India vs Australia: Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja nullify hosts' solid start before rain forces early stumps on Day 3 at Sydney

Australia blew a strong start with yet another top-order batting collapse at Sydney on Saturday, leaving themselves a mountain to climb to stay in the fourth and final Test against India.

Agence France-Presse, Jan 05, 2019 11:59:41 IST

Sydney: Australia blew a strong start with yet another top-order batting collapse at Sydney on Saturday, leaving themselves a mountain to climb to stay in the fourth and final Test against India.

When play was abandoned late in the day due to rain, they were 236 for six, still 386 behind with Peter Handscomb (28) and Pat Cummins (25) fighting a rearguard action after some soft dismissals plunged the hosts into deep trouble.

Kuldeep Yadav celebrates with teammates after dismissing Australia captain Tim Paine. AP

Kuldeep Yadav celebrates with teammates after dismissing Australia captain Tim Paine. AP

Australia went to lunch at 122 for one but meekly surrendered soon afterwards, losing three wickets for 24 runs, with spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav doing the damage.

Yadav ended the day with 3-71 and Jadeja 2-62.

While aggressive rookie opener Marcus Harris blazed a career-best 79, senior players Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh and skipper Tim Paine all failed to deliver when needed most.

India took a stranglehold on the match over the opening two days, compiling a massive 622 for seven declared on the back of centuries from irrepressible Cheteshwar Pujara and livewire Rishabh Pant.

They lead 2-1 after victories in Adelaide and Melbourne and are fast closing in on a historic first-ever series win since they first toured Australia in 1947-48.

Skipper Virat Kohli's declaration left Khawaja and Harris to face 10 nervous overs before stumps on Friday, when they crawled to 24 without loss.

Khawaja was dropped by Pant behind the stumps on nought but failed to make the most of his second life.

On a day when the Sydney Cricket Ground was a sea of pink to mark a breast cancer awareness initiative, he was dismissed for 27 after mistiming a shot off wrist-spinner Yadav with Pujara taking an easy catch.

Stuck in two figures

At the other end the diminutive Harris, who has shown flashes of brilliance in his short four-Test career, quickly found a groove with some crisp shots around the ground.

He survived a close call on 24 when a drive to a diving KL Rahul fell just at his fingertips and reached his second Test 50 with a single before smacking three fours in one Yadav over.

Harris went to lunch on 77 but added just two more before chopping a Jadeja delivery onto his stumps, blowing a glorious chance to press on and make Australia's first century of the series.

So far, none of Australia's batsmen has reached three figures over the four Tests, with Harris' 79 the highest anyone has scored. In contrast, India have had a field day, compiling five centuries.

Australia gambled by picking inexperienced all-rounder Marnus Labuschagne to come in at number three and he settled in well, cracking seven boundaries in a stylish 38.

But he was sent packing by a blinding reflex catch from Ajinkya Rahane at mid-wicket off Mohammed Shami's bowling.

Marsh scored a century in Sydney against England this time last year, but was out for eight, tickling an edge to Rahane at slip from a turning ball off Jadeja.

The day got worse when Travis Head was caught and bowled by Yadav just before tea for 20 and as storm clouds gathered overhead Yadav clean bowled Paine for five in the first over after they came back.

It was left to Handscomb, recalled as a specialist in tackling spin, and paceman Cummins, who made a gutsy 63 in the third Melbourne Test, to try and repair the damage.

Updated Date: Jan 05, 2019 11:59:42 IST


IPL 2019 POINTS TABLE

Pos. Team P W L D Pts.
1
Mumbai
14 9 5 0 18
2
Chennai
14 9 5 0 18
3
Delhi
14 9 5 0 18
4
Hyderabad
14 6 8 0 12
5
Kolkata
14 6 8 0 12
6
Punjab
14 6 8 0 12
7
Rajasthan
14 5 8 0 11
8
Bangalore
14 5 8 0 11
See Full Table





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5372 125
2 India 5669 121
3 South Africa 4488 115
4 New Zealand 3729 113
5 Australia 4342 109
6 Pakistan 3846 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254