Australia v India – Fourth Test, Day 4: Rain threatens to stop a victory to either side

Border Gavaskar Trophy

 

Moving day today for Australia who will be keen to score as quickly as possible.

 

With two aggressive batsmen at the crease in Warner and Harris it would be an interesting first session.

 

The Indian bowlers certainly helped the Australians cause by some wayward bowling that resulted in boundaries. Just what Australia needed. It was left to yesterday’s heroes Shardul and Washington to stem the tide.  They must be thinking this Test cricket is an easy caper.  If ever there is a workhorse Shardul Thakur is your man. Not overly tall but thickset and a strong backside he is your ideal “work horse”.

 

Harris has matched Warner and has outscored in the first stanza.

 

Australia is on the march but these Bharatians still keep coming and in quick succession Harris (38) and Warner (48) depart the scene with the wickets going to those two net-bowlers Washington and Shardul.

 

The Inspector Gadgets are at the wicket and Labuschagne scores a quick 25 before he nicks a good one to Sharma from Siraj. Wade (0) goes first ball caught behind and Australia are 4/123 having lost 4/34 in the last 30 minutes.

 

The Indian bowlers after their poor start have worked hard to contain and take wickets and they have succeeded again.

 

Smith hits a vicious pull straight into the left leg of Argawal at silly leg and the Indian is down for the count. Always seems a long down time when one of the Bharats goes down.

 

Never thought it would happen but Australia needs to consolidate via Smith and Green and not get bogged down by the Indian Seconds.

 

Have run out of superlatives for the visitors as they continue to astound everyone with their grit and determination. They have been fantastic again!  The two batsmen are trying to score runs but the bowlers are not giving them anything.

 

As champion Sunil Gavaskar said before play started this morning “the resolve, fortitude and reserves of spirit displayed by these players has been inspiring… they have never stopped fighting.”

 

At lunch Australia are 4/149, an even morning with runs not wickets a top priority for Australia and containment for India.

 

The batsmen are in no hurry after lunch and will be looking for a lead of 300 plus before any indication of a declaration.  The wicket is still not playing any tricks so that would be a minimum for Australia to lead by.

 

Smith is attacking Washington in particular, but Green is struggling against an attack that has worked out his strengths and weaknesses. SPD (55) gets a brute of a ball from Siraj and it dollies out to point and he goes DRS!  Steve the ball has hit your bottom hand holding the bat!! Between Warner, Labuschagne and Smith you know they are going to go DRS irrespective of where the ball might finish.

 

Lucky enough to catch up with the highly respected Sri Lankan journalist Marvin Vaas about the DRS who said “They (Smith, Warner & Labuschagne) are never out and take an eternity to get off the ground”. Enough said.

 

Not a good sign for the visitors with the ball all of a sudden lifting from a good length. Green (37) gets one as well this time from Shardul and Sharma gobbles up another one.  Green struggled hard in this knock and was never comfortable, just wish he would go for his shots. At 5/228 Australia are not comfortable and will want the tail to wag with the consistent skipper Paine.

 

Paine (27) goes having a big hit at Shardul and rain comes just on tea. Think Australia will bat on after tea still not comfortable with the score.  Oz led by 276 runs and I reckon they will bat on for at least another 30 minutes and hope to score at least 30/40 runs.

 

Starc (1) hit outs and gets out.  The wicket is doing a bit now. May have sweated a bit under the covers. Never again a game in Brisbane during January.

 

Lyon having quiet a time with the bat has another cameo of 13 with one magnificent six of Siraj.  Shardul Thakur now has 7 wickets in the match. Not bad for a net bowler. I wonder is his performance due to the fact that he has bowled ball, after ball, after ball in the nets? (Many thanks Geoff Lawson!).

 

Australia finished with 294 Cummins 28 not out while Mohammed Siraj finished with 5/73 and Shardul Thakur 4/61. Both bowlers toiled splendidly in the humid conditions. Washington took the other wicket.

 

India needs 328 to win similar to their first innings but they will need some inspired batting from the top order on a wicket that took more bounce today from a good length than at any time during the match.

 

More rain after 2 overs and it is looking pretty dismal overhead. They have put the lights on but I think they will need more than lights.

 

Well that is it for Day 4 at The Gabba. A bit disappointing from a match point of view and now Australia will have to draw something out of the bag to take all 10 Indian wickets on Day 5. The wicket has certainly been a bit more bowler-friendly today. The ball from Siraj that had Smith caught in the gully was a brute of a ball getting up from a good length and another one nearly cutting Cummins in half.

 

There is still a lot more cricket to be played on Day 5.

 

 

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About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.

Comments

  1. John Butler says

    CB, I was surprised at Australia’s lack of urgency for much of the day. After the openers made a good start, things just puttered in fits and starts.

    The Aussies can’t claim to not have been warned about the rain.

    Do the bowlers have one last burst in them? It has all been left to them once agian.

    Cheers

  2. Shooda been in Perth. If you want – or need – a result. Brisbane is all humidity and storms after Christmas. Dumb scheduling.
    Have warmed to India’s humble underdog persona after Kohli left. Looking forward to a day of rain and a trip to the hall of mirrors for the cocky Aussies. They were clearing space on the mantlepiece for the trophy after Adelaide.

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