out in the middle. They still need 219 runs with six wickets remaining to win the match. Australia 104/4 (49 overs)

 

# Ashwin and Shami are not giving much room to the Australian batsmen to score runs, having claimed three maiden overs combined in previous five overs. India are looking to end the day with a couple of few wickets. Meanwhile, Bumrah returns to the crease after landing awkwardly. Australia 87-4 (42 overs)

#Bumrah has hurt his left shoulder while diving. He walks off the ground along with physio to get some treatment. 

# Travis Head comes to bat for Australia at No. 5 !

#Wicket! Shami strikes again. As and when Australia were looking to build partnership, Shami dismissed Handscomb for 14 runs. The Indian seamer bowled a short ball and Handscomb tried to pull it, but caught by Pujara at mid-wicket. Australia 84/4 (37 overs)

#Marsh and Handscomb are batting with patience and slowly trying to steady Australia's innings. India have called back Ishant Sharma into the attack as they look to break this stand as soon as possible. Australia 84/3 (34 overs)

# The Indian bowlers continue to keep the pressure tab on the home side following Khawaja's dismissal as they are not conceding easy runs. They now require seven more wickets to win the match. Australia, on the other hands, need to pull up their socks and stitch a partnership if they want to have any chance of winning this match. Marsh (16) and Handscomb (eight) are currently batting at the crease. Australia 69/3 (29 overs)

#Wicket! Ashwin hits again. Khawaja chooses to go for the aerial route, only to see the ball edging from Ashwin to Rohit, who takes a good catch at deep wicket. India continue to remain in driver's seat. Australia 60/3 (24 overs)  

# India are gaining confidence following the quick dismissals of the Australian openers. The visitors need to pile even more pressure on Tim Paine's men and avoid giving away easy runs. Meanwhile, Shaun Marsh looks much more relaxed than his last innings as he starts off quiet well. Australia 57/2 (21 overs)

# Jasprit Bumrah replaces Shami!

# Shaun Marsh is the new batsman for Australia!

# Wicket! Mohammed Shami strikes for India to remove Harris for 26 runs. The Australian opener edges one from Shami and the ball goes directly to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, who makes no mistake. Australia 44/2 (16.2 overs)

# Usman Khawaja comes to bat at No.3 !  

# The third session on Day 4 begins.

# Tea!

# Wicket! Ashwin makes the breakthrough for India in Australia's second innings by sending Finch back to the pavilion for just 11 runs. The Indian bowler tosses the ball in the rough and Finch hits it in the air, resulting in a simple catch for Rishabh Pant. Australia 28/1 (12 overs)

# Despite being a Day four, batting seems to have become easy. Finch and Harris have started building a partnership slowly as Australia look all set to not give up so easily. For India, Ishant continues to torment the visitors, but without much success.Australia 25/0 (10 overs)

#Ravichandran Ashwin replaces Jasprit Bumrah into the attack!

# Australia made a dramatic start to their chase, with Ishant Sharma rapping Finch on the pads in the first over and the umpire raising his finger. However, Finch opts for DRS and replay shows Ishant's front foot landed on the line. Finch survives dismissal. Australia 7/0 (5 overs)

# Aaron Finch and Marcus Harris make their way out to the middle to begin the run chase. Ishant takes the new ball for India.

# Play resumes

#Innings Break 

# Australia make an amazing finish to India's second innings, taking four wickets for four. Lyon was the pick of the bowlers for Australia as he finished with six wickets, while Starc also contributed with three wickets. India all out for 307 runs and set a target of 323 runs for Australia. India 307 (106.5 overs)

#Wicket! Starc departs Ishant for duck. The Indian fast bowler thrusts the bat at a short ball in a hope of not getting hit, but Aaron Finch easily takes the catch at short leg. 

#India 307/9 (105 overs)

#Jasprit Bumrah is the new batsman in!

# Wicket! Lyon strikes twice to send Rahane (70) and Mohammed Shami (duck) back to pavilion.While Rahane was caught by Starc at backward point reverse sweeping after a terrific innings, Shami was caught by Marcus Harris at deep wicket. 

# Ishant Sharma comes to bat at No 9!

# Wicket! Starc sends Ashwin packing. The Indian all-rounder pulls a short delivery from low to high, but gets a thick top edge to hand an easy catch to Harris at deep midwicket. India 303/7 (103 overs)

#India have now stretched their lead over Australia to 300 runs, something which is expected to further boost the confidence of Virat Kohli and his men. Starc bowls another short ball to Ashwin, which goes over skipper Tim Paine and races to the boundary to help India cross 300 runs. India 303/6 (102 overs) 

# Ravichandran Ashwin is the new batsman in !

# Wicket! Another one for Lyon. After scoring 18 runs from the Australian off-spinner in his first over after lunch, Pant fails to replicate the same as he steers the ball in the 97th over to deep cover-point, only to hand it straight down to Finch about 10m in from the rope.India 282-5 (97 overs)

#Play resumes

#Lunch!

