Sydney Test, Day 3: Rain Curtails Play As Australia Slip To Indian Spin
- Rain forces early end to play on Day 3 of the fourth and final Test between Australia and India at Sydney.
- Australia 236/6 (Kuldeep 3/71) in response to India’s massive first innings total of 622/7d.
- Leading 2-1, India two days away from claiming their first-ever Test series win Down Under.
Torrential downpour in Sydney spared Australia’s blushes on Day 3 of the New Year’s Test, as India extended their dominance to stay on course for a thumping victory in the series finale.
The hosts were 236/6 in response to India’s mammoth first innings total of 622/7d when the clouds burst open to force an early finish to proceedings on ‘Pink Day’ at the SCG.
Kuldeep Yadav, playing his first Test of the series, scalped three wickets, while Ravindra Jadeja took two – this after Australia had made their most assured start of the summer, and were comfortably placed at 128/1.
Play will commence half an hour earlier (4:30 am IST) on the remaining two days to make for the lost time.
Aus Debacle Before Downpour
Having already retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, and virtually guaranteed a maiden Test series win Down Under with a marathon batting effort over the first two days, India scuppered an already under-fire Australian lineup with a trial by spin on Saturday, 5 January.
The start was far from bad for the beleaguered hosts; openers Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja shared a 72-run partnership, and Australia went into Lunch on 122/1.
Harris looked particularly untroubled by India’s spin pair, stroking his way on to Australia’s highest individual score of the ongoing series, before throwing it away at the start of the second session.
That began an all-too-familiar slide for the Aussies – from 128/1, they slid to 198/6 when captain Tim Paine departed shortly after the Tea break.
It took a resolute effort from the returning Peter Handscomb, and another determined display from number eight Pat Cummins – Australia’s best batsman of the series, to some – to avoid a hurtling collapse which could have seen the hosts bowled out inside a day on the best batting surface presented through the summer.
Winning the Test was practically out of the equation once India had batted more than 160 overs for the second game running, but Australia are now likely to rely on further intervention from the heavens above if they are to avoid a 3-1 series defeat – which would be their worst at home since England regained the Ashes by the same scoreline in 2010/11.
For India, the champagne is truly on ice – and bursting to pop open.