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India face daunting task to save Sydney Test against Australia

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AGENCY
SYDNEY: India’s wayward bowlers today conceded a massive 213 runs in the post-tea session on the penultimate day of the fourth cricket Test against Australia, leaving their team with a daunting task of saving the match on a tricky last day track tomorrow.
After gaining a 97-run first innings lead, Australia hit a quick 251 for six in 40 overs in the second innings to be 348 runs ahead. They are likely to declare at this score, leaving India to defend on the last day on a wicket on which the ball is turning significantly.
Paceman Umesh Yadav, who has had a terrible series, conceded 45 runs in just three overs, epitomising the poor bowling by India in the face of an Australian onslaught although R Ashwin took four for 105 to record his best overseas figures. Resuming at the overnight score of 342 for five, India lost captain Virat Kohli (147) in the fifth over of the day and the danger of the Follow-on was looming large but R Ashwin (50), Wriddhiman Saha (35) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (30) batted with lot of determination to save the blushes.
The kind of purchase Ashwin got from the SCG track, India have a tough task at hand as the pitch has already offering sharp turn and countering Australian spinner Nathan Lyon, the Indians will have to bat out of their skins to survive the entire fifth day.
The highest successful run chase at the SCG is 288 for four, achieved by the hosts against South Africa in 2006. The highest run chase by a visiting team is 194 by England and that too more than a century ago in 1903.
Their eyes firmly set on a 3-0 result, Australia launched an assault on the Indian bowlers by scoring at a brisk pace right through their second innings. Spinner Ashwin took four wickets but it did not make much of an impact as skipper Steven Smith (71) yet again haunted the Indians with his strokeful batting and opener Chris Rogers (56) lent him good support after David Warner (3) was dismissed cheaply. (PTI)

SCORE BOARD

Australia 1st innings 572/7 dec
India 1st innings
M Vijay c †Haddin b Starc 0
KL Rahul c & b Starc 110
RG Sharma b Lyon 53
V Kohli* c Rogers b Harris 147
AM Rahane lbw b Watson 13
SK Raina c †Haddin b Watson 0
WP Saha† c Smith b Hazlewood 35
R Ashwin c †Haddin b Starc 50
B Kumar c Watson b Lyon 30
Mohammed Shami not out 16
UT Yadav c †Haddin b Harris 4
Extras 17 Total 475/10
Australia 2nd innings
CJL Rogers c Raina b Kumar 56
DA Warner c Vijay b Ashwin 4
SR Watson b Ashwin 16
SPD Smith*lbw b Mohammed Shami 71
SE Marsh c Vijay b Ashwin 1
JA Burns c Yadav b Ashwin 66
BJ Haddin† not out 31
RJ Harris not out 0
Extras 6 Total 251/6

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