# A fantastic session for India. They have taken a huge 275-run lead with five wickets remaining going into the lunch. Pujara (71) and Rahane (57*) have batted beautifully and stitched a crucial 87-run stand to deflate the opposition. Though Lyon has been the pick of the bowlers for Australia and has already taken his third wicket of the innings by dismissing Rohit, it seems the damage has already been done for the hostsIndia 260/5 (95 overs)

# Rishabh Pant comes to bat at No 7! 

#Wicket! Lyon strikes again. Rohit Sharma departs after scoring just one run. The Indian batsman gets a top edge to a Lyon delivery, only to hand a simple catch to Handscomb who was standing right to him. India 248/5 (91.2 overs)

# Rahane smashes a boundary off the third ball of the 90th over to bring up a cracking half-century off 111 balls. It is his 16th Test fifty and 12th overseas. India 248/4 (91 overs)

# This is what renowned commentator Harsha Bhogle has to say about Pujara's terrific knock!

# Rohit Sharma is the new batsman in!

# Wicket! Australia finally breath a sigh of relief as they bag a big wicket in the form of Pujara (71), courtesy Nathan Lyon's brilliant delivery.The ball pitched on the rough and Pujara kicked at it with the bat, but the extra bounce takes it onto the gloves and straight to Aaron Finch at forward short leg. 

# Pujara has pulled up a little sore after a tight single in the third ball of the 85th over. India, however, are slowly approaching towards 250. India 234/3 (86 overs)

# Australia have taken second new ball and Starc returns into the attack as the home side desperately looking for wickets now. India, meanwhile, continues to remain dominant in this this session. While Pujara has been phenomenal with the bat, Rahane has also batted with ease to stretch the visitors' lead. India 228/3 (84 overs)

# Lyon back into the attack. Josh Hazlewood switches ends to replace Starc.

# India have added 43 runs so far without losing a wicket. The lead currently stands at 224 and the visitors look in a good position to put up 350 on the scoreboard. 

#Drinks !

# Pujara (66) and Rahane (31) are scoring runs easily and have put up a 50-run partnership for the fourth wicket. It is the seventh 50 plus stand between the pair and first in seven innings. India are in full control of the match while the hosts are struggling to take wickets. India 209/3 (79 overs)

# Rahane has been given out caught bat pad off Nathan Lyon's delivery by umpire Nigel Llong, but he goes for a review immediately and gets it overturned. Australia are not looking threatening at all.The home side need to take a few quick wickets as that is the only way they can stage a comeback into the match.  India are standing in a good position at the moment and have extended their lead past 200. India 191/3 (74 overs)

# Pat Cummunis back into the attack!

# Pujara becomes only the eight Indian batsman to score two fifty plus scores including a century in a same Test match in Australia.

India are off to good start today as Pujara notches up a blistering half-century off 140 balls, his 20th in Tests. India are stretching their lead slowly but steadily at the moment. Starc, on the other hand, starts off with a maiden over, his fourth of the innings before Nathan Lyon being called into the attack. India 166-3  (66 overs)

# Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are all set to resume India's second innings at 151-3. Mitchell Starc is opening the proceedings for Australia on Day four. 

# The Australian players are wearing black armbands in memory of  former cricketer Colin Guest, who passed away on Saturday.

# The fourth day's play is all set to get underway.

India ended the third day's play at 151-3, extending their lead to 166 runs against Australia in the second innings of the opening Test at the Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

The visitors made a slow start to their innings, with KL Rahul (44) and Murali Vijay (18) leaving all outside-off deliveries initially. However, after playing the first 10 overs cautiously, runs started flowing in for India with Rahul notching up a few boundaries. 

After Rahul and Vijay were dismissed in quick successions following a crucial 50-run opening stand, Indian skipper Virat Kohli and top-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara combined and stitched a crucial partnership of 71 runs to keep the scoreboard ticking at a slow pace.

Despite good bowling performances and a number of maiden overs, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood could only add a wicket each to their account for Australia.  

Earlier, Australia were bundled out for 235 runs in reply to India's first innings total of 250 after rain played the spoilsport and delayed the start of the third day's play. 

At stumps, Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane were batting on the crease at their respective scores of 40 and one. 

Lineups:  

Australia XI: Marcus Harris, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c,wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood. 

India XI: KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma.

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