4th TEST, DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS: Siraj, Shardul peg Aussies back as India target historic win
Inexperience, what’s that? The Indian bowling attack was a matter of grave concern following multiple injuries ahead of the fourth and final Test in Brisbane. But Mohammed Siraj’s fifer (5-73) and Shardul Thakur’s 4-61 on Day 4 of the Gabba Test proved that sometimes inexperience can work wonders too.
Australia were restricted to 294 in their second innings with India needing 328 runs to win. At stumps, Ajinkya Rahane’s men had scored 4-0 before the rains interrupted and forced a premature closure of play, with Shubman Gill (0*) and Rohit Sharma (4*) bracing themselves for a long haul tomorrow.
Australia have never lost a match on this ground for 32 years and no team has ever won a Test match chasing more than 250 in the last innings. The biggest successful chase here came in 1951 with the Aussies scoring 236-7 against West Indies.
Having said that, India have shown tremendous character in this series and we won’t be surprised if the young breed of players goes for the kill on the final day. They have to be careful though as the pitch has started showing signs of wear and tear.
The Indian pace attack optimised the uneven bounce by mostly keeping their length short today, targeting the freshly-developed cracks. The Aussie pace attack is expected to do the same and it is important that Indians keep a strategy in place to deal with the menace of uneven bounce.
Earlier today, even though Australia started well with an 89-run stand between Marcus Harris (38) and David Warner (48), Indians turned the tides taking four quick wickets to reduce the hosts to 123-4. The first to strike was Shardul (dismissed Harris), who became the first player since Dale Steyn (2008) to take 8 wickets in a match and score a half-century against the Aussies in their own backyard.
Washington Sundar dismissed the dangerous Warner, trapping him leg before, while Siraj sent back the next three with some really crispy bounce and pace.
Even though Cameron Green (47), Steve Smith (36) and skipper Tim Paine (50) showed some resistance, they couldn’t last long enough in the face of constant assaults from the Indian pace duo. Here we leave you with the five wickets that Siraj took today to maximise India’s chances of a possible maiden Test win at Gabba.