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Aus blaze through to extend lead

Aus blaze through to extend lead
Having bowled out India for 475 for a 97-run lead, Australia scored at a fast clip to post 251 for six in 40 overs at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Friday.

The home team’s batting approach was in a stark contrast to their opponents, scoring at 6.27 runs per over in comparison to India’s 2.93. Resuming at 342/5, India managed to avoid the follow on but lost skipper Virat Kohli early (147), who added only seven runs to his overnight score. The other overnight unbeaten wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddiman Saha (35) looked fluent at the crease, tackling the Australian pacers well, who enjoyed considerable movement in the morning session.

However, Saha fell to a bouncer when he awkwardly gloved a Josh Hazlewood (1/64) delivery to the first slip. India added 65 in 29 overs in the first session losing two wickets but they came out post the break with an attacking mindset. Handy lower-order batsman Ravichandran Ashwin (50), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (30), Mohammed Shami (16 not out) provided some fireworks at the end of India’s innings to reduce the lead below 100.

Ashwin held the innings together scoring his fourth Test half-century. Umesh Yadav (4) was the last wicket to fell, getting caught behind to end India’s innings. It was a collective effort from Australian bowlers who shared the wickets to fall with left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc (3/106) being the most successful.

India started on a positive note with Ashwin getting fair amount of turn from the fourth day pitch. He accounted for the dangerous David Warner (4) in the second over itself. The visitors had a couple of other chances to make early inroads into the Australian batting order. But they squandered those opportunities with Saha missing a stumping and a run-out chance. Australia, sensing the tricky situation they were in, started to counter-attack, with No.3 batsman Shane Watson (16) and opener Chris Rogers (56) upping the ante.

Rogers scored his sixth consecutive half-century. His initial ascendancy was complimented by Steven Smith (71), in the form of his life, and Joe Burns (66). Smith’s Donald Bradmanesque form saw him overtake the Australian batting legend to become the highest run getter in a Test series against India with 769 runs from eight innings. 

Scoreboard
Australia (first innings): 572/7 decl
India (first innings) overnight 342/5

Virat Kohli c Rogers b Harris 147, Wriddhiman Saha c Smith b Hazlewood 35, Ravichandran Ashwin c Haddin b Starc 50, Bhuvneshwar Kumar c Watson b Lyon 30, Mohammed Shami not out 16, Umesh Yadav c Haddin b Harris 4; Extras (b 4, lb 7, w 1, nb 5) 17; Total (all out in 162 overs) 475; FoW1-0 (Vijay, 0.3 overs), 2-97 (Sharma, 43.4), 3-238 (Rahul, 86.6), 4-292 (Rahane, 99.4), 5-292 (Raina, 99.5), 6-352 (Kohli, 119.3), 7-383 (Saha, 130.2), 8-448 (Kumar, 153.1), 9-456 (Ashwin, 158.6), 10-475 (Yadav, 161.6); Bowling Mitchell Starc 32-7-106-3, Ryan Harris 31-7-96-2, Josh Hazlewood 29-8-64-1, Nathan Lyon 46-11-123-2, Shane Watson 20-4-58-2, Steven Smith 4-0-17-0

Australia (second innings)
Chris Rogers c Raina b Kumar 56, David Warner c Vijay b Ashwin 4, Shane Watson b Ashwin 16, Steven Smith lbw b Mohammed Shami 71, Shaun Marsh c Vijay b Ashwin 1, Joe Burns c Yadav b Ashwin 66, Brad Haddin batting 31, Ryan Harris batting 0; Extras (b 2, lb 2, nb 2) 6; Total (for six wickets in 40 overs) 251; FoW 1-6 (Warner, 1.3 overs), 2-46 (Watson, 7.2), 3-126 (Rogers, 22.6), 4-139 (Marsh, 25.3), 5-165 (Smith, 30.6), 6-251 (Burns, 39.4); Bowling B Kumar 8-0-46-1, R Ashwin 19-2-105-4, Mohammed Shami 6-0-33-1, Umesh Yadav 3-0-45-0, Suresh Raina 4-0-18-0

Stat-attack day 4
Australia have registered run-rate of 6.27 while batting in their second innings, the second highest when 240 balls or more have been faced, the highest is 6.80 by South Africa during their total of 340 for three wickets declared against Zimbabwe at Cape Town in March 2005.

Umesh Yadav has recorded a run-rate of 4.66 in the series, the worst by an Indian bowler (minimum 600 balls). The said run-rate is the third worst in a Test series behind West Indian, Fidel Edwards’ 4.81 vs South Africa in 2003-04 and Australia’s Brett Lee’s 4.72 vs India in 2003-04.

Burns’ outstanding strike rate of 169.23 is the highest by an Australian player in a Test innings against India and the second highest behind Adam Gilchrist’s 172.88 during his unbeaten innings of 102 (59 balls) vs England at Perth in 2006-07. (min 50).

For the first time in a Test series, eight totals of 400 or more have been posted and also for the first time, both teams have registered 400 runs or more in their first innings in each game in a 4-Test rubber.

Ravichandran Ashwin’s excellent figures of 4 for 105 are his best in a Test innings in Australia, surpassing the 3 for 81 at Melbourne in December 2011. Ashwin has completed his 50 wickets (aveof 34.64) in 10 Tests against Australia.

Ashwin became the 9th Indian Test all-rounder to complete the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets or more in, his stats being 1006 (ave.37.25) runs and 119 (ave.30.67) wickets in 24 Tests .

Chris Rogers has posted six consecutive innings of 50 or more in Tests, 55 & 55 at Brisbane, 57 & 69 at Melbourne and 95 & 56 at Sydney, emulating an Australian record for most successive half-centuries in Tests, held by Jack Ryder, Doug Walters, Greg Chappell, Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Michael Hussey, Phil Jaques and David Warner.

Steven Smith has amassed 769 runs at 128.16, the highest by a player in a four-Test series, third highest by any player in four Tests in a series behind Vivian Richards (829 at 118.42 in 4 Tests vs England in 1976 and Sunil Gavaskar (774 runs at 154.80 in 4 Tests vs WI in 1970-71).

PTI

PTI

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