Brisbane Test: Australia set India 328 before rain abandons play
Incessant rain washed away the final session on Day 4 of the ongoing Brisbane Test, after Australia gave India a 328-run target. Prior to that, Australia were bundled out for 294, with fast bowler Mohammed Siraj taking a five-wicket haul. His compatriot Shardul Thakur also scalped four wickets as the hosts suffered a batting collapse. Here are the key takeaways.
Australia were cruising on 89/0 in the morning before the top-order tumbled. After lunch, the dismissal of Steve Smith turned the tide for India. The likes of Siraj and Thakur mowed down the Australian lower-order, handing India breakthroughs in quick succession. As a result, Australia were bundled out for 294. After a while, the Indian openers played 11 balls before the play was called-off.
Siraj remained the standout bowler in the second innings. He disarrayed Australia's entire middle-order along with Thakur. Notably, he made the most of the cracks that have been proliferating on the Gabba track. He removed the dangerous Steve Smith with an absolute ripper. Eventually, Siraj scalped his maiden five-for in Test cricket, having registered bowling figures of 5/73.
Another fast bowler who perturbed the Australian batsmen was Shardul Thakur. Following Smith's dismissal, Thakur handed India two more breakthroughs in the form of Green and Paine. Later on, he also got rid of Nathan Lyon. Thakur has now taken seven wickets in the match (1st innings: 3, 2nd innings: 4). He was also the top-scorer in India's first innings (67).
During the second session, Smith raced to his 31st fifty in Test cricket, having racked up 55 off 74 balls. The middle-order batsman was on the charge, a tactic that eventually extended Australia's lead. Upon reaching his half-century, Smith (7,540) also got past the runs tally of former batsmen Mark Taylor (7,525) to become Australia's eighth-highest run-scorer in Tests.
The final day of the Border-Gavaskar offers a riveting action as all the three results are possible. The Indian camp would be happy at the moment after folding Australia's innings on 294. Chasing 328, the visitors certainly will be wary of the cracks on the Gabba track tomorrow. Banking on the same, Lyon will be eyeing his 400th Test scalp.