SCG Test: India make steady start after Australia's declaration
India made a steady start in bid to chase 407 in the final session on Day 4 of the ongoing SCG Test. The likes of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill once again looked comfortable against the Australian bowlers. Earlier in the day, the hosts declared on 312/6 with skipper Tim Paine and all-rounder Cameron Green doing the damage. Here are the key takeaways.
How did Day 4 pan out?
Australia resumed with an overnight score of 103/2 as Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith arrived in the middle. Although the former departed on 73, Smith (81) carried on in the second session. The likes of Green and Paine took control in the second session before Australia announced the declaration. Meanwhile, Team India finished on 98/2 at stumps.
Rohit, Gill involved in a record opening partnership
India's opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were once again on the charge as they came out to bat on Day 4. The duo shared a 71-run stand in the fourth innings before the latter departed. Interestingly, this is the first 50+ opening partnership in fourth innings for India away from home since 2006 (Jaffer and Sehwag: 109 vs West Indies).
Fifty-plus stands in both the innings
Rohit and Gill have become the fifth Indian opening pair with 50+ stands in both innings of an away Test, the first such stand post 2006. The two batsmen added 70 runs for the first wicket in 1st innings.
First Test fifty for Rohit as an opener (away)
Rohit showed his class in the fourth innings with a magnificent half-century. This turned out to be his 11th fifty in Test cricket. Interestingly, this is his first Test fifty as an opener away from home. Rohit, who looked set for a hundred, departed soon after completing his fifty (52). He was outfoxed by Pat Cummins with the short ball.
Smith scripts records in the second innings as well
Star batsman Steve Smith duly capitalized on his incumbent form and fired a fifty in the second innings. In the first innings, Smith scripted history by slamming his 27th ton in Test cricket. Smith now owns a century and half-century in a Test most times (10) in world cricket. He has become Australia's ninth-highest run-scorer (7,449), having surpassed David Boon (7,422) on the tally.
Paine, Green played with aggressive approach
After Smith was dismissed, both Green (84) and Paine (39*) kept the scoreboard ticking. They clearly eyed the declaration by mustering as many runs as they can. In the process, all-rounder Green registered his maiden fifty in Test cricket. The 21-year-old made his presence felt with a blistering knock in the second session. Meanwhile, skipper Paine remained unbeaten eventually.
India remain sloppy in the field
Yet again, the Indian fielding turned out to be sloppy. Notably, the two catches were dropped off Jasprit Bumrah's bowling. In the 30th over, Hanuma Vihari dropped Labuschagne at backward square leg. Later on, Paine was dropped by Rohit in the slips.